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... and Apple software too!

By  Jan 15, 2008

Topics: iPod , Apple, iPhone

While the MacBook Air was the most anticipated announcement this morning, Apple CEO Steve Jobs delivered a basketful of software news during his Macworld Expo keynote talk in San Francisco today.

Apple's entertainment business is going strong, Jobs said: As of last week, Apple had sold 4 billion songs through the iTunes Store, with 20 million sold on Christmas day alone. The store has also sold 125 million TV shows and 7 million movies.

Jobs said, however, that that 7 million movie figure could be stronger.

To better meet movie-viewer needs, Jobs rolled out a sea change for the iTunes Store, which starting today offers movie rentals from the major movie studios.  

New movie rentals will cost for $3.99 and  older, library, rentals are $2.99.

You have 30 days to watch the movie and 24 hours to finish it after you've started. You can also transfer the movie to another device, so you can start viewing the movie on your Mac, for example, and then transfer it to your iPod to finish it up.

New movies will be available 30 days after DVD release and will work on Macs and PCs, the iPhone, and all current iPods.

Addressing another  Apple area that did not perform as well as expected, Jobs said it will untether the Apple TV from the computer and let Apple TV owners reach the Internet and Apple Store directly from their HD TV, without having to go through a Mac or PC.

And users willbe able to rent HD movies directly from their Apple TV. New HD movies for the Apple TV will rent for $4.99 and HD library movies for $3.99. The rental service will be available in two weeks, and Apple TV owners will be able to update their software for free to take advantage of the new service. Apple TVs go for $229 for a 49-GB model and $329 for a 160-GB model.

Finally, Apple tweaked the iPhone and iTouch software.

For the iPhone, Apple added new capabilities to the device—maps with locations; Web clips; customizable main screen; multiple-person SM; lyrics; and chapter, subtitle, and multiple-language support for videos. For the iTouch,  Apple added  Mail, Maps with locations, Notes, Weather, and Web Clips applications. The software upgrade for iTouch owners is $19.99.