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Apple Announces World's Thinnest Notebook, iTunes Movie Rentals, Song Lyrics for iPhones

January 15, 2008 3:09 PM ET

Last year at Macworld — the convention that helps consumers figure out how to surround themselves with gadgets stamped with an Apple logo — Steve Jobs announced the iPhone, which created bulges in the pants of technophiles everywhere. At today's 2008 keynote, entitled "Something in the Air," Jobs introduced the MacBook Air, an aneroxic laptop that can fit snugly in a manila envelope and is almost half as thin as the already-skinny rivals out there today. There's no CD drive, but it comes with all the bells and whistles found in a MacBook Pro, weighs three pounds, boasts five hours of battery life, and will be released in two weeks for $1,799.

Apple is mounting a new assault on Hollywood by allowing movie rentals for iTunes today. Promising more than 1,000 films at the end of February, Apple's film database still pales in comparison to their six-million-strong song library. But here's the rundown: Once you rent a movie, you have thirty days to start watching and then twenty-four hours to finish. You can begin a movie on your laptop and transfer the rest to your iPod/iPhone. A library title will cost $2.99, new releases are $3.99 (HD-quality will be dollar more).

The show ended with Randy Newman at his piano. "I couldn't understand most of what he said," Newman admitted, "I've mastered the answering machine, which is better than my parents. I'll always root against corporations, because that's the way I am, but not this one" and finished out the act with none other than "You've Got a Friend in Me."

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Song Stories

“Madame George”

Van Morrison | 1968

One of the first stream-of-consciousness epics to make it onto a Van Morrison record, his drawn-out farewell to the eccentric "Madame George" lasted nearly 10 minutes, combining ingredients from folk, jazz and classical music. The character that gave the song its title provoked speculation that it was about a drag queen, though Morrison denied this in Rolling Stone. "If you see it as a male or a female or whatever, it's your trip," he remarked. "I see it as a ... a Swiss cheese sandwich. Something like that."

More Song Stories entries »
 
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