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As expected, Apple Computer introduced its iPod digital media player now capable of playing videos. The company’s chief executive Steve Jobs said that the device would quickly become the most popular portable video player on the market. The new player is thinner than predecessors and has larger storage inside, but it also has a drawback: its screen is only 2.5”, smaller compared to competing gadgets.

“The new iPod is the best music player ever – it’s 30%thinner and has 50% more storage than its predecessor – yet it sells for the same price and plays stunning video on its 2.5”color screen. Because millions of people around the world will buy this new iPod to play music, it will quickly become the most popular portable video player in history,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO.

The new iPod, just like its predecessor, uses hard disk drive (HDD) to store music. Depending on the storage capacity, the iPod costs $299 and $399 for 30GB and 60GB models, respectively. The iPod players weight only 4.8 and 5.5 ounces (134 grams and 154 grams) depending on the HDD and measure by only 4.1” x 2.4” x 0.43/0.55” (height x width x thickness). The players can operate for 14 hours when playing music and up to 2 hours when playing videos. Like before, the iPod players have USB 2.0 connectivity and can playback different types of music files, including MP3 (8 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, AAC (8 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Music Store, M4A, M4B, M4P), Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4) and WAV.

Video files support is limited to H.264 video up to 768Kbps and MPEG-4 video up to 2.5Mbps, but Apple said that upgradable firmware enables support for future video formats.


Apple iPod Video

Optional accessories designed for the new iPod include: Universal Dock for $39, 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, providing wireless integration to the Universal Dock and quick and easy access to controls from across the room; Apple iPod AV cable for $19, enabling television viewing of video content in full-screen; the iPod Camera Connector for $29; and Apple Socks for $29 providing six vibrant color socks to dress up and protect your iPod.

The new iPod plays music, audiobooks, audio Podcasts, video Podcasts, home movies, music videos and popular television shows like “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives”, when combined to with the new iTunes 6. The latter provides customers with a seamless experience for buying, managing and playing video as well as audio content, including over 2000 music videos, six short films from Pixar Animation Studios, and five television shows from ABC and Disney Channel, including the popular “Lost” and “Desperate Housewives”.

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