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Apple intros fifth-generation iPod with video playback

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By LC Angell

Contributing Editor
Published: Wednesday, October 12, 2005
News Categories: iPod

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As widely expected, Apple today introduced the long-rumored new iPod with video playback capabilities. The new fifth-generation device, which is up to 30% thinner than the previous full-size iPod, features a larger 2.5-inch color screen (320 x 240 resolution, 260,000 colors) that can play videos, including music videos, video Podcasts, home movies and television shows, in addition to displaying album artwork and photos. It supports MPEG4 and H.264 video at 30 fps and also sports TV out. (See our report on iTunes 6 for further details on available video content). The new iPod is available in both white and black versions in 30GB ($299) and 60GB ($399) capacities. Both models will begin shipping next week.

“The new iPod is the best music player ever—it’s 30 percent thinner and has 50 percent more storage than its predecessor—yet it sells for the same price and plays stunning video on its 2.5-inch color screen,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO. “Because millions of people around the world will buy this new iPod to play music, it will quickly become the most popular portable video player in history.”

The new iPod uses Apple’s well-known Click Wheel and Dock Connector, so the majority of third-party accessories will be compatible with the device. However, its extended headphone port has been removed, so while headphones will work, other top-mounting accessories such as remote controls and most FM transmitters will not. New products are forthcoming to fulfill anticipated demand. The 30GB model offers up to 14 hours of battery life for music playback, while the 60GB model features up to 20 hours. The 30GB iPod is good for two hours of video playback and the 60GB model is good for three hours of video watching.

Apple told iLounge that the fifth-generation iPod features greatly enhanced audio recording capabilities, and improved playback capabilities. The company said the new iPod sounds as good or better than the iPod shuffle, which Apple considers its prior gold standard in terms of sound quality. Good news for podcasters is the ability to record in either 22KHz mono or 44KHz stereo. The device still records in WAV format, which has to be converted to MP3 or AAC, however.

imageBoth models come with earphones, a USB 2.0 cable and a case, but Apple has also introduced a new Universal Dock ($39) for the fifth-generation iPod that features IR support to work with a new wireless Apple Remote ($29). It also allows for USB 2.0 syncing, variable line out—confirmed by Apple representatives for certain on this Dock—and S-video connections.

You can view more live hands-on shots of the new iPod on iLounge’s flickr page and the event’s photo gallery with over 300 photos. iLounge Editor-in-Chief Jeremy Horwitz will have his first reactions up shortly in the form of a special podcast.

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« iTunes 6 announced; 2,000 music videos, TV shows offered

iLounge Exclusive: New iPod revealed »

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Comments

1

All I wanted was 80GB capacity, screw video :(

Posted by Bad Beaver on October 12, 2005 at 11:41 AM (PDT)

2

Frankly I don’t get it.

Didn’t they release the 20GB Color Ipod just maybe 2 months ago?  Or maybe even less?  And now it’s already obsolete?

I’m all for progress and all but that’s just a tad on the ridiculous side, if you ask me.

Along similar lines… frankly I’d have thought they’d build-in a radio and WIFI (or other wireless technology to allow wireless sync to the PC before implementing video).

In fact I’m surprised they haven’t tossed WIFI into it to allow teenagers to step into their local starbucks and buy a song from iTunes from the iPod itself.

I can immagine the draw… stores could offer a free wireless download per day to every customer who goes into the store.

Oh well… next time maybe.

Posted by Alex on October 12, 2005 at 11:42 AM (PDT)

3

Alex, you got to chill. Yeah, now the 20 gig is no longer 20 gig. It’s less somehow because Apple introduced new models. This is car industry thinking.

I noticed from the pix, it doesn’t look like there’s a remote port.

Posted by Dave on October 12, 2005 at 11:45 AM (PDT)

4

<sigh>

I was dissapointed. I’m gonna keep using my pocket PC for video playback.

I wanted a ipod with Bluetooth/wifi/ FM Receiver and Mic recording.

Posted by psxp on October 12, 2005 at 11:49 AM (PDT)

5

Ugh, I bought my 20GB colour two months ago! I want this so bad. I’m really mad because I waited so long and then I decided to buy the colour one because I didn’t think they’d release another one so soon. But now this. UGh, and I prolly cannot return my iPod anymore…:(

Posted by car on October 12, 2005 at 11:53 AM (PDT)

6

Oops.  Apple has just made it’s first mistake.  I mean, this thing looks more like a palm pilot than a music player.  I can’t even look at it.  It may function fine as a video player, but the screen orientation is all wrong.  They should have shrunk the clickwheel like they did for the nano, and made the screen longer down the ipod body.  When you’re looking for music, you keep the normal orientation.  When you view video, you turn it an view it widescreen style.  On top of this, they’ve abandoned the open minded thinking that made the ipod such a hit for music. Rather than support any open format (like mp3 for music), they’ve made it only work with
.m4v, .mp4 and .mov files.  No divx support, no avi support.  You can’t even use iTunes to convert video files on your computer to the iPod compatible formats.  You have to buy Quicktime Pro 7 and even then, I’m not sure what file types you can convert to the iPod formats. 
I’m sure the video store will work great, and I’m glad to see they’ve actually got a little content worth getting excited about (Lost and Pixar shorts to be exact), but at 1.99 a show I think I’ll just wait until the dvds come out to make an actual purchase.  I can see how some may like the option to buy online the next day though.
Good luck to apple, but if I had stock, I’d be selling it.

