capsule review

30GB iPod photo

When Apple released the second-generation iPod mini, it also tweaked the iPod photo line. It did so not by updating the interface or adding new capabilities to the colorful music and picture player, but rather by slashing $150 off of the price of the 60GB model and replacing the 40GB version with a 30GB iPod photo. This new, smaller-capacity iPod photo costs $349 and holds approximately 7,500 songs or 25,000 photos.

Apple removed some previously bundled accessories: the FireWire and AV cables, the iPod photo dock, and the carrying case.

In my tests, the 30GB iPod photo had the same battery life as the 60GB model, exceeding Apple’s promised 15 hours of play by 93 minutes (backlighting, EQ, and Sound Check were turned off for these tests). When connected to a TV by the now-optional AV cable, the new 30GB iPod photo projected a slide show for about two hours. This iPod charged as quickly via USB 2.0 as it did via FireWire. And its colorful interface still looks great.

The 30GB iPod photo is thinner than the 60GB iPod photo but just slightly thicker than the fourth-generation 20GB iPod, so it fits nicely into cases, docks, and speakers designed for earlier iPods.

NOTE: Apple replaced the 40GB iPod photo with a 30GB version, reviewed here, but the 60GB model remains nearly the same (it even has the same Apple model number). A few of the trappings have changed, though, such as the price: the 60GB iPod photo now costs $449, down by $150 from $599. And a FireWire cable, AV cable, and dock are no longer included.

Macworld’s Buying Advice

This new iPod photo is slimmer and more affordable than the previous 40GB model. This, in addition to the iPod photo’s bright, colorful display, may take the sting out of losing necessary extras.

[ Christopher Breen is the editor in chief of Playlistmag.com and the author of Secrets of the iPod and iTunes , fifth edition (Peachpit Press, 2005). ]

30GB iPod photo
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