The Macworld Podcast returns, new host in tow, just as Apple starts to rev up for the fall with a series of product releases, both actual and theoretical.

First, the actual: On Wednesday, Apple announced big changes to the iMac line, including updating the desktop with new Intel Core 2 Duo chips and offering a new, prosumer model with a 24-inch screen. And because the company appears to be in the updating mood, the Mac mini gets a nice little speed bump, moving the low-end mini into high gear with the addition of a 1.66GHz Core Duo processor to replace the 1.5GHz Core Solo configuration.

As for the theoretical, Apple plans a special event for next week, in which new iTunes Music Store services appear to be on the agenda. I’m joined by Macworld Editorial Director Jason Snell, as we muse about what Apple might have in store for us at the September 12 event.

Finally, I’m “joined” by Cepstral cutie Diane to discuss my recent roundup of FM transmitters for Playlist.

Download Episode #51

•  AAC version (8.4MB, 35 minutes) •  MP3 version (7.9MB, 35 minutes)

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Show Notes

While I share my thoughts on the iMac and Mac mini updates, there’s some other coverage on Macworld about Wednesday’s hardware news. Philip Michaels takes a look at what kind of message Apple is sending to developers by dropping the Core Solo chip. And Jason Snell takes a closer look at some of the changes to the iMac.

Music Credits: “Basic” by Epicte the Elemental. Want to hear more of his music? Need a DJ in the Washington, D.C. area? E-mail him at epicte [at] gmail [dot] com.

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