Good review. The sticker shock wears off--just elevate your feet.

My main gripe (I found photo transfer painless): the screen varies from side-to-side depending where you put your head (varying top-to-bottom would be less distracting). Looking at dark photos is best done a little from the left--which you kind of pick up on naturally.

Other than that, the screen looks great, and I love the color UI. I agree that the new stuff doesn't feel "evolved." Like the music features, I expect the photo realm will gain some refinement. For now, it's at least simple and useful--I even have business presentations on mine.

I also like booting Mac OS X from it and having all MY files and MY apps and MY settings on any Mac smile

Contacts and Calendar are very useful, not just a gimmick for me... and I've loaded Notes with everything from WiFi locations to common conversion factors.

And yeah, I do the photo slideshow thing too smile It's amazing how fast you can scroll once the shots load. TIP: to browse the thumbnails, use Rewind and FF. One click takes you one page. Often easier than the wheel.

The Photo has been my long-awaited first iPod... and I'm even happier with it than I thought I would be. (And iTrip's great too--once I found a clear station, 87.7.)

As for music (remember music?)... I'm surprised how much I actually PLAY the thing, discovering lost music in the process.

But that's old news to everyone here...

Posted by Nagromme on December 2, 2004 at 2:55 AM (PDT) Comment 1

Also--I've never heard any audio defects or unexplained sounds, either through the iPod buds or through my Sennheiser PX-100s--which DO have the infamous metal ring that touches the case. Knock on wood!

(And in my case, photo library display--NOT video and NOT flash card transfer--IS what I most wanted :D Those other things would be nice, but less useful to me. Anyone with ideas for the future, be sure to visit: )

Posted by Nagromme on December 2, 2004 at 3:02 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Great in depth review, well done Jeremy.

Posted by Nuke666 on December 2, 2004 at 3:11 AM (PDT) Comment 3

One thing i dont see is a way to display your photos onto a projector, most commonly used for presentations and all. Can show a lot more people that way then whats being displayed using a TV. Any idea if a converter will arrive soon?

Great work Jeremy

Posted by Brendan Ang on December 2, 2004 at 3:22 AM (PDT) Comment 4

Thanks for the excellent review. I can support all described experiences. I only would like to get the clickable full album display optional permanent (and go with a second click).


Posted by mkummer on December 2, 2004 at 5:29 AM (PDT) Comment 5

If you have the album art loaded and it is displaying on the Now Playing screen, will long titles continue to scroll?

Posted by redsoxnation on December 2, 2004 at 5:45 AM (PDT) Comment 6


* A projectors must have composite or S-video (is you use the video dock) connections. A projector with only VGA or DVI would need some kind of convertor box. I'm sure they make those, not for iPod just for ANY analog video to connect to VGA. (My guess is it's not a cheap adapter though.)

Long song titles do auto-scroll on the album art screen (but not artists or album names).

Posted by Nagromme on December 2, 2004 at 1:30 PM (PDT) Comment 7

I have a question: Can you view the ipod screen (not photos) on the TV while playing music ? like the screen in the iPod but on the TV. In other words, What happens when you connect the iPod to the TV and you are just playing music?

Posted by poncho_m on December 2, 2004 at 1:47 PM (PDT) Comment 8

Whiel I could see where people would want to directly input/store photos right on the ipod but I could think of reasons not to:

A) wouldn't that just confuse people where their photos are? In my camera? In my ipod? At home - which do I erase? Is it backuped? Is it backuped on my ipod at ipod res or high res? Will it sync back on my computer so I can erase my memory card? Etc ... yea, sure you could keep track of them but that's why professional/serious photigraphers can buy an add-on to store photos on the hard drive portion and

B) playback speed - my camera is a nice camera but at full res, it takes 1 MB photos, I'm sure there are serious photographers with cameras that take 5 MB photos, how fast can rendering be on the ipod? Wouldn't that be more annoying - to have to wait 15 seconds before the next photo arrives? I know people have complain about the "playback' speed of the Archos when it comes to photos since all it does is playback whatever res you dump in - so itunes/apple has once again, thoughtfully made it easier by down rezing an ipod version of your photo for the fastest playback and since NTSC is not high res (yet), you're not losing a whole lot but gaining a lot in playback speed. Friends, family who are looking at the photos don't care you spent an hour loading them but they would care if you force them to wait 10-15 seconds between every photo - people would just walk away.

