Apple adds 30GB iPod photo, lowers price by $150

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Apple on Wednesday refreshed its line of iPod photo digital music players with a new, slim 30GB model, replacing the previously available 40GB unit. The 30GB iPod photo debuts at US$349, $150 less than its 40GB predecessor. What's more, Apple has reduced the price of the 60GB iPod photo from $599 to $449. Apple also introduced the new iPod Camera Connector, which enables users to dump their photos straight from their digital camera to their iPod.

Apple told MacCentral that the 40GB hard disk drive mechanism previously used in the low-end iPod photo was dropped in favor of the 30GB mechanism for size: The 40GB mechanism used two platters to store information on; the 30GB mechanism uses a single platter, so it's thinner. The 30GB model measures 0.63 inches thick, while the 60GB model remains unchanged at 0.75 inches. The 30GB model weighs a bit less, too -- 5.9 ounces, versus 6.4 ounces for the 60GB.

Otherwise the iPod photo remains cosmetically unchanged: It still features a backlit 2-inch LCD panel capable of displaying more than sixty-five thousand colors.

Apple has also dropped the Dock and AV cable with this refreshed line -- they're now optional $39 and $19 accessories, respectively. Like the iPod mini, the iPod photo no longer includes a FireWire cable, either, although Apple makes them available for $19.

The iPod photo comes with earbud headphones, a USB 2.0 cable, USB power adapter and a CD containing iTunes 4.7.1 for Mac and Windows computers. System requirements call for Mac OS X v10.2.8 or Mac OS X v10.3.4 or later and iPhoto 4.0.3 or later.

iPod Camera Connector

Although no details were available from Apple's Web site as MacCentral posted this article, the company also announced wednesday the iPod Camera Connector -- an optional $29 accessory expected to hit store shelves in late March. The device connects the iPod photo to a digital camera and enables users to transfer images directly to their iPod photo, bypassing a Mac or Windows computer completely.

Third parties have already developed interfaces that allow users to dump the contents of their digital camera's media cards into the iPod for storage, but such devices generally only use the iPod as a storage mechanism, until the device is synchronized to a Mac or PC. Apple notes that the iPod Camera Connector will allow iPod photo users to immediately view the pictures, and then later sync the updated contents back to iPhoto or to a photo viewing application on the PC.

Updated 9:35 AM 02/23/05: Added info about the new drive mechanism, new configuration and iPod Camera Connector.

This story, "Apple adds 30GB iPod photo, lowers price by $150" was originally published by PCWorld.

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