Steve Jobs, with some help from John Mayer, hits
the stage on the first day of Macworld. CDM's NAMM/Macworld reporter
Lee Sherman was in
the audience to give us the scoop.
(Update: originally the article said GarageBand 2 lacks MIDI import. The article should have said MIDI export. MIDI import has been added, but export is sadly still lacking unless you upgrade to Logic Express/Pro.)

Saying that the "digital music era is well upon us," Steve Jobs gave
the Mac faithful what they came for with a number of new products
designed to appeal to music consumers and producers alike, in his
annual Macworld Expo keynote address.

GarageBand 2, introduced as part of the $79 iLife '05 suite, with the
onstage help of Grammy award-winner John Mayer, brings real-time
mult-track recording up to 8 tracks, real-time music notation, and
automatic pitch correction to the entry-level music program. A new Jam
Pack, sold separately for US$99 brings a collection of orchestral instruments and
loops to the software, including a much improved grand piano. Still
missing is long-awaited MIDI export. iLife '05 will be available on
January 22.

QuickTime 7, which ships as part of the Tiger release of OS X in the
first half of year will include full support for surround sound.
(read more)

Having sold a staggering 4,500,000 iPods in the holiday quarter, Apple
launched its next salvo in the digital music wars by introducing its
first flash-memory based iPod. The iPod Shuffle, which sidesteps the
problem of finding songs on a small screen by eliminating the screen
entirely is "smaller than most packs of gum" and can be worn around the
neck on a lanyard. A new autofill feature in iTunes will automatically
build a playlist and fill the iPod Shuffle up to capacity. It has a USB
2 port and battery life up to 12 hours.

It is available in two models; one with 512MB (120 songs) for $99 and
one with 1GB (240 songs) for $149. It is available starting today. -Lee Sherman

For more on the news from Macworld, see:
GarageBand 2 Revealed, Audio Interface MIA