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Apple’s ‘Let’s Rock’ Event - Live Update

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10:37 PT - DM: Phil is pretty excited about games. (I wonder if this is just because Steve's not big on games). He's going to show off "Spore Origins" for the iPod touch; we're looking at the creature creator. "You may not recognize me, but that's me." He's changing colors, patterns, etc. "I don't know why a single-cell organism has eyes but no brain." Good question, Phil. Control the character by tilting the iPod touch. Phil's little dude is getting his butt kicked, unfortunately. And that's Spore, which just started shipping on the App Store yesterday.

10:40 PT - DM: Next up is Gameloft's Real Soccer 2009. Brand new game that's just starting to ship today. He'll show us US vs. Italy. Pick your staidum, environment, uniforms, etc. Brings out the actual players. They've overlayed a D-pad and two buttons on top, but it also has gesture-support. He shoots, he scores! And instant replay. Wow. That goalie is terrible. "Italy needs a new goalie."

10:42 PT - DM: Now a version of EA's Need for Speed Undercover. "I'm a Porsche guy, I'll go for that Porsche." Now we're going to transport a package by way of...underground speed racing. That makes perfect sense.. Phil uses his Nitro button, but he wipes out. Uh oh, the cops are on the scene. Now he's ramming cops. "Kids, don't try this at home." That's coming in November.

10:43 PT - JS: Not-so-hidden message of this lengthy demo: The iPod touch (and iPhone) make awesome game machines for you to buy this Christmas. Plus, it's an iPod! And a video player! For those who don't know, Apple's holiday financial quarter is gigantic every year, because the company sells approximately a gazillion iPods at the holidays. This event is the official kick-off of that holiday sales season, and the games make it even more of a gift item than it was before. Apple is preparing for another big holiday season.

10:44 PT - DM: Steve's back out to recap. It works with those new headphones. The battery life is 36 hours of music and 6 hours of video. And environemntally, the checklist looks a lot like the nano: arsenic-free, BFR-free, Mercury-free, PVC-free, and highly recyclable. Millions of songs, thousands of movies, hundreds of games: "This is the funnest iPod ever."

10:46 PT - JS: And a million English teachers weep openly.

10:46 PT - DM: 3 models: 8GB goes for $229; 16GB for $299; 32 GB for $399. All available starting today. And a new ad: which pretty much appears to just show off games. And a wee bit of music. "The funnest iPod ever."

10:48 PT - DM: Let's talk for a minute about the software on the devices. New iPod touch has 2.1 software. If you have a first-generation touch, you can get version 2.1: it's free upgrade from 2.0. If you haven't, it's $9.95 to update from 1.x. The updates are available today. If you have an iPhone, there's a 2.1 software update as well. It's a big update: it fixes lots of bugs: fewer call drops, significantly improved battery life, not as many crashes, backing up to iTunes is "dramatically faster." And some new performance enhancements as well. Free to all iPhone owners, and it'll drop on Friday.

10:49 PT - JS: And all the people in the crowd who have watched the lives drip away as they back up their iPhones applaud.

10:49 PT - DM: Steve thinks it's the best line-up they've ever had and the best version of iTunes they've ever had. Ready for the holiday season. Is that it? Or will there be...

10:50 PT - DM: And here comes someone to play some music. "Like you, we love music." What's the over-under on John Mayer?

10:51 PT - DM: And the guest is Jack Johnson, who's apparently the number one selling male artist on iTunes.

10:51 PT - JS: It's all that "Curious George" music, Dan. But the real question is, is Jack Johnson ready to rock?

10:52 PT - DM: Yes, Jason. I think he's prepared to rock in a decidedly acoustic fashion.

10:54 PT - DM: The real question here is: which iPod does Jack Johnson have? I think the answer is all of them. It's good to be buddies with Steve Jobs.

10:55 PT - JS: Dan Frakes muses: Is the fact that many of the songs played at these events have a political overtone just part of the times we live in, is it specifically requested by Steve Jobs, or is it just part of the whole "Apple music event" vibe?

10:55 PT - DM: Political, maybe, but he's no Randy Newman.

10:56 PT - JS: Or Kanye West. What? "Gold Digger" is totally a political statement. (By the way, Jack Johnson fans, he's playing "Sleep Through the Static" according to local JJ expert Dan Frakes.)

10:58 PT - DM: Jack says thank you. "Seems kind of weird that I'd be the number one, with U2—maybe they don't count because they're a band and I'm a guy with a name." "I don't know, I'm used to kind-of 20-something girls right here. I'm doing my best..." He wanted to come and show his appreciation for all the help iTunes has given him over the years. "Most of my friends probably aren't watching this right now, but I wanted to say hi to all my friends that are actually watching this right now."

11:00 PT - JS: Now Jack's playing "Better Together," Mr. Frakes tells me. As for me, I know that one song from the "Curious George" movie, but that's pretty much it. Boy, I'm glad Dan Frakes is here.

11:01 PT - DM: That's Dan Frakes, ladies and gentlemen, Jack Johnson discographer extraordinaire.

11:01 PT - DM: "This is really a song for my wife, not my friends...I keep picturing my friend Ed right now in front of a computer, and I'm singing a love song to him."

11:03 PT - DM: Steve comes back out to pose for a photo-op and give Mr. Johnson a round of applause. And that appears to be a wrap. We're done here. No "One more thing", but there's plenty to like in that new iPod line-up. We'll of course have more for you on those just as soon as we get our damn dirty paws on them. Thanks for reading along, and for me, Jason Snell, Dan Frakes, Chris Breen, and the rest of the Macworld team, have a great day.

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