Apple’s New Video iPod Reviewed

The latest iteration of the iPod will play videos, but only if you can get them into the right format
The new iPod features a 2.5-inch color screen which can display album
artwork and photos, and play video including music videos, video
Podcasts, home movies and television shows. The new iPod holds up to
15,000 songs, 25,000 photos or over 150 hours of video and is available
in a 30GB model for $299 and a 60GB model for $399, with both models
available in stunning white or black designs.

So what’s it like? Well, as an audio and photo iPod it is the same as
other models, but better. Battery life is better (significantly) and
its thinner and wider form factor works well for most pockets. iPods
are, by far, the best MP3 players on the market, in my opinion, as they
have great ease of use, work well with the software and have a killer
user interface. As a video device, I would call this iPod a work in
progress. Yes, if you buy music videos and other shows, where
available, from the iTunes store, no problems. However if you want to
get your own video footage onto the iPod it is a different story.
Frankly it needs to be able to take normal QT movie files, DV files,
etc and display them. It can’t do this and Apple’s web site is not very
helpful in what you need to do to get your own video onto the iPod.
Sure you can put most videos into iTunes now and they play there. But
they don’t play on the iPod in general. The best guide I have seen on
the web for converting videos to play on the iPod is on the arstechnica site. But you shouldn’t have to recode video to play on this device.

So what we have is a great photo and audio iPod and a start on the
video iPod we all want. Anything else? Well, you better get a skin,
hardened pouch or some such to protect your iPod. The review unit lived
most of the time in the white simple pouch that comes with the iPod.
But once I put the iPod in my jacket pocket with my card keys
unprotected and didn’t realise for 10 minutes. The result was a lot of
fine scratches (the photo was adjusted to make these more visible). So
if an accidental short time in a pocket with keys can do this, make
sure you buy a protective cover AT THE SAME TIME you buy your iPod.
Note that the supplied case is just a slip cover and you must remove
the iPod to view the screen, which is the reason it wasn’t in the slip
cover when I slipped it in my pocket to move to another room.

The 30GB model features up to 14 hours of battery life for music
playback and the 60GB model features up to 20 hours of battery life for
music playback.*

This is a great iPod, it is just a shame that there are so many
limitations on the videos you can play on it. I can’t wait for version
two.



Pricing & Availability

The new iPods have a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for the 30GB
model and $399 (US) for the 60GB model through the Apple Store®
(www.apple.com), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers.
All iPod models include earbud headphones, USB 2.0 cable, case, dock
insert and a CD with iTunes for Mac and Windows computers.

Optional accessories designed for the new iPod include: Universal Dock
for $39 (US), giving users easy access to a USB port for syncing, IR
support to work with the Apple Remote and a variable line out and
S-video connections for integration within the living room; Apple
Remote for $29 (US), providing wireless integration to the Universal
Dock and quick and easy access to controls from across the room; Apple
iPod AV cable for $19 (US), enabling television viewing of video
content in full-screen; the iPod Camera Connector for $29 (US); and
Apple Socks for $29 (US) providing six vibrant color socks to dress up
and protect your iPod.

iPod requires a Mac with a USB 2.0 and Mac OS® X version 10.3.9 or
later and iTunes 6; or a Windows PC with a USB 2.0 port and Windows
2000, XP Home or Professional (SP2) and iTunes 6.

* Battery life and number of charge cycles vary by use and settings.
See www.apple.com/batteries for more information. Music capacity is
based on four minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding; video
capacity is based on H.264 750-Kbps combined with 128-Kbps audio; and
photo capacity is based on iPod-viewable photos transferred from iTunes.

Apple ignited the personal computer revolution in the 1970s with the
Apple II and reinvented the personal computer in the 1980s with the
Macintosh. Today, Apple continues to lead the industry in innovation
with its award-winning desktop and notebook computers, OS X operating
system, and iLife and professional applications. Apple is also
spearheading the digital music revolution with its iPod portable music
players and iTunes online music store.

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