By Richard Menta 10/27/04
It looks like the rumors eminating from the digerati were accurate regarding yesterday's announcement of two new iPods. As Apple heads into the holiday season with a commanding piece of the digital player market, it has introduced a new player and a specialty version of an existing player to fend of the challenge from more than two dozen recent entries by other manufacturers.
The iPod Photo adds a 220x176-pixel 65,000 color screen to the iPod line. Available in 40GB version for $499 and a 60GB version for $599, the new player comes in a little heavier that the regular pod, mostly to accomodate bigger hard drives and elements for the screen.
The iPod Photo is available on Amazon
The second player is the U2 promotional iPod. That unit is swathed in a black case higlighted by an apple red scroll wheel that serves as a dramatic contrast from the iPod's usual stark white. The U2 player offers 20GB of capacity, is etched with the band members signatures and sells for $349.
While the unit does not come pre-packaged with U2's latest album as rumored, the launch did announce the availability of the entire U2 catalog digitally for $149.00. The set contains over 425 songs, which brings each track to about $0.35 per. Apple is also offering a $50 discount to those who buy the U2 iPod, bringing the cost to about $0.23 per track. Of course the U2 rabid already have most of this music on CD (and vinyl, and cassette, and some 8-track) so it's a better value for those who never owned U2's music before.
And the iPod Video? Jobs again quashed that notion saying there is no content yet for such devices to make them compelling. Of course, if Apple is quietly in the works on securing such content, then such a unit will arrive at some point. Microsoft has already announced the intention of selling video files as part of its media push. If successful, that will put more pressure on Apple to act on this market.
The U2 iPod Special Edition is available on Amazon
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