Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Apple Upgrades The iPod Range

Apple have this week introduced the new range of iPods and, along with a new version of iTunes offering the ability to purchase and download movies direct from the iTunes Store, the entertainment experience moves up yet another step.

iPod range
We didn't get the larger screen, touch sensitive, FM radio and wireless network capable iPod that was much rumoured before the announcement so I'm a bit disappointed as I'd quite fanced that idea. Anyway, what we did get was…

iPod ShuffleiPod shuffle

The new 1GB iPod shuffle now resembles a finger clip. It's only 1.62 inches in size, weighs about half and ounce, has a 12 hour battery life and can hold about 240 tracks. It's so small, you can clip it to your pocket or even your collar.

iPod nano

iPod nanoThe iPod nano gets a colour makeover. It now comes in five colours, very like the iPod mini but it's also thinner. Other improvements are a 40% brighter display and up to 24 hours battery life.

It comes in three capacity models - 2GB, 4GB and 8GB. However, the 2GB mode only comes in silver and the 8GB model only comes in black, while the 4GB model comes in silver, green, pink and blue.


5th Generation iPodThe flagship of the range is still labelled as the 5th Generation iPod but it comes with some major improvements…

As before, there are two models but hard drive capacities are now 30GB and 80Gb. Like the nano, it's got a brighter display but this time it's 60% brighter and battery life is now up to 20 hours (on the 80GB model).

The big extra feature they've added is the ability to play games and you can download a range of these from the iTunes Music Store - Bejeweled, Texas Hold ’Em, Vortex, Mahjong, Mini Golf, PAC-MAN, Tetris, and Zuma. No doubt there'll be more along real soon.

There are a few more handy items, for example. Spin the Click Wheel to choose a four-digit combination and protect your iPod from prying eyes or use the built-in Stopwatch to log your best times while you're jogging.

Last, but not least, with up to 20,000 songs, a brand-new, built-in search function lets you use the Click Wheel to type out the name of the song, artist, album, audiobook, or podcast you’re looking for.

Given the specification listed for the upcoming Microsoft Zune, I think I'll wait a bit yet before splashing out on an iPod as there may be more to come from Apple before that baby hits the streets.

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