Once iTunes has done its work and you've copied over the images to the iPod, the clickwheel makes browsing through even a great number of images a breeze, a marked difference from other colour screen units I’ve tried such as the /> iRiver H10. Even browsing through your music is easier on the colour screen, and in a nice touch, if you’ve added album artwork into iTunes it’s displayed on the screen as the track plays. There’s also a slideshow function for photos and you can set the timings between images and turn transitions on and off.
It has to be said though that the while browsing photos is a pleasure, the 2in screen just isn’t big enough to really do photos justice. This is compounded by the fact that you can’t zoom or pan around your images as you can on digital cameras.
So is the iPod photo worth it? Well the price drop does make it more affordable and at the fantasic price of £295 from MR Systems, the 60GB gives you the most MBs per buck of the entire iPod range. I paid £300 for my 15GB 3G iPod nearly two years ago but, I did get a dock, remote and a carry case included, so once you add these things on, the price isn’t as groundbreaking as it first seems. I also personally think that the 60GB is still too fat, so the 30GB could be a better option.
As with mobile phones, once you’re used to a colour screen you won’t want to go back. But if you haven’t already succumbed to the charms of the iPod photo, it's probably a good idea to hang on another few months. Reports suggest that next generation iPods will boast far great battery life, and with greater capacity disks in the offing too the fifth gen iPod might be a perfect marriage of a colour screen unit with large capacities and a thin housing. It might be wishful thinking, but if Apple could throw in a bigger screen as well, then they’d really be no stopping the iPod photo from taking over the world. You have been warned.
Adding colour to the iPod does make it an even better product to use, for music as well as photos. But while being able to carry round a slideshow in your pocket is great, the 60GB unit loses points for its chunky chassis. I’d recommend hanging on for the next generation, which hopefully will deliver a svelter, more capacious and longer lasting iPod photo.
Many thanks to MR Systems, your friendly, neighbourhood Mac reseller, for loaning us an iPod photo for review. If you want to buy a Mac or an iPod, MR Systems can offer you a bespoke personalised service, which has got to be preferable to buying from a crowded Apple store. Contact Lenny Borg directly on 020 7697 2214 or email him at lenny.Borg@mrsystems.co.uk.