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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

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Comments

21

it won’t sync over firewire. deal breaker für ppl with a 2 year old powerbook.

Posted by M. on October 12, 2005 at 12:51 PM (PDT)

22

Ben, Apple is a business. Why would it pre-announce products and saddle itself with tons of older machines when it could have people buying perfectly usable equipment and using it happily?

While this will never happen to Apple, remember the example of the Obsorne computer.  I believe this is how it went: They had a hugely successful computer. They pre-announced their follow-up. Sales promptly dried up because everyone waited for the newer model and they found themselves suddenly bankrupt.

Posted by Dave on October 12, 2005 at 12:52 PM (PDT)

23

question tho.. can you rip dvd files and watch a full length movie?

Posted by craig on October 12, 2005 at 12:52 PM (PDT)

24

i think apple should “slow down” a bit with the new ipods. i bought the non-color ipod, then 1 week later, the color version replaced it, then this.

And where did the remote port go???

i’ll just stick with my PPC for videos..

Posted by AndrewB on October 12, 2005 at 12:53 PM (PDT)

25

Will it sync & charge via firewire? No mention of it in the specs. I suspect like the Nano it will only charge.

Posted by zymonk on October 12, 2005 at 12:54 PM (PDT)

26

battery capacity = TWO hours for video playback??? and THREE for the 60 gb?

hilarious.

Posted by solace on October 12, 2005 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

27

I’m curious to see it in action, but i think it’s just too much to fast.  If anything the new iPod will likely push people away from the market rather than draw them in.  The big thing I’ve noticed in the electronics business is that people have a hard time deciding when to buy.  They’re afraid that as soon as they buy the product it becomes obsolete.  People are happier with electronics that still work from 10 years ago.  To do this with the iPod so soon is not a smart move.  I think six months to a year down the road, and people would have reacted differently.

Posted by the dude on October 12, 2005 at 12:55 PM (PDT)

28

personally, i just wanted a larger ipod than what i already had. my 40gb 3G was 95% full and just about out of space. to me, video playback and any other new features are bonus because photo viewing and music is what i wanted and will be using my new ipod for. Plus, $100 less than what i paid for my last 2 ipods is also nice. but, i expect them to introduce an 80gb or more at the $499 mark sometime since there was already a 60gb w/out video.
now for matias to make a new ipodarmor

Posted by zm_br on October 12, 2005 at 12:57 PM (PDT)

29

Brett, how on earth does slightly extending the width of the case and screen suddenly make it look like a Palm?

And the screen is obviously formated to show television content. Why give the iPod a widescreen when they’re not focusing on widescreen content right now?

If Apple did what you wanted, you wouldn’t be able to use an iPod without two hands. To use it one-handed, you’d be holding on to the very bottom in order to use the wheel in music mode, with way too much of the device sticking out of your hand at the top. It wouldn’t be balanced, and wouldn’t feel secure. And then once you started a video and turned it to a horizontal layout, you’d be forced to use it with both hands to operate it. That’s fine for a portable movie player, but the iPod is a music player, first and foremost. Easy to use, on-the-go. Besides, the wheel would no longer be properly oriented when you turned it for movie mode. That doesn’t sound like an elegant, Apple-like solution at all.

Apple has added functions to the iPod that have nothing to do with music, but they don’t get in the way of using it as it was originally intended. Your vision of a video iPod would hinder it’s intended primary use as a music device. Maybe they’ll release a portable movie device once they can get the studios to agree to an iTunes Movie Store, but I don’t think it’ll just be a modified iPod. More likely it will be something designed from the ground up for its intended use.

And don’t you think you sound a little over-the-top with the rhetoric? Do you really think Apple has just made its “first” mistake—one so big that everybody better dump their stock—because they didn’t include everything you wanted and a bag of chips, right from the beginning of this first stage?

Posted by Brandon on October 12, 2005 at 1:00 PM (PDT)

30

I think they should make a black version of the dock & remote.

Posted by zymonk on October 12, 2005 at 1:01 PM (PDT)

31

Re: iLounge—Nice job with the updates, and more importantly the site itself.  Everything is moving along smoooothly, and no noticeable hangups now that the initial avalanche of visitors seems to be over.

Re: 5G iPod—Bleah.  Sounds like the formats are a bit too limited (you can’t view your home movies on it without hassle) and no upgrade in HD size.  The price hasn’t changed, which is very cool.  With the remote port gone, legions of iTrip users are left in the cold.  I’d love to see the QuickTime of Jobs’ presentation.

Re: 3ntr0py—Yeah, I noticed that too.  wink

Posted by PushButtonAction in Atlanta, GA on October 12, 2005 at 1:02 PM (PDT)

32

Okay what’s up with the Macworld article. They’re saying that Apple also announced 40 and 80 GB variations of their audio iPod for the same price as the 30 and 60 video respectively?

