No surprise from Apple and Motorola on the cell phone news. Now your cell phone can play music from iTunes. And iTunes can keep your kids in check. Really.
Over a year after Apple and Motorola announced they’d have a cell phone that does iTunes (think of it as an iPod that does phone calls) it’s here.
The Motorola ROKR E1. Available at Cingular. It plays music on iTunes built in to the phone. Oh, it makes phone calls, too.
Uncharacteristically, Apple is NOT making much noise with the ROKR phone. There’s much more noise about the iPod nano, two or three of which might fit inside the ROKR phone.
What’s up with that? First, Apple’s not doing the selling. It’s Motorola’s phone and there’s an exclusive agreement to sell, for now, only with the Cingular wireless carrier.
True, iTunes is on the ROKR phone. But all you can cram into it, for now, is 100 songs. Not 1,000. Only 100. At about 15 songs an hour, at least you won’t hear repeats at work.
The Apple web site is also uncharacteristically quiet about the ROKR. Apparently a cell phone that plays music via iTunes and syncs up to your Mac or PC isn’t all that exciting to Apple.
I happen to have Cingular, so I’ll check it out the next time I’m near a store. But I’m in no hurry.
Well, that’s not totally true. I am in a hurry to see the iPod nano.
Apple is making noise with the latest version of iTunes, now at 5.0. What’s new?
Finally, after I’ve told them a dozen times, the software engineers at Apple now let me have folders for my Playlists. That was much needed.
For those of you with kids who use iTunes and the iTunes Music Store (ask yourself; ‘Why?’), there’s also a new Parental Controls which can limit your kids (or wife, or husband, or significant other, or less significant other) access to music in iTunes.
Why? Check the charts on the iTunes Music Store. Of the Top 100 songs on the Billboard lists for the past few years, nearly half are “explicit” which means language is dirty, questionable, objectionable, or not kids-worthy.
Go back 10 years before that and there was hardly an “explicit” anywhere. Music has changed. iTunes lets you, uh, moderate who listens to what song.
iTunes 5.0 has been streamlined and tightened up a bit. Remember, the previous version made it all the way to v4.9 before this upgrade, so some cosmetic action was needed.
You’ll notice the new Folder Playlist capability right away. Same with the new Search Bar which lets you actually ‘refine a search’ rather than take what comes back on the first try.
Ho hum. What a non-event. A new version of iTunes and a cell phone that plays iTunes. For only $249. Hmmm. That’s about the same price as the iPod nano. It’ll be interesting to see which one sells the most.