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(UPDATED) I was lucky enough to catch a Ustream of the Apple event today; much better than watching a live blog. As always, Steve was super-interesting and engaging. There were four big announcements pertaining to music; all new iPods are being released, iTunes now features a social network called Ping, and iTunes 10 is out now, featuring an updated logo, one without the CD.
Since the iPod’s introduction, 275 million have been sold and nearly 12 billion songs have been purchased through iTunes. To date, there are now 12 million songs in the iTunes library. The iPod touch has eclipsed the Nano in popularity and since become one of the most popular portable game players in the world.
On the Touch, 1.5 billion games and entertainment pieces have been downloaded. Steve went onto say that he thinks this is the strongest line-up of iPods that Apple has ever sold. As speculated, the new iPod touch does come with the retina display in it and features a front and rear facing camera.
Ping is the new iTunes based social network for music discovery. Users can follow and be followed by artists, friends, and other fans alike. Anyone can follow anyone’s tastes and music stream much like Twitter. This should prove to be an exciting evolution of the iTunes music experience and enable users to more closely get in tune with the interests and artists that those around them like too.
Of course, users can set it so they can approve or disapprove of potential followers. For some this feature set may become a blessing and others a curse. After all, music is a highly personal and revealing endeavor about ones personality and eccentricities. Thus, there might be some actively in a users music library that they would prefer that their friends didn’t know about.