Apple's September 1st Special Event

Screen shot 2010-09-01 at 10.10.59 AM

First impression of the video stream viewed in Safari 5 on my mac: insane, like watching a 480p video on YouTube without a single hiccup or buffering message. Back in 1999-2002, I used to be able to try and watch Macworld keynotes and even the times I was at UCLA using Internet2 with their prioritized feeds, the online video barely worked and I usually gave up. Today's perfect streaming to many, many more people is a pretty impressive accomplishment. In the end, I got about 30 seconds of flashing video about halfway through the stream, but otherwise it was perfect for over an hour.

Airplay teaser: whoa, my favorite and most often used app on the iPad, AirVideo, is dead. I'll get the same functionality without the app in iOS 4.2

iPods: Shuffle seems like a step back, but probably a good idea. The Nano is barely bigger than a Shuffle, but the video screen looks very small (is watching video on a 1" screen even possible anymore?). The Nano is so small that Steve Jobs' fingers look too large to even use it in the demo. The Nano does have a dock connector on it, which means it can be used in every sort of iPod accessory, especially cars with iPod connectors. The iPod Touch finally gets cameras, and even gets Facetime. Pretty nice updates all around.

iTunes: The new icon is kind of ugly, and still music-centric even though it does a lot more.

Ping: Holy crap, it's like Napster 1999! Seriously, Napster perfected new music discovery in 1999 (for me at least) and it worked better than anything I've used since, but Ping is looking pretty strong. and Rdio must be crapping themselves right now. I wonder if it will log songs from non-iTunes sources though (like Amazon MP3s)? In the demo, Ping looks a bit like a Facebook clone with tons of "buy now" links everywhere. There's also an event planner, like Comments, photos, and video seem like a stretch for iTunes, it's almost as if Apple looked at iTunes usage of people hitting play and minimizing it and wondered how they could instead have people use it for hours a day.

AppleTV: Holy cow, 1/4 the size, and a better remote. No more purchases is weird, my 5 year old daughter likes to watch the same movies over and over again. Looks like it's going all-streaming like people predicted. Netflix streaming means I now have 6 devices in my house that can do netflix streaming (Wii, PS3, iPhone, iPad, TiVo, AppleTV). Airplay looks good, but I wish I could send any video from my desktop Mac to my AppleTV. $99 seems like a no-brainer given there's no hard drive in it anymore. I suspect someday they may even be free given they drive so many sales to iTunes.