Apple Strikes Again.

Apple iPod Touch

I’m sure everyone and their brother has heard by now. How could you have NOT? Today is the day that Apple updated their entire iPod line.

All bright and shiny! Touch screens for the iPod (Touch). Video for the nano (fatty). Beautiful devices in that typical Apple way (I don’t like the new nano’s proportions a lot, but that’s probably a taste thing; your mileage will vary). And the thing is, they went up the line with price slashes and upgrades to both battery life, and memory capacity.

That’s right: That newfangled 8gb iPhone I JUST PURCHASED, is now the standard model, and $200 cheaper. *grumbles* (That’s the typical Apple skid mark for early adopters. Had I not NEEDED a phone so bad, and had more self control…) But otherwise, it’s all good.

So I spent a few minutes reading the transcript (You haven’t read the transcript? What are you waiting for? Oh… You want to download the keynote from iTunes! I get it…), I do have one little thing to mention. Or ask, really. Does anybody else think that there is something strange about the new “Buy it on WiFi from iTunes” feature?

Now don’t get me wrong; this is a feature that people have been waiting for for some time. I mean, it pretty much has been a killer app since the invention of the mp3/music player: How do you get your music ONTO the player? Proprietary cables and syncing and management software and all the hassle. It’s a wonder we put up with it for so long.

But now, thanks to Apple’s commitment to putting WiFi in their high-end devices, that might be a thing of the past! Have WiFi available? Go online and surf to the iTunes Store! Buy your songs, and BAMM! (Well, BAMM! if your connections is good. Can anyone tell me if this little trick will work across AT&T’s Edge?)

Apple iPod nano

But the thing that gets me is the little thing they slip under the hullabaloo about WiFi purchasing. We can now sync back to our computers.

“What did he say?”

I SAID, you can now sync those purchases back. And that means, for the first time, there is an “Apple sanctioned” method for getting songs OFF the iPod, and onto your computer. That’s a pretty huge thing for so understated a presentation. I mean, aside from it being one of the most prevalent gripes I hear from non-iPod users as to why they HATE iTunes, NOT being able to sync just never made any real sense. Unless you were hyper paranoid about file sharing, that is. And I’m sure that this new capability will not be without it’s own gotchas. But it’s a step closer to the world we all want to live in. You know, the world where we control our own stuff again?

Time will tell whether it is awesome, so crippled and lame an implementation as to be useless, or the community of hackers descends to liberate it from lameness. Either way, it’s a step in the right direction, I think.

And that’s what I really got out of today’s announcements. Apple is moving in the right direction. One exceedingly cool and expensive product-line upgrade at a time.

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