SAN FRANCISCO, California ( TheStreet) -- Apple's ( AAPL) big music event today saw the consumer tech giant overhaul its iPod and iTunes offerings and renew its efforts to turn Apple TV into a success
Anyone waiting for news about a Verizon ( VZ) iPhone, however, was sorely disappointed, as Apple CEO Steve Jobs refreshed the company's line of portable music players. This included new versions of the iPod nano and iPod Touch. The Apple boss also took the wraps off Ping, a music-focused social network for iTunes users. The Apple event took place at San Francisco's Yerba Buena Center, although the tech giant broke with recent tradition and offered a live stream of its press conference. Read on for more highlights from today's Apple event:
Steve Jobs told the audience of journalists and Apple fanboys that more than 275 million iPods have been sold to date, and also unveiled the new, scaled-down iPod Shuffle, which is smaller than the second generation of the technology. Priced from $49 for a 2GB version of the technology, the new Shuffle has been shrunken to the size of its scroll wheel.
Now multitouch, the new, shrunken iPod Nano is about half the size and half the weight of its predecessor, according to Jobs. The 8GB version of the iPod Nano is priced at $149, and the 16GB Nano costs $179.
Like the iPhone 4, the new new iPod Touch has a retina display, which Jobs described as "the best display in the world," during his keynote presentation. As predicted, the latest iPod Touch also features a front-facing camera for Apple's FaceTime technology, as well as a rear-facing HD video camera. Price points for the new iPod Touch are $229 for 8GB, $299 for 32GB and $399 for 64GB.
Apple also unveiled the next version of iTunes at its San Francisco launch event, complete with new logo. The tech giant has improved the iTunes console, according to Steve Jobs, who also demo-ed the company's new "Ping" technology, a sort of social network for music fans, which runs on iTunes. Ping is immediately available to over 160 million iTunes users in 23 countries, he added.
The company's biggest announcement, however, was the second generation of Apple TV. Jobs admitted that the initial Apple TV, launched four years ago, has not been a huge hit with customers but unveiled a new, scaled-down version of the technology. A fourth of the size of the original, the new Apple TV can be held in the palm of the hand, has built-in Wi-Fi and offers the largest library of movies to rent in the world, according to the Apple CEO. The price of the original Apple TV was $299; now it's priced at $99. The new Apple TV can also stream content from the Netflix ( NFLX) streaming library and allow access to Google's ( GOOG) YouTube and Yahoo!'s ( YHOO) Flickr. --Written by James Rogers in New York. >To follow the writer on Twitter, go to http://twitter.com/jamesjrogers. >To submit a news tip, send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org