It's Apple Showtime today and as usual, plenty of great coverage to sort through. Here is a quick filter of the news, with a focus on Web-related announcements from Apple.
iPod and iTunes forge ahead in online media
The iPod now has 75.6% market share, according to Apple. The range of 'devices' it connects to is impressive too - "70 percent of the new cars sold in the US offer iPod connectivity as an option." But the real Web interest is in iTunes, which has a market share of 88% for legal US downloads". According to Engadget:
"We have sold over 1.5 billionsongs. If you look at all the music that's legally distributed in the US, and CDs and online ..."
#2 Best Buy
"iTunes is now the fifth largest legal reseller of music in the US. we're on a trajectory to surpass Amazon and become #4 in January."
"Outside the US, there are iTunes stores in 21 countries . It's #1 in every single country."
Today Apple announced iTunes7, which has an enhanced UI (e.g. 3 "views": traditional, album view, and cover flow view). Also better integration with the iPod.
Apple is also ramping up their television content - they now have 220 shows from over 40 networks. Video has been enhanced in iTunes7 to 640x480 - 4x the resolution of the previous 320x240. Jobs also mentioned iTunes7 has "seamless playback for video".
Movies on iTunes
The big announcement (pre-hyped in the blogosphere) is the introduction of movies to iTunes:
"Today we're starting out with films from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, and Miramax - four studios owned by Disney. Today we're making over 70 films available online today ... including Pirates of the Caribbean. They'll be available the same day they're out on DVD."
They will be "near DVD quality" at 640 x 480 resolution. Pricing: new movies will be $12.99 if you pre-order them or buy them during the first week; other movies are $9.99.
The last big announcement was about the future release of a television connector box called iTV (not the final name). This seems to be Apple's version of Media Center, the Microsoft tv product. It will enable people to view all their Apple-downloaded content on a big screen tv - movies, TV shows, music, podcasts, and photos. iTV will connect to your home network via WiFi. It'll also be cross-platform, working on Mac and Windows. The price is $299 and it'll be available in Q1 2007.