Posted by brett on October 12, 2005 at 12:10 PM (PDT)

7

Are there any pictures of the top anywhere?

Posted by connner on October 12, 2005 at 12:12 PM (PDT)

8

Dave,

I’m fully chilled grin

I’m not in the market for an upgrade at this point so the features or lack thereof is not a big deal to me personally.

However I can’t agree with your “This is car industry thinking” comment with regards to the 20gb color iPod.

I don’t remember WHEN exactly the 20Gb color iPod was released but it was literally under 2-3 months ago.  I can’t think of any electronic device (or CAR for that matter) with such a ridiculously short lifecycle.

At any rate, I’m frankly more disappointed by Palm’s Oct 12 announcement than Apple’s anyway.

Posted by Alex on October 12, 2005 at 12:12 PM (PDT)

9

iLounge is a really awesome web site. You guys had coverage of the video iPod and Itunes 6 well before all the other places on the web.

What a fantastic place for iPod lovers this website is!

The video iPod looks about the right size for a video player. Hrad to believe they could have made it much smaller and still have the screen usable for movies and videos.

Posted by soundmeister on October 12, 2005 at 12:16 PM (PDT)

10

If I’m Sony, I’ll try to get a license from ABC to sell those TV shows too, since they are mpeg4, they should play just fine on the PSP…just with a different DRM wrapper.  The PSP with it’s big/glorious screen would be much better as a video machine than this.

A disappointment compared to last month Nano announcement.

Posted by WilliamC in Philippines on October 12, 2005 at 12:18 PM (PDT)

11

it’s funny…people on this site have been clammering for an ipod with video capabilities for months and now that apple releases it…nothing but complaining so far. i personally think that this is the first ipod in quite some time that has given me any reason to want to upgrade.

Posted by 3ntr0py on October 12, 2005 at 12:24 PM (PDT)

12

Are the width and height the same?  So would I be able to use my Contour Showcase with a new foam insert?

Posted by papayaninja on October 12, 2005 at 12:28 PM (PDT)

13

Alex, glad to hear you’re chilled. smile Products come and go. Some come faster than you expect. The 20 gig was based on technology that already existed in the 30, 40 and 60 gig iPod photos before them. I think Apple put the 20 into the lineup just to cut costs on the 30 gig and maintain their $299 and $399 price points.

Posted by Dave on October 12, 2005 at 12:30 PM (PDT)

14

Why have they removed the remote jack that was on the 4G iPod?  Now some accessories like the Nyko iTop or the (mini) remote made by Apple won’t work anymore.  My theory is they think it will boost up sales of the universal dock connector and the new remote.

Also, I hope there is some adapter that fits the new dimensions of the 5G iPod on my Bose sounddock.

Posted by morggo on October 12, 2005 at 12:31 PM (PDT)

15

the real question…. when is someone going to hack the new firmware and give my nano video playback capability?

Posted by brian james on October 12, 2005 at 12:31 PM (PDT)

16

conner, look at the Tech Specs page on the apple.com/ipod site.

Posted by Dave on October 12, 2005 at 12:36 PM (PDT)

17

I think I will stick with my 20GB color. The screen is still 2.5 in diagonal. I think that that is too small for video.

Posted by LukeA on October 12, 2005 at 12:43 PM (PDT)

18

I’m done with Apple…
  I keep feeling like Apple is pulling “sneak attacks” on customers.  The video ipod was inevitable, I know.  However, introducing it as a supposed afterthought (due to the unannounced event, heading - ...one more thing, etc.) to the nano makes me feel cheated.

I like Apple’s products, I REALLY do - but not enough to keep pumping out between two and four hundred dollars to keep my mp3 player up to date.

Again, not that Apple puts out bad products, but the minute the new iPod went up on Apple’s site, I felt the collective pain/realization of thousands of people across the country that just spent several hundred dollars for a “new” iPod during the past couple weeks, just to realize that if they would have waited a little, they could have gotten something newer and more advanced.

If Apple wants to keep getting my money, they need to start being a little more honest - announce the products, give us more “heads up” time before we make these purchases.  I work HARD for the money that I make, and spending $400.00 on an mp3 player was a big decision and committment for me.

Anyway, just my thoughts.  I know there will be a bunch of posts here arguing against my opinion, but that’s ok…I don’t even want one of the new iPods…I just feel bad for people that just spent a small fortune on a “new” one, just to find out that it’s not even sold by Apple anymore.

Posted by Ben on October 12, 2005 at 12:44 PM (PDT)

19

Definitely the beginning and cornerstone of the iPod’s new multimedia venture. Proportionally not as beautiful as the nano; the nano being Apple’s most beautiful iPod to date in terms of exterior design.

I am not sure how I would use the current video iPod setup, but I can see a future for this theme—several video iPod generations away. I still prefer to see my visual media in a different context, but I want to support Apple’s growth in this area.

Posted by FahrenheiPod 451 on October 12, 2005 at 12:46 PM (PDT)

20

Anyone notice this in the tech specs of the new iPod?
Voice recording settings:
  *  Low (22.05 KHz, mono)
  * High (44.1 KHz, stereo)

I wonder if voice recording is natively activated via a menu?

And the top no longer has the accessory port next to the headphones. Looks like new accessories for this ipod are needed!

Posted by kimonostereo on October 12, 2005 at 12:49 PM (PDT)

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