A closer look at Apple’s new iPod Photo features, including 15 hours of music playback

Apple’s new iPod Photo features either a 40GB or 60GB storage capacity and promises up to 15 hours of music playback (up to 5 hours of slideshows with music). The iPod Photo weighs in at 6.4 ounces and measures 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.75 inches, regardless of hard drive size. In contrast, the iPod “Classic” 20GB and 40 GB models each feature different weights (5.6 ounces and 6.2 ounces respectively) and dimensions (4.1 x 2.4 x 0.57 inches and 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.69 inches respectively).

The iPod Photo supports the following audio formats: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF, Audible. And, because, it’s a Photo iPod, it also supports iPod-viewable photos in JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF and PNG formats. The iPod Photo’s display is a 2-inch (diagonal) transflective, 65,536-color liquid crystal display with white LED backlight with a 0.18-mm dot pitch 220 x 176 pixel resolution.

Of note for Windows users, Adobe Photoshop Album 1.0 and 2.0 SE are supported by Apple’s iPod Photo, but they import only photos to iPod Photo and do not support collections for slideshow viewing. Mac users, as usual, have it better: iPod Photo works in conjunction with iPhoto on a Mac and iTunes 4.7 lets you transfer images from your photo library to iPod Photo supporting collections for slideshow viewing. Connect iPod Photo to a projector or TV and you can give slideshows complete with your music.

iPod Photo lets you turn your television into a digital picture frame by connecting it to iPod Photo with the included composite AV cable that sends out Composite video and audio through your headphone jack or line out on the iPod Photo Dock.

Unlike all other iPods, iPod Special Edition: U2, and iPod mini which feature up to 25 minutes of skip protection, the iPod Photo specs state up to 17 minutes of skip protection.

Apple today also debuted the companion iPod Photo Dock which is the iPod Photo’s home base for charging and synching with your computer or for connecting to your home audio system. For US$39.00, it is scheduled to ship in Mid November, and features the usual Dock connector along with audio and composite video output and S-video output.

Apple’s iTunes 4.7 also released today autosyncs Album Art. The Album Art downloaded when you purchase music from the iTunes Music Store is transferred to iPod Photo along with the music. So while iPod Photo plays your tunes, you can view the Album Art on the Now Playing screen of your iPod Photo.

Not to be overlooked is that fact that everything on your iPod will now be in color: your calendars, your notes, Solitaire, etc.

More info about Apple’s new iPod Photo here.


  1. The U2 iPod�s color–in a word–blah. White earbuds, chrome, black and that ugly red bullseye. Who designed this, Ray Charles? Blah. The color iPod also disappointing. No video play even when hooked up to a TV. No FM radio. No voice recording. Less skip protection. Thicker. Heavier. Way more expensive. At least the battery life is better. If it wasn’t for the interface, there would be no reason at all to get the iPod, but as it stands, it’s still the best only for that. Really disappointed though. I’ll hold off for someone to get it right.

    Some things are only available on radio. Talk radio. NPR. The news. During the blackout in NYC, those that had portable FM radios were clued in to what was going on in the chaos in the street. The rest were wandering clueless asking what was going on, what routes were open in/out of the city, etc.

    Also, many iPod users are feeling reality disconnect. Even with every CD in my collection, one of the best ways to hear new music is to scan through the radio (online or FM).

    Also, lots of information posts (universities, parks, etc.) broadcast in small areas over FM. The iPod sorely needs an AM/FM radio. They could even innovate here by doing Radio TiVo right. Boom, skip commercials during Howard, Rush, etc.

    Also, it’s clear they are overlooking a big creative market by not offering an integrated combo media reader for at least SD/MMC (at least on the high end units).

    For the life of me I can’t figure why they would not enable video viewing on this thing. Which gets to a bigger problem. If they weren’t such total control freaks and opened the development of software to other developers, I’m sure some 3rd party would have written video viewing software long ago.

  2. I know I’m in a minority (kind of), but as a photographer I really wish there was a better solution to get my digital photos to my iPod than the Belken dock thing. It is just dirt slow and for the most part useless for anything but lite jpeg use. I thought maybe with this iPod Photo Apple would include the option for better uploading of Photos on the move even if it would have been an accessory.

