Thurrott: ‘iPod Photo and iPod U2 Special Edition are underwhelming’

“In a bid to fend off advances from the Microsoft camp, Apple on Tuesday introduced two new iPod portable audio devices, one of which can display digital photos on its tiny color screen. The other new iPod, dubbed the iPod U2 Special Edition, provides lucky buyers with a black body and red scroll wheel, all for just an additional $50 when compared to an otherwise identical white iPod,” Paul Thurrott writes for WinInfo.

“Yeah, these releases aren’t that inspiring. The reality of the long-expected iPod Photo was far less impressive than the mock-ups fan sites had created in the days leading up to the launch, featuring the standard but tiny 2-inch screen that adorns other iPods. By comparison, the Creative Zen Portable Media Center, which also displays photos and music, but adds support for videos and recorded TV shows, features a much larger 3.8-inch screen and better resolution (320 x 240 vs.


  1. This is too easy.. the iPod Photo is slick, and Jobs outlined the reasons why video won’t work (copyright, crappy res, too big, too heavy, and the nature of movies themselves, not worth buying) and the U2 iPod, which is pretty cool is actually 299 when you consider it comes with a $50 rebate for the entire u2 collection digital box set…

    .. once again, Thurrott is lying..

  2. I am so tired of the fake analysts, these people who write highly opinionated, monotone, superficial pretend analyses that are only published to provoke emotional reaction and gain readership and hits from those who are curious to see what outrageous claims they make next.

    Can’t we just ignore them? They’re not real, they’re just a marketing thing.

  3. I was wondering how long it would be before Thurrott came out of his dark hole and spouted his usual crap!

    As usual – not a positive word for APPLE or anything associated with ANY APPLE product – I guess the pay cheques from Microsoft Corp are still being sent regulary eh Thurrott and that the blood money is keeping you well supplied in cocaine?

  4. what part of “mobility” does thurrott not understand?

    people take iPods with them EVERYWHERE! and use them EVERYWHERE. mobility is critical functionality that Apple understand and the rest are still scratching their heads.

    geez, what a blow-hard.

  5. The Yankees crack was totally uncalled for. If Thurrott heard what Jobbs said in the release he would of never written the article. Apple knows what it’s doing and hence is having success. The Yankees are still the best franchise in sports. 26 titles speaks for itself. Don’t hate…

  6. Question-
    Isn’t it misleading to say the Zen has better resolution when you divide the pixels into the screen size?
    Zen 320 x 240 = 76800 / 14.4in= 5318px per sqin
    iPod 220 x 176 = 38720 / 4in= 9680 px per sqin

    (Yes I know the screen size is measured diagonally. This is just a quick post)

    Can anyone confirm this?

  7. I had a less-than-stellar impression of both new iPod when I first saw them, but after watching the keynote, my feelings quickly shifted the other way. SJ is totally right about where they are going with the iPod at this time. Video is not where it’s at, and photos. The same day (yesterday), an article came out entitled “Mobile Photo Phone a Must-Have” clearly solidifying the demand for cell phones that can take photos.

    And just stop and take a look at the interface of the iPod Photo…. simply stunning. The attention to detail is extremely impressive.

    Once again, when Apple sets out to do something, they aim to do it right.

  8. The iPod Photo is cute, but it doesn’t call out to me. If I didn’t have an iPod, I would purchase the iPod photo, just because it’s 60GB. Over time, the ability to store photos on the iPod might grow on me, though I can’t think of a use for it right now. I don’t see myself handing my iPod to anyone and saying, “Gee, look at this picture of my cat!”

    If I was 16, maybe it would be fun to show pictures of friends to each other or some new girl I met, but if I was 16, I couldn’t come up with $500 or $600 smakers.

    If I was a parent, unless money meant absolutely nothing, I wouldn’t give a kid something that small, that easy to lose that cost that much money. Then again, after all the whining, I’d probably give in.

    A new Canon 580EX flash unit is only $479. I need that more than pictures on my iPod.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, Thurrott is right on this one for the wrong reasons.

    Apple is building great stuff these days, then they come along and build more great stuff. The problem is the last stuff we all bought is still really great and it would take more than “great” to get us to buy more. Hence, existing repeat customers are underwhelmed.

  9. On the one hand, I agree with him. These are quite underwhelming. And largely because the iPod doesn’t allow a big enough screen to look at the photos.

    It’s a bit of a gimmick, but I daresay some will find it useful.

    What I don’t agree with is that a bloody 3.8″ screen is actually any better. It’s not. It’s still a tiny screen. If it was 6×4, then it would be a lot more useable as a device for showing photo albums.

    But the idea is that you carry photos on it and display them on a TV.

    Having little icon sized album art is quite cool though. And 60GB is now big enough for all my whole library. Which is tempting. But I’ll stick to my 5GB until it dies I think. Still going strong after 3 years.

  10. Underwhelming depends on what you were expecting. It’s not really a new product launch, it’s an upgrading existing products announcement, plus a marketing initiative. Both good and well timed.

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