By Richard Menta 4/28/03
I have heard a myriad of reasons for the Apple iPod's success, a triumph really as the player right now accounts for one out of four MP3 portables sold. But the biggest reason is due to the iPod's successful merging of the high storage capacity of a hard drive based unit into the body of a flash sized portable. Previous hard drive, or jukebox, units were heavy and bulky. Flash portables are small, but only offer a workout's worth of music. The company in one fell swoop solved the biggest problem with digital portables and while it wasn't perfect, it was pretty darn impressive.
Today Apple announced an update to its 1 1/2 year old player, still named the iPod. The new unit is thinner, smaller, and most important, lighter.
The new iPod
The new iPod weighs in at 5.6 ounces, shaving nearly a whole ounce from the original 6.5 ounce iPod. The dimensions of the new model are 4.1 by 2.4 by 0.62 inches slightly longer, but thinner than the old 4.0" x 2.4" x 0.78 original.
The new line also comes with a price drop. A 10GB unit now replaces the 5GB original for $299. There is also a 15Gb unit for $399, while $499 brings you a 30GB model that thickens the unit a tenth of an inch to accomodate the larger drive. The new iPod will play MP3s as well as music in the ACC format, the format that will be used by Apple's new pay music service which also had its unveiling today.
The unit will be able to play on Windows and Mac machines right out of the box. In a nod to the growing popularity of USB 2.0, a competitor to the Apple developed Firewire, the new iPod will have both port connections. USB 2.0's greatest advantage is that those with only USB 1.0 can still transfer files - albeit more slowly - and this has driven its popularity over those not wishing to invest thirty bucks on a firewire card they must then install.
Below are the specifications for the new iPod. We have already contacted Apple for a review unit and hope to have a demo unit soon.
|Configurations (Mac & Windows)
|Battery life||Over 8 hours(5)|
|Skip protection||Up to 25 minutes|
|Display||2-inch (diagonal) grayscale LCD with LED backlight|
|Ports||Dock connector, remote connector, stereo minijack|
|Charge time||3 hours (1-hour fast charge to 80% capacity)|
|Audio support for Mac||AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible(6), AIFF, WAV|
|Audio support for Windows||MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, WAV|
|Size||4.1 by 2.4 by 0.62 inches||4.1 by 2.4 by 0.62 inches||4.1 by 2.4 by 0.73 inches|
|Weight||5.6 ounces||5.6 ounces||6.2 ounces|
|Included accessories||Earbud headphones, AC adapter, dock connector to FireWire cable, 4-pin-to-6-pin FireWire adapter.||Dock, remote, carrying case, earbud headphones, AC adapter, dock connector to FireWire cable and 4-pin-to-6-pin FireWire adapter.|
|Optional accessories||Dock; earbud headphones and remote; carrying case; AC adapter; dock connector to FireWire cable; dock connector to USB 2.0 + FireWire cable(4); world travel adapter kit|
|Mac Requirements and Software||Apple computer with built-in FireWire port; Mac OS X v10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X 10.2 or later recommended); CD includes iTunes(7) for Mac OS X|
|Windows Requirements and Software||PC with built-in FireWire or USB 2.04, or Windows-certified FireWire or USB 2.0 card; Windows Me, Windows 2000 or Windows XP Home or Professional; CD includes MUSICMATCH Jukebox Plus 7.5 software|
|Documentation and Support||Electronic documentation, getting started guide and one-year limited warranty.|
The 128MB Philips PSA MP3 player for the gym is available on Amazon
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