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Apple CEO Steve Jobs hosted the company's music -themed
event in San Francisco Wednesday.

Jobs, Apple's CEO, delivered the keynote address at the
company's invitation-only event in San Francisco,
California, on Wednesday, making his first appearanc e
at an Apple event in nearly a year.

He received a standing ovation that lasted 45 seconds.

Jobs last appeared at an Apple event on October 14,
2008, when he unveiled a new lineup of Macintosh
computers including the ultra-thin MacBook Air. He was
on a sabbatical for the first six months of 2009
because of health-related issues, which included a
liver transplant.

"I'd like to thank everyone in the Apple community for
the heartfelt support," Jobs said in a soft voice. "I'm
vertical, back at Apple and loving every day of it."

Wearing his trademark jeans and black mock turtleneck,
Jobs told the crowd he has the liver of an organ donor
in his or her mid-20s who died in a car crash. He also
asked everyone in the audience to consider organ
donation.

Jobs looked "quite gaunt -- much like he did before he
took his leave," wrote Fortune magazine senior writer
Jon Fortt, who attended the event.

Although Jobs introduced several new products,
including iTunes 9 and upgraded iPods, his mere
presence was the biggest news of the event, said Dylan
Tweney, senior editor for Wired.com.

"It's huge, obviously. He is the mastermind of the new
Apple and it's really good to see him back," Tweney
said. "He's looking well -- thin, and some people were
saying he sounds a little quieter and scratchier than
before. But he's clearly doing well."
Jobs said the new iTunes store features easier
navigation with a cleaner layout and bigger image
display. iTunes 9 will have have a new look and a
handful of new features, including "LP mode," in which
users can download song lyrics, art and band and song
information.

Users also will be able to download bonus features for
movies, move files from one computer to up to five
others and post information about songs and albums
directly to Facebook.

For iPhone and iPod Touch users, Apple unveiled iPhone
OS 3.1, which will allow users to download ringtones
for iPhones for $1.29 each. These are premade
ringtones, unlike the ones users can currently make for
themselves in iTunes. Apple will make 30,000 of the
ringtones available on Wednesday.

The App Store also will begin to make recommendations
for applications using the same "Genius" recommendation
technology that works on songs in iTunes.

The new iTunes will be available for download sometime
Wednesday. The world's most popular online music site
has sold more than 8.5 billion songs to more than 100
million account holders.

As expected, Apple also unveiled a new iPod lineup
Wednesday, including new Nanos with video cameras, and
slashed most of the music players' prices by $20 to as
much as $120. Video Watch Jobs unveil new iPod Nano »

The iPod Touch will be available in 8GB, 32GB and 64GB
for $199, $299 and $399. The two higher-end versions
will be 50 percent faster, Apple announced.

Despite rumors to the contrary, Apple decided to keep
the iPod Classic, bumping up capacity to 160GB from
120GB and cutting the price by $20 to $229.

And the iPod shuffle will be offered in five different
colors and will come with an adapter so it will work
with any headphones. It got a price cut to $59 for the
2GB model and $79 for the 4GB version.

Many also anticipated Apple to announce that it had
signed a deal with The Beatles to make the band's music
available on iTunes. No such news came Wednesday.

The Apple event coincided with the legendary band's
release of its new "The Beatles: Rock Band" video game
and digitally remastered CDs. The Beatles are one of
the few bands whose music has never been approved for
sale as downloads on iTunes.

Wednesday's event closed with a live performance by
singer-songwriter Norah Jones instead, which
disappointed some observers who were expecting Beatles-
related news.

"Clearly it's a loss for Apple that they don't have
that," said Tweney of Wired.com.

Reaction to Apple's product announcements was mixed.
Video Watch Mashable's Ben Parr discuss the event »

"It's very good to see Steve Jobs back, but the
expectations were blown out of proportion," said Trip
Chowdry, an analyst with Global Equities Research. "The
products are very good, but a camera on an MP3 player?
That's innovation? Apple will have to come out with a
category killer like the iPod or iPhone to continue to
drive revenues higher."

Brian Tong, an editor at CNET, thought the event was
"lukewarm" as far as introducing new technology. Rumors
abound that Apple is developing a touch-screen tablet
device, "but people who have been following it didn't
really expect it to show up [Wednesday]," he said.

Tong was surprised to see Apple devote a chunk of
Wednesday's event to promoting the iPod Touch as a
handheld gaming device. The event featured demos by
several game developers, including EA, which is
bringing its popular "Madden NFL 10" to the App Store
for the first time.
"They really were pushing it as a gaming platform
[rivaling the Sony PSP or Nintendo DS] and that's
something they've never done before," he said.

				
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posted:11/19/2010
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