Apple Event "Let's Rock": The Live Blog

iPod - Lets Rock!
iPod - Lets Rock!

This is the live blog of the Apple "Let's Rock" event. The first post is at the bottom of the page, with the last enry at top.

2:05 pm EST: Event is over. Clapton's "Layla" playing. And loud. Keep it tuned to CNBC for complete coverage and updates here on the blog. Hope that blog worked for all of you. My thumbs are numb!!

2:04 pm EST: Jobs back on stage. Saying good bye. No "one more thing." Which is a surprise.

2:03 pm EST: Jack's singing "So Much Better When We're Together" which, he shared, he wrote for his wife. Sweet. Great song, by the way. I plan to download this from iTunes later. He gets a standing ovation!!

2:02 pm EST: Jack's now thanking Steve Jobs. "Seems kinda weird" being the number 1 guy on iTunes. With U2 out there. Maybe I'm the number 1 guy. They're a band. But I wanted to come and show my appreciation and support for iTunes which has been so good to me these years."

Seems like a really good, aw-shucks guy. Pointing out to the crowd that he's used to a group of 20-something girls up front, and probably not us in the media. Oh well, Jack. There's time for the 20-somethings later, I guess.

1:58 pm EST: Jack Johnson is still playing. Very nice.

1:54 pm EST: So, as yet no update on the Shuffle. Which is a little surprise. But bringing out Jack Johnson is a little strange: normally, Jobs bids farewell, and then brings out the act. I'm guessing he's gonna come back with "one more thing." I don't think he's done yet.

1:52 pm EST: Now preparing to introduce special musical guest: Jack Johnson. He's the number 1 selling male artist on iTunes. (Jobs has left the stage.)

1:51 pm EST: Jobs: Best line-up ever for holiday shopping season. "We're ready for this holiday shopping season."

1:50 pm EST: New iPhone software available for free Friday.

1:49 pm EST: Jobs: Moving on to some software: the new iPod Touch features Version 2.1 software. The new software is available free if you upgraded already to 2.0, or $9.95 if you haven't. If you have an iPhone, new software here too. "It fixes lots of bugs." Fewer dropped calls, crashes, better battery life. (Applause.)

1:47 pm EST: Jobs: Millions of songs available, thousands of Hollywood movies, and now hundreds of games. "This is the funniest iPod ever." 8 gigs: $229 16 gigs: $299. And a new 32 gig for $399 and all are available today. Running a new iPod Touch ad, showing game-play.

1:46 pm EST: Need for Speed due in November. Jobs back on stage. Battery life for the new Touch: 36 hours for music, 6 hours for video.

1: 45 pm EST: Showing EA'snew Need for Speed, out in a few months. The graphics are very pretty. Animation is sweet. Very nice.

1:44 pm EST: Now showing a new soccer game from GameLoft available today. Pretty nice. Overlaying controls on the touchscreen. Once again, showing the power of Touch/iPhone as a gaming platform that may someday, MAY someday begin to take its place next to Nintendo's DS and Sony'sPSP. (I said "may.")

1:38 pm EST: Marketing VP Phil Schiller showing off some games on the App store. Jobs has left the stage after 35 minutes of presentation. Schiller showing off the special version of Spore developed specifically for Touch/iPhone.

Steve Jobs now and then (2005).
Steve Jobs now and then (2005).

1:37 pm EST: Showing movies, which look good on the Touch, but particularly great when they're displayed on the 30 foot screen behind Jobs. That's a bit of false advertising! (Laughing.)

1:35 pm EST: Playing Green Day's "American Idiot." Now Hendrix and Purple Haze. U2's "Sunday Bloody Sunday." Making a playlist, through Genius, from those songs. Pretty cool.

1:34 pm EST: Jobs: I am pleased to announce today, users have downloaded 100 million apps from the Apple App Store. "Mind-blowing," considering the store's only been open for 60 days. This is staggering.The App Store now available in 62 countries. Demo'ing some of the Apps that are available.

1:33 pm EST: Built in Nike+iPod icon on Touch. The receiver is in the Touch itself. Neat.

1:32 pm EST: Volume controls now on the side, wi-fi, now a built-in speaker, the accelerometer, Genius playlist connection, the same 3.5 inch screen.

1:31 pm EST: Moving on now to the iPod Touch. "An incredible product" says Jobs. "We're making it even better." The new version looks the same from the front, but this new one is much thinner.

1:30 pm EST: New iPod Nano commercial showing now. Showing off all the colors. Dripping paint. What Apple calls Nano-chromatic.

1: 29 pm EST: A headphone shape update as well. 2 drivers, a woofer and a tweeter that'll sell for $79.

1:28 pm EST: An amazing array of colors. Wow, 8 new colors spanning the entire rainbow. 8 gigs next few days, 16 gigs by this weekend, or early next week. $149 for 8 gigs, 16 gigs for $199. New Nano headphones that include a cable controller so you can control the Nano from this little headphone cable. Kinda slick.

1:26 pm EST: The cleanest, most toxic free iPods we ever built.

1:25 pm EST: Battery life now 24 hours of music and 4 hours for video. "We want to be really environmentally sensitive with these products." Arsenic free, BFR free, Mercury free, PVC free, and highly recyclable.

