Online speculation and rumour regarding Apple's next move has been confirmed with the announcement of another addition to its iPod line – the iPod Photo. This brings colour to the iPod, with a 2in, 220 x 176 resolution screen capable of displaying 65,000 colours. This is backlit so you can view images outdoors. Two models are available with 40GB and 60GB capacities, costing £359 and £429 respectively, compared to £219 and £299 for the current 20GB and 40GB models. The weight is heavier than the current models at 182g or 6.4 ounces.
To accommodate the colour screen, battery life has been extended to 15 hours for audio, or five hours with slideshows while playing music. This extra battery life has been partially achieved by reducing the amount of built-in skip protection from 25 minutes to 17.
The screen will display 25 full colour thumbnails at once, and you’ll be able to rapidly scroll through images with the Click Wheel. The iPod Photo will come with an AV cable so you view images on a TV or projector with a composite input. These will be automatically optimised to fit on a widescreen or 4:3 display.
iTunes has also been updated and will be able to import albums created in iPhoto on the Mac or Adobe Album 2.0 and Adobe Elements 3.0 on a PC.
The new iPod Photo is set to ship in three weeks.
In addition, Apple has released the iPod U2 Special Edition. This is decked out in a striking black with red Click Wheel, which match the colours of U2's new album, “How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb”. The rear also sports the engraved signatures of each of the band. In addition to a U2 poster, purchasers get a coupon for money off, “The Complete U2”, a digital ‘box-set’ available on the iTunes store.
To go along with this, Griffin technology has released a black version of its iTrip radio transmitter.
This plugs into the iPod and broadcasts the iPods output to an FM frequency of your choice. You can then tune in your car stereo so you can listen in the car without wires. The black iTrip is due to ship in November 2004, and costs $35, the same as the white version.