iPod available today

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Apple's iPod is available beginning today from Apple's retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. The iPod package includes an iTunes 2 CD, earbud-style headphones, FireWire cable and FireWire-based power adapter.

"iPod is going to change the way people listen to music," said Philip Schiller, Apple's vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. "With its breakthrough design and ease of use, iPod may be one of the hottest gifts for every Mac user this holiday season."

The iPod, encased in a stainless steel design that's complementary to Apple's line of desktop and laptop computers, weighs about six and a half ounces and is about the size of a deck of cards -- 2.4 inches wide by 4 inches tall, and only about three quarters of an inch thick.

The iPod features a 160x128 pixel display with a white LED backlight that Apple said is easy to see both in daylight and low-light conditions. A scroll-wheel on the face of the iPod enables users to navigate through music collections by playlist, artist or song. You can also customize settings and localize menus in different languages.

The iPod uses FireWire to connect to your Mac allowing the device to transfer songs up to 30 times faster than a USB-based MP3 player. It takes about 10 seconds to transfer an entire CD onto the iPod; 1,000 songs takes less than 10 minutes. It's also got up to 20 minutes of shock protection.

Using a FireWire based hard drive, the iPod can also be used for file storage. iPod requires Mac OS X version 10.1 or Mac OS 9.2 and iTunes 2.

iPod Updater 1.0, released yesterday from Apple, appears to have been removed from their ftp servers. We will bring you more information on the status of the updater when we receive it.

This story, "iPod available today" was originally published by PCWorld.

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