Just like not being to copy music off. For 80% of the people who are buying it for the convenience, that's jsut a minor hiccup and even a benefit as your friends can't just arbritrarily go, hey, let me rip your ipod in 5 seconds after you've spent hundreds of hours encoding your 500 CD's ... but there are third party add-ons/adaptations that serve the remaining 10-20% of users who have extra needs. Or with 1GB memory cards now, it's not exactly a killer to buy another one or two so the rest of ipod users have an easier experience - compliacte the thing on your own time grin

Posted by jbelkin on December 2, 2004 at 1:57 PM (PDT) Comment 9

Poncho--I wish you COULD see the whole iPod UI on TV. Throw in the ability to make large album art stay and it would be a neat companion for your home enterntainment system. You can't though. The TV is black if you're not running a slideshow. (Which is good if you need to end a slideshow and go searching for another photo to start from.)

Re photo transfer, this iPod is simply not meant for managing or receiving photos, any more than it's meant for managing or receiving music. It's for PRESENTING photos and music. Thus, it's not meant to be a photography tool at all. It's the modern version of the shoebox. If that's not your need, then don't let the name "Photo" throw you. This isn't a camera accessory.

Now, it COULD do more in future, and gain even more uses. You never know. They added photo transfer support via Belkin, after all.

I for one have never known anyone to fill up a camera's memory smile But you can already view pictures on your camera itself--and in the iPod too once transferring to computer. So all that's missing is viewing ability during that small window of time AFTER the photos have been transferred off the camera's card(s) (via Belkin) and yet BEFORE you get to your computer. That's a pretty small slice of the process to address, and you're right, it would add new complexities. (Which doesn't mean some people wouldn't use it! It's just not the intent of the iPod currently.)

Posted by Nagromme on December 2, 2004 at 3:49 PM (PDT) Comment 10

I highly encourage you to leave your stance on the grey click wheel and the 4G screen open for change.

I found the 4G screen had better contrast, a stronger backlight, and more even backlighting - a clear improvement over my 3G 30GB.

The grey click wheel is also quite acceptable for me even after owning 3Gs for so long - now when I see an iPod it almost looks strange without that grey circle. It will definitely grow on your if you spend enough time using and looking at it.

Posted by Nate (the original) on December 2, 2004 at 6:20 PM (PDT) Comment 11

Nagromme, you got it right. I was dismayed, almost shocked, when I found out the iPod's normal screens could not be displayed on a TV; I just assumed it would.

I so wanted to play my ipod through my entertainment system and have the song titles scroll across the TV screens. Also to use a remote control and be able to see where I am without having to walk up to the iPod and view its small screen.

That's worth more than any slide show. Shame on Apple for not including it.

Posted by empyle on December 2, 2004 at 9:51 PM (PDT) Comment 12

Brendan, I'm interested in using the iPod Photo for the same purpose (projector display). The only solution I've found so far is to get a converter box like this:

Does anyone know a different/better way to do it?

Posted by Slim on December 2, 2004 at 9:56 PM (PDT) Comment 13

Or, if you want to have to use the Dock and its S-Video port, you could use one of these:

It's cheaper, but I don't know if the picture quality would be any better or worse than a composite video converter

Posted by Slim on December 2, 2004 at 9:59 PM (PDT) Comment 14

S-video is better than composite (although the dock makes the controls less easy to use if you are standing). The simpler way is to use a projector that HAS a composite or S-video input. I don't know how common that is with VGA projectors, but you may as well look and see if it's there.