1:24 pm EST: Shake to Shuffle!! Sooooo cool. Literally shake the Nano and your Nano shuffles the songs. THIS might seem silly, but it's the kind of cool, quirky innovation that makes these things so drool-worthy. Very neat.

1:23 pm EST: Listening to Bob Dylan now. Starting a Genius playlist that's adding Donovan's "Catch the Wind", Simon & Garfunkel's "America."

1:21 pm EST: Jobs now running through a demo of the new Nano.

1: 20 pm EST: Accelerometer from the iPod Touch and iPhone, and you can create Genius playlists on this device. Turn it on its side, and you get landscape mode. Add songs on the go simply by holding the center button down.

1:19 pm EST: Silver and black. Jobs: "I think when you actually see these things you'll be blown away."

1:18 pm EST: Jobs: We shipped the first Nano in 2005. (Showing the first, second and third generation Nanos.) New iPod Nano is like that second generation one, but with a far bigger "portrait" screen that takes up two-thirds of the device, razor thin. Very pretty.

1:17 pm EST: IPod Classic. Discontinuing the thick version, offering a new thin version of 120 gigs at $249. 30,000 songs.

1:15 pm EST: NPD says iPod has 73.4 percent market share. Others have 15.4 percent, SanDiskis number 3, and Microsoft is a distant, distant fourth with Zune. 90 percent of car manufacturers offer iPod connectivity. 160 million iPods sold.

1:14 pm EST: What's cool about this is that this is targeted sales at its finest. Taking your tastes and giving you options based on them to buy more. Pretty cool. ITunes 8 available as of today as a free download.

1:13 pm EST: Showed a clip of "The Office." Now playing John Mayer. Showing how easy it is to create a new playlist. Adding Elvis, Heartbreak Hotel. Genius just added Buddy Holly's "That'll be the Day", and Roy Orbison's "Pretty Woman."

1:11 pm EST: He's now demo'ing how Genius works. He's standing at a Mac on a podium. He's firmly in control of the stage (playing Aretha's "Respect.") His voice is strong. Not thin like last time. He's still thin-ish, but he's very Steve. My perception anyway.

1: 10 pm EST: Jobs: You can bring up the Genius sidebar which will make recommendations from the iTunes store that go well with your songs. The music library lives on your computer, the Genius algorithm lives in the clouds. We're gonna combine your protected, anonymous info with millions of others, to make the best possible recommendations. Results tailored to your library and tastes.

1:07 pm EST: Jobs: Genius automatically let's you create songs that just work well together. Re-discover music in your own library, and create playlists you might never have heard of.

1:06 pm EST: Jobs:Adding a bar at the top, so you can browse by album art, artists, scales to movies and TV shows, podcasts, but it'll get used most for music.

1:05 pm EST: Jobs: Introducing iTunes 8 as of today. HD TV shows, accessibility, VoiceOver, new browsing. And we've got something called "Genius."

1:04 pm EST: Jobs: The number 1 music distributor in any format. Adding new content. HD TV shows. Standard def $1.99. HD will be $2.99 and watch them on Apple TV or on your PC. NBC is also coming back to iTunes. "The Office", "Monk", "Battlestar Galactica", "30 Rock", "Heroes", and coming back in HD as well.

1:03 pm EST: Jobs: Let's start with iTunes. 8.5 million songs, 125,000 podcasts, 2,600 movies, 3,000 apps for the iPod Touch and iPhone. 65 million accounts.

1:01 pm EST: Jobs is on stage. Looking a little thin, but all smiles. He begins with this: "The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated." Enough said. Excellent.

1 pm EST: Lights are dimming!

12:57 pm EST: Inside the Yerba Buena Gardens Theater. It's a full house, and we're just minutes away from the start of the event. Stones and Jimi Hendrix playing on the PA. I count 17 news cameras. It's packed.

We'll shoot a little of the keynote and get tape out to the truck as quickly as possible so we can get those images on our air. So you can see what Steve Jobs looks like. We'll get the new iPods on the air as quickly as we can, too.

(The Doors playing now. Nice!)

12:41 pm EST: The pressure is on Steve Jobs and Apple Inc. to come up with the goods, and wow customers and investors with a new batch of iPods.

The difference between this event and Apple events past: it seems that everyone seems to know already what Apple plans to unveil: higher capacity iPods, with more storage at cheaper prices, a new Nano, a better Shuffle. Maybe the addition of Bluetooth for wireless headphones.

I'm talking to a lot of analysts and media queued up for the event, and just about everyone anticipates some kind of surprise, that "one more thing" Jobs is famous for, but hasn't touched on in his last few product unveilings.

Let's Rock
Let's Rock

As I mentioned earlier, whether investors want to acknowledge it or not, is Jobs' appearance. Just about every analyst wants to see how he looks and whether he appears healthier today, than when he took the stage in June, looking far thinner than normal and sparking a wildfire of speculation about his health.

I'm told his appearance later this morning should put to rest any concerns about his health, that he's robust, in charge, and ready to do what he does best: sell Apple and its products.

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Questions? Comments?