Apple has merged its iPod and iPod photo lines in a move to simplify product branding.
The company describes the move as one that brings colour to its iPod range, but in essence what we’ve got are (a new) 20GB iPod Photo and the existing 60GB iPod Photo rebranded as iPods with the 30GB iPod Photo and older 4G mono iPod biting the dust.
The news comes on the same day that Apple built podcasting into the latest edition of its iTunes software (4.9). Podcasts are the latest craze to hit the music download market, allowing users to subscribe to a particular feed (such as a weekly radio segment) and have it automatically downloaded onto their computers. Unlike the name suggests, podcasting can be used with any brand of music player.
So getting back to the hardware, is there anything else of which we need to take note? Well, there’s a dedicated podcast menu (but I hope a future flash update will add this to existing lines), otherwise the battery life, functionality and look of the rebranded iPod Photos stay the same.
The only thing that rankles me is why Apple bothered to scrap the 30GB model in favour of a 20GB introductory size. Surely this would have been an ideal opportunity to up the bar by 10GB and make everyone smile. As it is, we have a “new” 20GBer that is the same thickness (1.6cm) and weight (167g) as the old 30GB, which – in technology terms - isn’t much of a step forward.
As a concession, prices are slightly reduced at £209 and £299 respectively and at least the move provides something to mildly moisten our lips while we wait for the full on fifth generation. Mustn’t grumble.