Warning: Colors May Vary (10/26/04)
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Okay, we understand how stressful this situation is, but if you can just keep it together for a minute, here, we can make it all better. Yes, we're well aware that certain photos from the big Apple-U2 music event show Steve Jobs wearing a brownish-red mock turtleneck instead of his trademark black one. And while we can't deny that this fashion plot twist is upsetting in the extreme, our in-house panel of spiritual scholars, seers, and doomsday prophets insists that this is not a classically-recognized sign of the apocalypse and you should come in off of the ledge. In other words, YOU MUST CHILL! YOU MUST CHILL! WE HAVE HIDDEN YOUR KEYS!

Indeed, if you just take a look at the evidence, you'll find that the Browngate Scandal never really happened at all. Faithful viewer Krishen Greenwell informed us that Apple has posted a QuickTime stream of the event, and watching it confirms that Jobs had actually worn black after all, and there's a serious color shift in those photos that extends to the black-clad Bono and The Edge as well. (So no, the three of them didn't all color-coordinate their outfits to the same lovely autumn hues of Chocolate and Rust. Sorry to disappoint.)

We've conducted an exhaustive study of the available footage to confirm that it was the photos and not the video that had the color shift, just to rule out any chance that Apple was attempting to cover up a major fashion scandal with a revisionist webcast. Incidentally, we apologize for the lateness of this episode's broadcast, especially with you getting all chilly out there on that ledge with visions of blasphemous turtlenecks dancing in your heads, but in addition to scrutinizing every frame of the music event's 49 minutes and 16 seconds Zapruder-style for signs of a far-reaching turtleneck cover-up conspiracy, we were also geographically obligated to get drunk after the Red Sox victory, which is really time-consuming when one doesn't actually consume any alcoholic beverages.

Anyway, after examining the footage, our in-house panel of photographic experts and color theorists-- yes, we have a lot of in-house panels-- also confirms that the new iPod U2 Special Edition is indeed black with a red Click Wheel... for better or for worse. Reaction to the color scheme of Apple's latest celebrity-related iPod model (no, it's not the first-- remember the Madonna, Tony Hawk, Beck, and No Doubt iPods?) is a bit mixed, and we have to admit, at least based on the photos so far, we're pretty lukewarm on the whole black-with-red-Click-Wheel thing. Most people giving it the thumbs-down seem to think that an all-black iPod would have worked better, and based on ColorWare's offerings, we tend to agree. Normally we like black and red, but somehow it just seems to hang wrong on the iPod. Which is weird, because it worked so well for the talking car on Knight Rider.

Nevertheless, the rumors were generally right about the existence of a black U2 iPod, although the early reports didn't mention the red Click Wheel or the band's signatures laser-engraved on the back. And our viewers' logic in figuring that no U2 music would actually be preloaded on the device (you couldn't get it back off again without third party software) turned out to be true; instead, the device comes with a $50 coupon to use toward the iTunes Music Store purchase of the 400+ tracks in the Complete U2 virtual boxed set, due for release next month. But hey, you also get a bonus poster and a smug sense of self-satisfaction! Surely all that's worth the extra $50 price premium?


 
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The above scene was taken from the 10/26/04 episode:

October 26, 2004: The U2 iPod is black (mostly)-- but was Steve's turtleneck? Meanwhile, the EU iTunes Music Store is live, but not all EU countries can shop there, and Apple announces the wonder of iPod Socks (and also something called iPod Photo)...

Other scenes from that episode:

  • 5003: (Not So) Pan-European (10/26/04)   Speaking of U2, as specified in the press invite, half of the band (the half with funny names) appeared onstage with His Steveness to talk up both the iPod Special Edition and Apple in general, and truth be told, both Bono and The Edge were appreciably eloquent in their praise for iPods, iTunes, and their related technologies...

  • 5004: Oh, Stuff An iPod In It (10/26/04)   Okay, so we've covered the U2 iPod and the iTunes Music Store expansion, and that just leaves the biggest and best Apple music event announcement for last. We speak, of course, of the single most significant quantum advancement in iPod technology since the first 5 GB model touched down three years ago: iPod Socks. What, no press release?...

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