  3. i got radios all over, who needs 1 more?

    but wow this new ipod sure sucks for people who dont have a radio already ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”tongue laugh” style=”border:0;” />

    i like my pink mini better but the color album art thing is too cool ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

  4. Don’t worry “disappointing”, I’m sure Steve Jobs will come ask you your opinion next time they decide to update a product, because obviously you’re the expert on what everyone wants. </sarcasm>

    Get over yourself.

  5. Disappointing,

    Haven’t you heard of Podcasting? Sync to internet broadcasts from RSS feeds stored as MP3’s on your computer and listen to them on your iPod at your leisure.

    Join the new Century or buy a $10 FM tuner with ear buds that runs on an AAA battery from Sony.

  6. Can we have a 60GB iPod (normal 4G) for $499 please … not sure the extra $100 is worth it and at $599 that is a lot of money!!! add $150 (student price) and get an eMac!!!


  7. Does radio still exist? I don’t want a player that tries to do everything and succeeds at nothing.

    For the photographer – get a 1gb card(s) and if that isn’t enough then get an iBook. I take my PowerBook with me when I need to download photos on the go. Works great.

  8. not bad.. shows pc drones the slick aqua interface..

    will the screen fill with the album art?.. eh.. i guess that’s too much to ask, since you need the progress bar there

    it should be an option to have a faded progress bar over top of album art..

  9. I’m in Oz, $950 bucks, sheesh. It would be nice to just have a normal 60giger without the photo options. But who am I kidding. I’ll still get one.

    Anyone know how we can get quicktime to play on it so we can watch movies on telly?

  10. -To first poster-
    Yeah radios arn’t big these days. It’s only a matter of time before someone makes something like the iTrip, that dosn’t actually transmit but is a radio itself. It’s my idea but feel free to steal it and make it so i can buy it.

  11. disappointing

    Oct 26, 04 | 5:53 pm
    The U2 iPod�s color–in a word–blah.

    Oct 26, 04 | 4:19 pm
    The U2 iPod�s color–in a word–blah.

    What the fsck is wrong with you? Get a blog or say it once. Your stupidity is compounded by the fact that you didn’t post in the article about the U2 iPod.

  12. Apologies for the cuts:

    “No video play even when hooked up to a TV. […] For the life of me I can’t figure why they would not enable video viewing on this thing.”

    Four little words: sixty gigabyte hard disk.

    If you want to watch it on an external TV, you need at least 320 x 200 resolution (interlaced) to get VHS quality. So I downloaded a 320 x 240 movie which was 3 minutes long. It was 10 MB. Even with better compression and the fact that I was dealing with an extra 320 x 40 pixels, you’re still not going to get better than 30 minutes of video into 60GB. And that assumes you don’t want any music.

    Now, you could shrink the movie down pretty small if you wanted to watch it on your iPod. Mmm…220 x 176. Maybe the kids can handle that, but my old eyes would have a hard time eating lunch and watching a two-inch screen.

    “Some things are only available on radio. […] During the blackout in NYC, those that had portable FM radios were clued in to what was going on in the chaos in the street.”

    Yup. I agree 100%. The iPod is a lousy emergency device. It’s probably, as I mentioned above, a pretty crappy TV. They also don’t bounce very well, making them lousy tennis balls. And I really wouldn’t advise trying to use one as personal floatation device, either.

    It’s for listening to your music, not someone elses. If you want to listen to someone else’s music, buy a radio.

    “Also, many iPod users are feeling reality disconnect. […] one of the best ways to hear new music is to scan through the radio.”

    Actually, I’ve found various web sites and iTMS work pretty well in hearing new music. And I don’t have to put up with commercials, DJs, etc. I’d say that listening to the radio is one way of hearing new music, but it’s far from “the best.”

    As for the “reality disconnect”, I sort-of agree. One of those “advantages” of certain radio stations is you get a little bit of music, news, sports, traffic, etc. So, instead, I get my music from an iPod and my news, sports, and traffic when I want it from the web. I don’t even have to wait until the top of the hour. Works pretty well.

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