Posted by Nagromme on December 2, 2004 at 11:36 PM (PDT) Comment 15

Greetings All,

I love my photo ipod as I have gone from a mini to a 20 to a 40 to a 40 photo all in 3 months. (Ebay is wonderful)
I have noticed and correct me if I am wrong, the pics loaded to my ipod are 776k each ! a
That's the size of the files in my ipod cache folder. And checking my ipod it tells me my photos folder is 3.1 gig and itunes says i have 4,000 pics so that number is about right.
Going by the Apple Maths (above) 17,000 pics must be roughly 2.3 meg each 3x bigger than the 776k ithmb files I have. Is that when u keep the option originals on the ipod as well?

Anyway, my originals are optimized for the web and are about 50k and 550 pix wide
That means itunes is making my pics between 150 and 500 times bigger depending on which figure you use.
Either way it seems like a bloody waste of space.....
As they show them at 640x480 on a TV I can't work out why so BIG.
At my size I could fit 8,000,000 I think. While obviusly that ain't gunna happen it would make for more room for music!!!


Posted by Spike M on December 4, 2004 at 3:55 AM (PDT) Comment 16

Hi guys

just bought a photo ipod to use on holiday and have discovered that it seems like you can't use it to store video clips from your this correct?

Any pointers much appreciated


Posted by LJ on December 5, 2004 at 3:42 AM (PDT) Comment 17

There is an annoying bug in photo playback, both in slideshows and when reviewing photos using the click wheel buttons. When you're reviewing a particular album (say, "Album A") sometimes a photo from a completely different album (say, "Album B") will suddenly appear in the midst of the slideshow. Then it will disappear, and if you click backwards it won't appear again. Although the problem is intermittent and does not often occur, if you use the left- and right-arrow buttons to rapidly flip through photos one-by-one, backward and forward, over and over, you will sometimes see a completely different photo from one of your other albums magically appear in the sequence, and then disappear again when you click forward and back again. It will usually be the same photo, too, which seems to indicate that there is some defect in the indexing system which the iPod photo uses to identify the proper photo to display.

Posted by PhotoGuy on December 5, 2004 at 6:53 PM (PDT) Comment 18

I'm curious about the photo viewing interface. Does it maintain a db of keyword values used to tag the photos, analogous to ID3 tags for mp3s, so that one can dial through diferent photo sets based on selection. Or is the photo access strictly album based?

Posted by Demosthenes on December 5, 2004 at 7:07 PM (PDT) Comment 19

I've got the 60gig photo (my old one was a 20gig 2nd gen model). While I like the new iPod photo, I have a couple of beefs with it. Firstly, while the new screen is nice, I find that without the backlight always on, the screen is too dark to read in regular lighting conditions. So the nice 15 hrs+ battery life is not likely to be even close to achieved. Secondly, while everyone seems to rave about the clarity of the screen, I was underwhelmed. The resolution (as stated in the article) is similar to a cheap digital camera's screen, and I find that anything other than brightly light pictures display too dark on the screen. The TV display is good however.

Also, when transferring my photos directly from my hard drive photo directories, it only seems to handle one level of sub-folder in the iPod. So if I've got a "Pictures" folder with a sub-folder for "Vacations" and sub-folders under that for each vacation (and maybe sub-folders under that as well), the ipod imports the "pictures" folder and the "vacations" folder, but everything under this is all thrown into the "vacations" folder. So with my 11,000+ photos (over 1/2 of which are vacation) it makes it difficult to organize slideshows. I know I could reorganize all my photo directories on my computer to avoid this, but that would be a huge job, as my sub-folders are sometimes 4 or 5 levels deep. Do users of Adobe Photoshop Album or Adobe Photoshop Elements have the same problem when transferring them to the iPod?

As for the price, I think it needs to be taken in context. Yes $599 ($759 Cdn.) for a 60g iPod photo is a lot of money, but I paid MORE than that 2 years ago to buy one of the first 2nd gen. 20gig iPod's available for Windows. So now I get 3 times the capacity and a colour screen for less money. What's not to like? And with 7000+ songs and 11,000+ photos, I almost fill it up already (when I transfer the original photos to the hard-drive as well).

Posted by Homer-dude on December 6, 2004 at 2:30 PM (PDT) Comment 20

Misc. replies:

* Video clips from camera: you can store ANYTHING on an iPod. Whether the Belkin media reader knows enough to transfer non-images is another matter, if that's what you mean. I don't use my iPod that way so I don't know.

