Disney’s Bob Iger took the stage at Apple’s “It’s Showtime” special media event in San Francisco today as Steve Jobs unveiled a new version of the iTunes store selling downloads of movies and videogames. The dog-and-pony show also debuted a revamped Ipod lineup including a specially adapted-for-movies 5th generation iPod with 80G storage, 3.5 hours of video playback, a bigger and 60% brighter screen, gapless playback and new earphones, for $349. And already the reviews are in: thumbs down! As expected, the iTunes store will initially offer only films from Walt Disney Co. (which owns Jobs’ Pixar). Today, films from Disney, Pixar, Touchstone, Miramax — over 75 movies — become available. They are near DVD quality: 640 x 480 resolution. New movie releases will cost $14.99 apiece, preorders $12.99, and older titles $9.99. Buyers will be able to watch the movie as it downloads as well as download multiple movies at once. It’ll be in Dolby surround audio. Apple also will release a compact wireless box for the TV called iTV that allows consumers to watch movies purchased online, as well as other digital content stored on a computer, on a connected television set. Half the size of the Mac mini, it works with Apple Remote. It will sell for $299 and be available early next year. Also, there’s a new matchbook-sized iPod shuffle and a 2nd generation ipod Nano. Look, if you’re like me, then we’ve been waiting for a really cool Movie iPod whose screen will be at least the length and width of the device itself with the controls on the back or the side. Or else why bother to watch?
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