Apple gives iPod touch A8/M8 CPU, 8MP camera, 3x faster Wi-Fi & more with new nano/shuffle colors!

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Following a recent discovery of hidden graphics assets inside iTunes 12.2 which have hinted at an imminent iPod refresh, Apple on Wednesday quietly refreshed its dedicated music player family with a press release and a website update.

The headline new model is a much improved sixth-generation iPod touch, “the best iPod touch yet.”

It now features the Apple-designed 64-bit A8 processor, essentially the same chip that powers the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, and runs Apple’s M8 motion coprocessor. Apple really went all out with the iPod touch: there’s three times faster Wi-Fi 802.11ac and also an improved FaceTime HD camera with an updated sensor and burst mode for even better selfies.

But the good news doesn’t stop here: the back-facing iSight camera has received a substantial upgrade, going from five to eight megapixels with slo-mo and burst mode, 1080p video capture at 30FPS, cinematic video stabilization and more.

The screen size has remained the same, measuring four inches diagonally, and there’s no Touch ID. The device runs iOS 8.4 with the all-new Music app and Apple Music integration. As for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle, they have received a minor refresh with new color options available.

“iPod touch gives customers around the world access to Apple Music, the App Store and iOS, the world’s most advanced mobile operating system, starting at just $199,” said Greg Joswiak, Apple’s vice president of iPhone, iPod and iOS Product Marketing.

“With big advancements like the A8 chip and the 8 megapixel iSight camera, customers can experience next-level gameplay, take even more beautiful photos and enjoy their favorite music, TV shows and movies.”

iPod touch sixth generation lineup 001

The 64-bit A8 processor is indeed a major upgrade: the chip allows the sixth-generation iPod touch to run latest Metal-optimized games and graphics-heavy applications with ease. Even better, the A8 processor supports Apple’s upcoming iOS 9 operating system upgrade and will no doubt run a few future iOS releases as well.

Apple claims the A8 processor inside the new iPod touch is six times faster than its predecessor and 10 times faster in graphics performance.

The inclusion of the M8 motion coprocessor for steps and elevation tracking is also a smart move on Apple’s part as it helps the iPod touch support modern health and fitness applications in the App Store, without taking a toll on its battery.

Its eight-megapixel camera is now on par with the latest iPhone 6, iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air 2 devices in terms of pixel count. On the downside, Apple appears to have removed the Loop wristband from the corner of the new iPod touch.

New iPod touch price matrix

As shown on the image above, the new iPod touches still start at $199 for the 16GB version, with the 32GB/64GB editions fetching $249/$299. Also, a new model with 128 gigabytes of storage is now available for $399.

The iPod touch received its last minor refresh in June 2014 when the 32/64GB models received a price drop to $249/$299 and a new $199 16GB model got introduced. The previous-generation iPod touch with the A5 processor and a five megapixel camera released back in October 2012 so this hardware refresh is way overdue.

As for the iPod nano and iPod shuffle, these music players have received a minor cosmetic change and are now available in new darker blue and pink colors. In addition, the iPod touch, iPod shuffle and iPod nano are now available in gold, too.

The full lineup of six new iPod colors now includes silver, space gray, red, bright pink, deep blue and gold.

The refreshed music players are available starting today from Apple.com, Apple’s retail stores and select Apple Authorized Resellers. The 128GB iPod touch is available exclusively through Apple and all models are available in PRODUCT(RED).

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Taylor Swift slams Apple for not paying artists, Apple reverses policy!

In case you haven’t heard about it yet, Taylor Swift wrote an open letter to Apple regarding their iTunes store policies, specifically regarding the new iTunes streaming service that Apple is about to launch soon.

The letter, published on Swift’s personal Tumblr, talked about why she is not allowing her new album ’1989′ to be streamed on iTunes. She mentioned how Apple is not paying artists for first three months of the launch of the service.

With streaming services, artists get paid according to the plays on their songs. If Apple is giving the service for free to its customers, it should reimburse the artists for the three months of lost revenue, which they don’t. (Worth noting is that Swift also does not have her entire discography on Spotify for similar monetary reasons.)

Swift further talked about how people in the music industry were dissatisfied with this move but were afraid to speak up publicly “because we admire and respect Apple so much.” She later finished her post saying “We don’t ask you for free iPhones. Please don’t ask us to provide you with our music for no compensation.”

It didn’t take long for the post to go viral and get people talking about it even on a Sunday. But before it escalated further, Apple quickly stepped in and tried to make amends. Eddy Cue, Apple’s Senior Vice President, Internet Software and Services, personally called Swift. In an interview with Billboard he said, “When I woke up this morning and saw what Taylor had written, it really solidified that we needed to make a change. And so that’s why we decide we will now pay artists during the trial period.” He then confirmed Apple will be paying the artists out of its own pockets for the first three months of the service, and that it was never their intent to not compensate artists.

Swift later tweeted out saying she was “Elated and relieved”, although she didn’t confirm if she will be making her album available for streaming on iTunes.

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Apple releases iOS 8.4 Beta with a Shiny Revamped Music App!

iOS 8.4's music app

Think that iOS’ music player is overdue for a remake? You’re going to get your wish. Apple has released the first iOS 8.4 beta to developers, and its centerpiece is a shiny, new Music app. The refresh includes at least a few long-sought changes, including some borrowed from iTunes: There’s a mini player that sticks around while you’re browsing, global search and an “Up Next” song queue. You’ll also see a sleeker iTunes Radio interface that helps you discover new tracks.

There’s no sign of the Beats-based music service rumored to come alongside 8.4, but that’s not supposed to show up until Apple’s developer conference at the earliest — if it exists, it’s probably going to stay under wraps for a little while.

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Here’s why Celebrities Pictures are turning Blue on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram!

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A new high-fidelity streaming music service by Jay Z launches Monday. TIDAL was acquired by the rapper last month as part of a $56 million dollar deal with the Scandinavian platform Aspiro.

Full details of the service will be announced during a press conference on Monday. However, according to TIDAL’s website, it’s “the first music streaming service that combines the best High Fidelity sound quality, High Definition music videos and expertly Curated Editorial.”

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There are two paid subscription options: $19.99 a month for high-fidelity audio, and $9.99 for standard quality audio. TIDAL can be streamed on the web, and downloaded for iOS and Android devices.

Several artists have already thrown their support behind TIDAL, changing their Twitter icons and Facebook Profiles to light blue and tweeting the hashtag #TIDALForAll. Among them, Rihanna, Calvin Haris, Kanye West and Jack White’s Third Man Records.

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