The Music Lover’s Guide To Today’s Apple Event

Posted September 12

We get that a new Apple product release is basically akin to Christmas (or your denominational holiday of choice), birthdays and various and sundry sexual encounters to your average iHead, but to those of us more interested in songs than screens, there’s a lot of info to wade through to get to the good stuff. Allow the O Music Blog to do the sorting for you. Behold: All the news from the iPhone 5 release event — held at San Francisco’s lovely Yerba Buena Center for the Arts — relevant to music lovers.

After patiently watching (a.k.a. sorting through myriad live blogs) Apple’s event today, we have distilled down the nearly two hours of ohhing and awing over pixels and pings into a handy guide detailing what you — the dude (referring to both genders) who likes music — really cares about when it comes to the myriad products discussed today.

All in all, the adjustments aren’t all that mind-blowing, unless you count the abolishment of the dreaded iPod earbuds, which have long plagued thousands of Apple fans too poor or lazy to acquire “quality” headphones. For that, we’ll give Apple a hearty, “Thank GOD, well done.”

First up, the folks at Apple trotted out the long-awaited iPhone 5, featuring the soon-to-be-released iOS 6. If the tweaks below catch your fancy, you can start pre-ordering that device this Friday with a September 21 ship date (it costs $199 for 16GB and up to $399 for 64GB). iOS 6 launches on Sept 19 and will function on all phones and tablets (back to the 3GS).

THE iPHONE 5

It’s Easier To Tote

If you’re one of those people who listens to tunes on your iPhone to avoid the whole carrying-around-too-many-devices ordeal, life is about to get even easier. The new iPhone is apparently the thinnest, lightest model Apple has ever made. It’s 7.6 mm thin, which is 18% thinner than the iPhone 4S, and it weighs 112 grams, making it 20% lighter than the previous model.

The Display Is Better

Although the device is apparently thinner and lighter, the retina display is slightly bigger — at 4 inches with a 19:6 aspect ratio — than that of the iPhone 4S. Now, five full rows of apps can fit on your homescreen, making it easy to find what you’re looking for — the app store apparently now has 700,000 apps (250,000 tailored for the iPad), so if you’re an avid downloader we imagine your screen is quite crowded.

In accordance with the new digs, Apple is updating all of its software (including GarageBand) to fit the new display. This should be good news for folks who use their iPhone to create tunes using Apple’s music-making tool. However, all other apps have not be reformatted, and will feature a black line around the border — not such good news for people using non-native tools (until all the developers reformat, of course).

Load Times Will Be Faster

If you’re looking to load your music apps faster, you’re in luck. The iPhone 5 will be compatible with LTE (Long Term Evolution) and will feature a faster A6 processor, which basically translates to, “Whoa, my Spotify app loads two times faster now!” in laymen’s terms.

Battery Life Will Be Longer

You’ll now get 10 hours of battery life on Wi-Fi and 8 hours on LTE — that’s an entire workday worth of grooving.

Your Connector Will Be Obsolete

You know that old extra iPhone charger you have lying around “just in case”? It’s basically worthless now. Apple is launching a new connector called — snappily — “Lightning.” It’s 80% smaller than the original model, which we guess is cool. They’re also trotting out adaptors so that you can use your old cords, but, really, who needs more stuff to shlep around?

Siri Will Be Your Eyes

Launch any app just by evoking its name, making it even more obvious when you’re playing SongPop instead of finishing that spreadsheet.

YouTube Will Not Be YourTube

No YouTube on the 5 — you’ll need to get your Gangnam fix by downloading the new app.

ITUNES

Now let’s get right into the straight-up music stuff: the next version of iTunes. Apple is busting out a redesigned iTunes store for iPhone and iPad as well as Mac and PC that’s more streamlined and social than previous iterations. Improvements include the integration of Facebook Likes (on all product pages), the ability to listen to song samples as you surf around the site, a sleek album display on the desktop, an “up next” feature that lets you reorganize playlists, artist galleries, improved search, the addition of concerts to product pages, hidden functions and displays (they pop up when you mouse over them) on desktop, and iCloud integration. The update comes in late October, according to Apple.

The IPOD NANO

First off, you should know that the iPod Classic appears to still be alive and kicking, as it was not mentioned during this event. So all you retro kids can go ahead and breathe a sigh of relief.

Now, on to the Nano, which got a passel of updates including a thinner body (40% thinner than previous versions), a 2.5 inch multitouch display, the ability to pause live FM radio, widescreen video, Bluetooth and seven snazzy colors. Seven, guys! You can get one for every day of the week.

IPOD TOUCH

The new iPod Touch (32GB for $299, 64GB for $399) is kind of like the iPhone 5, with a few differences — it’s slower, you still can’t call people, and (cue the ohhs! and awws!) it has a strap. You know, like a camera strap, because people use the device to take pictures. Oh, and it has 40 hours of music playback, which — camera straps aside — is what we really care about. The new iteration comes out in October.

IPOD SHUFFLE

More colors! Yay!

EARPODS

Get ready for the true star of the Apple unveiling event, a brand-new edition of its classic white earbuds: EarPods. Apparently, Apple spent 3 years designing them. We’re not sure how exactly they differ from previous models yet, but if they don’t give us migraines (as did previous models), we’re in. Oh, and unlike everything else Apple showed today, you can snap these puppies up RIGHT NOW.

AND THE THE FOO FIGHTERS PLAYED

Fin.