October 22, 2007

New iPods by Danny Gorog http://gorogsguide.blogspot.com

If you can't wait until next year to get your hands on an iPhone then Apple's latest iPod called the iPod Touch might be of interest to you. It's one of four new iPods Apple released last month, to much fanfare and hype.

The iPod is already the leading digital music player in the world (and has sold over 100 million units in its short five year lifetime), and in most markets commands more than a seventy percent market-share. Coupled with iTunes Store the iPod is still the best choice for a digital music player hands down. The new iPod lineup has something for everyone - from the budget conscious occasional music listener to the serious roadie who needs to carry around their entire music collection in their pocket.

The Shuffle kicks off the revamped iPod range and keeps its diminutive good looks and price. At $99 and in five different colours the Shuffle is the perfect music player to throw in your bag and use during your commute to work or at gym. It's so small you hardly realise you're wearing it and with 1GB of storage and twelve hours of playback time you can have your favourite 240 songs with you where ever you go.

Next in line is the third generation Nano. Shorter and wider than the previous model the new Nano now does video as well. With a new high resolution 5cm (2 inch) display that is sixty five percent brighter than before the new Nano is perfect for watching video podcasts or other videos you find on the Internet. It's also sports a completely new user interface that now includes Cover Flow, Apples ingenious way of browsing your music with album art.

The new Nano comes in two different sizes (4GB and 8GB), five different colours and starts at just $199. You don't need to worry about battery life either. With twenty fours hours of music playback and five hours of video playback the new Nano will get you from here to just about anywhere else in the world on a single charge. In a first, the new Nano also supports video out, so you can plug it in to your TV and use it to display video and photos on your big screen at home.

The regular iPod which used to be the flagship of the iPod family takes a step back and has been re-badged the iPod Classic. The iPod Classic is the only iPod that still ships with a hard drive, and now comes in 80GB and 160GB varieties. It's been given the same metal casing of the Nano but retains the original form factor and familiar 2.5 inch display (with the same 320 x 240 resolution in the Nano). Like the new Nano, the Classic also receives the new user interface that supports Cover flow and generally enhances the visual experience. The 80GB version ($349) now provides 30 hours of audio and 5 hours of video playback, while the 160GB version ($479) has a whopping 40 hours and 7 hours of video playback.

Last, but certainly not least is the iPod Touch. It's a great compromise iPod for people who want can't wait for the iPhone experience, or who don't want the phone functionality. The iPod Touch comes with the same high resolution 3.5 inch wide screen display as the iPhone and includes WiFi and Mobile Safari and ships in both an 8GB and 16GB variety and starts from $419. It works exactly the same way the iPhone works with a multi-touch UI and finger flicking action. You've got to see it to believe it.

Along with new iPods, Apple also introduced the new iTunes WiFi store for the iPod Touch, which lets you browse and buy any music from iTunes over a WiFi connection. If you purchase music on your iPod Touch it automatically gets synced back to your computer when you connect it.

All of the new iPods except the Shuffle contain the standard 20 pin dock connector which ensures compatibility between third-party accessories and the new iPods. However, if your accessory is designed to provide video-out functionality then chances are it won't work as Apple have changed the way this feature works on the new iPod line. If this is an important feature for you you'll need to buy a $79 dock from Apple. Also, if you've invested in games for the previous generation iPod (with Video) you'll need to repurchase these, at full price as the old ones won't work on your new iPod.

If you've been hesitant about jumping in to the digital music age now is the time. With an iPod that suits any budget you are sure to find something that fits your requirements. If you already have an iPod now might be the time to consider an upgrade. The new iPods have been completely redesigned from the ground up and are gorgeous to look at and even better to use, and put the competition to shame.