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Live blogging Phil Schiller's Macworld keynote address

January 6, 2009 |  8:06 am

Apple's Phil Schiller shows off a new Mac at the Macworld keynote

11:44 a.m. Here's a more detailed post about the iTunes changes Apple announced today, including more variable pricing and DRM-free music.

11 a.m. Schiller received one enthusiastic round of applause as he concluded the Macworld keynote that lacked the usual electricity and showmanship of a Steve Jobs address. In years past, Jobs has whipped the crowd of Mac aficionados into a near frenzy (even for products as seemingly incremental as digital "post-it" notes). The only standing ovation of the morning went to Bennett.

10:35 a.m. A surprise guest appearance at Macworld -- and no, it's not Steve Jobs. Tony Bennett, the smooth crooner and winner of 15 Grammy awards, draws the curtain on Apple's participation in the trade show by singing his classic, "I Left My Heart (in San Francisco)."

10:30 a.m.:  Oh yeah, one more thing. After six years of offering music for 99 cents via the iTunes store, Apple now will offer music at a variety of prices -- something the music labels have been advocating for years. Songs will sell for 69 cents, 99 cents and $1.29 depending on demand. In another development, the entire iTunes music catalog will be offered DRM-free. Starting today, about 6 million tracks will be offered without the anti-copying software restrictions. By the end of the first quarter, Apple says, all 10 million songs in the catalog will be DRM-free.

10:20 a.m. The biggest applause of the day so far is reserved for the new type of battery in the MacBook Pro. Apple claims that it runs up to eight hours on a single charge and can be recharged 1,000 times -- that's three times the number of charges of a typical rechargeable laptop battery. Apple says it has accomplished this feat by providing a bigger battery that can't be replaced. (Apple says it gained real estate for the battery by dispensing with the hardware for removing a battery.) It also boasts new chemistry.

10:11 a.m. What Macworld would be complete without a hardware announcement?  Here it is: a new 17-inch MacBook Pro that's less than an inch thick. And at 6.6 pounds, it's the world's lightest 17-incher, or so Schiller says.

10:00 a.m. Apple creates its own version of Google Docs, allowing people to upload and share documents without clogging up e-mail. Upload a document to iWork.com and invite friends or colleagues to view and make changes. The document is viewed through any of the popular browsers.   

9:50 a.m. A new look for the iWork software, which includes word processing, spreadsheets and presentations, is unveiled. If you're into Keynote presentations, you'll discover new transitions. But the slickest feature allows you to use your iPhone as a remote control to move through the presentation.

9:40 a.m. IMovie, which was updated last year, gets its close-up at Macworld. It's added some editing tools that simplifies the process of incorporating audio from one video clip and placing it under another piece of footage. A stabilization feature takes the jiggle out of home video. And it'll also apply video effects, such as slowing down a shot or applying an effect that ages the footage, and does it all without rendering. The music application, Garage Band 9, offers music lessons now. It includes nine basic lessons for guitar and piano. Professional artists make cameo appearances. John Fogerty shows a simple way to play "Proud Mary." Sarah McLachlan is offering a simplified piano version of the song "Angel." These "pro" lessons are sold for $4.99 on iTunes.

9:25 a.m.: The new "places" feature in iPhoto does this interesting mapping trick. It uses the GPS tags embedded in photos to plot where they've been taken on a map, using stick pins. Schiller shows how all those photos taken from the City of Light event in Paris are placed along a map, with red stick pins marking where each photo was taken. Look at a picture of the Eiffel Tower, the stick pin turns "blue" on the map.

9:15 a.m.: Apple updates its iLife software, improving the photo editing application. One feature, called "faces," uses facial recognition to organize photos. It finds the face in a photo and allows you to label the photo with the person's name. The software then scans other photos in the library and organizes them under that person's name in the photo library. Another new wrinkle, called "places," uses the GPS location that some cameras (um, say, the iPhone) embed in pictures, and it uses the longitude and latitude to label the location. It'll automatically find all those photos taken at Yosemite National Park and organize them together in the photo library. Oh yeah, there are new slide show themes as well.

9:10 a.m: Schiller says Apple sold 9.7 million Macs, the biggest year in the company's history.

9:00 a.m. Please silence all cellphones. We're about to get started.

8:05 a.m. Welcome to Macworld with no Steve Jobs! (At least he's not expected to show up, but you never know with Apple.) It's drizzly here in San Francisco, but lines have already formed outside the Moscone Center to get into the hall for the keynote speech, which for the first time in 11 years will be delivered by someone other than Apple's chief executive. Phil Schiller, Apple's senior vice president of product marketing, is going to be running the show. Early buzz suggests there will be an emphasis on new software. We'll be posting regular updates once the show starts at 9 a.m.

-- Dawn C. Chmielewski

Photo: Apple Senior Vice President Phil Schiller shows off a new Mac laptop at the Macworld keynote. Credit: John G. Mabanglo / EPA

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