I haven’t found anything else like that. Whack if you ask me. Typo maybe?

It’s near the bottom of the article

Posted by Geordan on October 12, 2005 at 1:09 PM (PDT)

33

“what the crap? i can’t even watch ####### LOTR on this thing!!”

Posted by solace on October 12, 2005 at 1:09 PM (PDT)

34

I never wanted a video iPod to begin with. The idea is unnecessary. The nano announcement was announcement of the year! I’m all for branching out and expanding, but this seems rushed for some reason. The one update I DO like is the built in iSight on iMacs. THAT is truely marvelous.

Posted by Rick on October 12, 2005 at 1:14 PM (PDT)

35

Ben,

Wow. So you really “...felt the collective pain/realization of thousands of people across the country…” Wow. So, your like a Jedi and stuff, using the Force to feel people crying out, like when Obi-Wan felt all those people on Alderann get blown up by the Death Star? That’s pretty heavy stuff. So how come you couldn’t feel the new iPod coming? heh heh

And these two lines just kill me. “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,” and “...if they would have waited a little, they could have gotten something newer and more advanced.”

So what? Doesn’t that happen with cars all the time? People know there’s going to be a new model in about 12 months, and they still buy them. What about kitchen appliances? And TVs? And home stereo systems? Did your iPod quit working because Apple released a new one? Does it no longer do the things that Apple said it would do when you bought it?

The only people this harms are those whose self-esteem is based upon the things they buy being cool and coveted by others.

Sheesh. I’ve got a 3rd Gen iPod I bought about a year and a half ago. It still works. But would you wish the same on my account? Do you wish Apple was still just selling 3rd Gen iPods so that I could feel good about myself? Would you stick us all with that old technology?

Shouldn’t Apple be free to innovate as much and as often as they want? I sure want them to, so the next time I buy an iPod it’ll be waaaaay better than my old one, and worth the upgrade. Sure, it might be discontinued 3 months later, but that just means Apple is advancing the technology, and one day I’ll be able to buy something else way better than what I have. What’s wrong with that?

Posted by Brandon on October 12, 2005 at 1:24 PM (PDT)

36

I was all moist with excitement when the nano came out, but this 5G sucks imo…

Why is Apple trying to render my Firewire obsolete??? No fair!

And no more usage for the remote or iTrip.

They GOTTA be joking!

Posted by Kiks on October 12, 2005 at 1:25 PM (PDT)

37

I don’t think this is THE video iPod, it’s just an iPod that can play videos. Anyone who wants to watch full length movies should not jump on this bandwagon.

Posted by Stuart on October 12, 2005 at 1:28 PM (PDT)

38

Dave, what about XBox?  Microsoft announced the 360 over 6 months ago, and they’re obviously not even close to bankruptcy (although I do understand that they literally lose money with each system sold).  Point is, they are continuing to sell systems.  Apple, like Microsoft, is not dealing soley with one product.  It didn’t hurt hardware sales for the original Xbox once people were aware of the new system coming out.

I’m not going to argue logistics, but there are many companies that make their customers aware of updates that continue to do quite well, even in the tech field.

Posted by Ben on October 12, 2005 at 1:30 PM (PDT)

39

um, yes they made their first big mistake (at least in the portable audio market).  Maybe I didn’t articulate what I would have liked very well. I understand that looks alone are a personal issue.  I don’t like the looks of the 5th gen but I understand that isn’t universal.  My big gripe is that i find the form factor less usable than the 4th gen.  I think the extra width will make using the click wheel with one hand harder.  What I was suggesting was a lengthening of the screen downward to still enable watching video (by turning it sideways) while being able to keep the width of the 4th gen that is so easy to use. 
My biggest gripe has to do with content and the ability to play all types of files on a video enabled iPod.
What made the iTunes/iPod combination so killer was the ability to rip your own CDs, buy music online, and let’s face it, that you could listen to all that music that you had downloaded illegaly.
The video iPod only lets you do one of these (at least for now).  No ripping DVDs, no watching shows you Tivo’d or downloaded.  Only the option to watch stuff you buy from apple or home movies you convert using Quicktime Pro.
This just isn’t the same kind of device for video that it was for audio.  That’s why I’m disappointed.

Posted by brett on October 12, 2005 at 1:31 PM (PDT)

40

Brandon, get a grip.  I take it as quite a compliment that I warranted such a lengthy reply from someone like you.

Eh, I almost forgot why I never post on this site.  Thanks for reminding me, Brandon.

Posted by Ben on October 12, 2005 at 1:34 PM (PDT)

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