* Searching: No keyword interface, just albums--or if you synch a folder (instead of iTunes 4), then you get subfolders for organization. One level deep. (Any 3rdd-level sub-subfolders don't appear--but the photos in them still show up in the parent menu, luckily.)

* "Wrong album" photo bug: I've never seen that, but you could try throwing out the iPod Photo Cache from your computer's HD and make iTunes build it fresh. Just a thought.

* Re backlight: yes, it's really not a good screen without it. But set it to 10 seconds or whatever time you like--then you get your bright screen AND your battery life. Unless you are playing with the controls constantly, in which case no iPod (or any player) will get close to the maximum.

* Screen: I like the screen much better than my 1.5-year-old camera's. (Probably cameras have gotten even better recently.) BUT dark photos look better seen slightly from the left. Annoying, I agree--but try that when viewing a dark photo.

Posted by Nagromme on December 6, 2004 at 7:21 PM (PDT) Comment 21

I am planning to buy an iPod photo...just a quick question....can it store all types of word, pdf, xcel and powerpoint files. Also can you use it for a pwerpoint slideshow with text only????

Posted by ABJ on December 18, 2004 at 9:22 PM (PDT) Comment 22

A while back I purchased an inexpensive NTSC (composite or S-Video) to ADC converter to allow me to use my PS2 with a computer monitor. It cost about $50 from Best Buy.

Today I tried it with my iPod photo using the provided composite video cable and it worked just fine. So, it should also work fine when plugged into an LCD display with only VGA inputs.

ABJ: The iPod photo, when used in disk mode, can store ANY file that can be stored on your HD. It can only display JPEG files that have been processed by iTunes. In order to load a Power Point presentation onto the iPod photo, you have to convert it to JPEGs from within Power Point (there is an option to export to JPEG).

And, yes, it will display Power Point slides that are text only, once they have been processed as above. You need to be sure to leave a little extra space at the margins (i.e. allow for "TV-safe" margins) to be sure none of your text gets cut off--not a significant problem---I have slides with lots of text on them and none got truncated.

Posted by mpet on December 31, 2004 at 7:40 AM (PDT) Comment 23


i might get the photo ipod. but i was wondering if it has an intergrated camera?

i need to no thanks reply back

Posted by navz on January 27, 2005 at 10:47 AM (PDT) Comment 24

A word on video....

OK, it seems unlikely that apple will add video capability to the ipod photo, as they'll want to launch a whole new model for that.

But, for them to say that video is not wanted by the consumer - what BOLLOCKS! To add photo support because us consumers are all out there in consumer land snapping away with our digital cameras is to be commended. But to deny the fact that we're all shooting video with our video cameras is ridiculous!

If Apple was convinced that it's customers weren't interested in video then why does it bundle imovie and iDVD with every computer it sells?!?!?!?

The whining about "but where would our customers get content for an ipod video? there's no downloadable content that we can offer them..." WE'LL MAKE IT OURSELVES YOU DICKS!

You understand that we have the need for editing software and give it to us free but god forbid you should give us somewhere portable to play it! It seems so logical - film your kid brothers bar mitzvah or whatever, edit it in imovie then stick it on your ipod! With the video out capability of the ipod photo you could then plug that in to your neighbours TV and show 'em why Spielberg had better watch out!

The nonsense about content aquisition and copyright shouldn't stop the creativity of Apple's consumers extending to portable video. If copyright is such an issue then where do they stand on us putting jpegs that we've saved from a google image search or ripped off a webpage? My ipod photo is full of pics of Milla Jovovich that i pinched off of the internet - that surely has the same content aquisition issues as people potentially putting downloaded video clips on their ipods.

My VHS VCR can tape TV programmes - why can't i watch my DVDs on my ipod? Legally i'm allowed to make back up copies...

I can only conclude that Apple haven't/won't let us play video on our ipod photos because they either haven't worked out how to make it work or they're planning a 6th generation ipod video to be released seperately.

Posted by Glassy on February 11, 2005 at 8:48 AM (PDT) Comment 25
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