After the thundering success of its iPod and iPod Mini, Apple Computer on Tuesday unveiled its most ambitious multimedia product, the iPod Photo with a massive 60 GB hard drive space. Rumours about the bigger, better iPod have been swirling since June, when Toshiba announced that it has a contract to make minute 60 GB hard drives for Apple. It's well-known that Toshiba supplies hard drives for Apple.
The 60GB iPhoto lets you hoard up to 15,000 songs — or photos as many as 25,000. That will be approximately enough to fill nearly 200 slide trays or cover nearly 5,000 square feet of wall space. How's that!
Apple also has tied up with Irish rock band U2 to announce the iPod U2 Special Edition, a black model with a bright red click-wheel and holds up to 5,000 songs.
The iPod Photo comes in two sizes: a 40GB model, available for $499 and a humungous 60GB model for $599. Both have a sharp LCD display which shows pictures in 65,536 colors. The LCD screen has backside lighting too. The iPod Photo 40-gigabyte version sells for $499 and the 60-gigabyte model for $599. Both are immediately available overseas, but India will have to wait.
iPod Photo, like its siblings, has the touch-sensitive Apple Click Wheel for navigation. In vivid colours, the screen is easier to read than before. The screen resolution is 220x176-pixels. It's an effortless scroll through various iPod menus.
iPod Photo displays 25 full-color thumbnails at a time. You can scroll through them the same way you scroll through song titles. And when you see a photo to blow up, click the center button of the Click Wheel. Simple.
The iPod Photo comes with an AV cable. This can be used to connect iPod Photo to a projector or a TV. The photos you have saved can be projected on a screen or viewed on TV as a slideshow with this. The music can be played alongside the slide show too.
The new version of iTunes 4.7 lets you import your images directly into iPod Photo from a folder on the hard drive of your Mac or PC. iTunes can import albums already created in iPhoto or collections created in Album or Elements into the small wonder.
iPod Photo is a hub of Auto-Sync capabilities. iTunes also offers photo syncing. Update your photo collection by adding images or creating new albums, and the next time you connect iPod Photo to your Mac or PC using the included FireWire or USB 2.0 cables, iTunes 4.7 will automatically synchronize your photo collection. iTunes 4.7 also autosyncs Album Art.
Fully charged, the iphoto battery lasts for up to 15 hours of continuous music; or up to 5 hours of continuous slideshows with music.
The FireWire or USB 2.0 cable can be used to quickly charge the batteries. Or use the iPod Photo Dock that comes with both 40GB and 60GB models.
"We think photos are the next big thing. Everyone has the content" because of the rapid proliferation of digital cameras among consumers "and there are no copyright issues," Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said at a news conference. "We think music plus photos is the next big thing."
BY OUR TECHNOLOGY EDITOR