Backstage: Yes, the new iPod photo -is- different

Up until today, we had no reason to believe that there were differences (other than price) between the 60GB iPod photo units Apple shipped in 2004 and the ones they released in early 2005. But it appears that there is at least one difference, and possibly more.

We noticed in testing Griffin’s AirClick that our first-generation iPod photo units weren’t getting anywhere near the wireless RF reception of our other iPods – under ten feet versus 40-50 – and had problems working through walls. Now we’ve found that some change has quietly been made to currently shipping – darewecall them Second-Generation – black-boxed iPod photos, remedying this problem. Did Apple modify the iPod photo to eliminate noise or interference in the headphone jack area? Something else? We’re not entirely sure. But there is a difference. We’ve tested with multiple AirClicks and multiple iPods. And so has Griffin: the problem’s in their first-generation iPod photo unit, too, but not in their new one.

Will this be a case of early adopters getting screwed over with glitchy hardware? Hopefully not. Will Apple offer some way for affected iPod photo owners to get fully compatible hardware? Hopefully so. If you have related experiences or insights to share, we’d love to hear them.

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