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Apple iPod (Fifth Generation)

If you’ve read yesterday’s review of the Creative Zen Vision: M you would probably have noticed that a certain other product was name checked once or twice. This was of course the iPod. And having actually got hold of the latest one we thought we might as well review it.

We’ve actually looked at a quite a few iPods in the past. The third generation model, the mini, the shuffle, the photoand most recently the nano.

The headline story for the latest iPod is its ability to play video, which I’ll get to later. However, Apple has kept the naming convention simple with no video appendage – just iPod. I guess that leaves a handy naming space should Apple release a truly video dedicated device in the future.

This model we have here is a 60GB version of the fifth generation iPod. This improves on the iPod photo offering the same 60GB capacity in a case that’s only 1.4cm thick and weighs only 157g – that’s a ‘wafer thin mint’ thinner and lighter than the original third generation iPod, which held only a quarter of the capacity. That’s progress for you.

If you go for the 30GB version though, you’ll get a deliciously thin device that’s only 1.1cm thick and a flyweight 136g, which is amazing for a 30GB player. By contrast, Creative’s 30GB Zen Vision M is a lardy 1.8cm thick and 160g.
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There’s also a fairly strong consensus that the iPod is still the best looking MP3 player out there. It’s just beautiful to look at. With its sleek frontage and the silver back it’s a desirable piece of tech jewellery. However, it is susceptible to scratches and finger prints so I’d recommend buying a protective case at the time of purchase – there’s certainly a wide choice available. As with the nano, it’s available in black or white. Personally I think the black is cooler. The click wheel sits in the centre and the screen size is 2.5in to better accomodate video playback. It's not however, widescreen. Like the nano, the slot next to the headphone socket has been removed so your previous generation headphone remotes won’t work. The headphone socket has been moved to the right and the hold switch in now on the left.

While £300 will buy you four times the capacity that you got nearly three years ago, Apple is certainly stingier with the accessories. Way back in early 2003 my 15GB iPod box contained a dock, a Firewire cable, a wired remote and a wall charger. None of that is now included. Where will this end? Will the box for the sixth generation iPod even include an iPod?

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