Apple has revamped its iPod line and added support for Podcasting to iTunes.
The new iPods replace the old black and white models, and unify the product line with the iPod Photo colour screen models. All new full-size iPods will now be colour, and have the ability to display photos, album artwork etc.
The new models are 20GB and 60GB, and come in at $299/£209 and $399/£299 respectively (UK prices inclusive of VAT), including earphones, an AC Adapter and a USB 2 cable - interestingly, it seems that Firewire has now been totally dropped as the method of choice for iPod transfer.
iTunes, now at version 4.9, has the ability to head to the Music Store and subscribe to a number of free Podcasts
. For those not in the know, Podcasts are basically radio shows that are recorded then made available for download - so that you can listen to them whenever you want, rather than whenever the DJ happens to be on the radio. At the moment, all the Podcasts at the Apple Store are free, although Apple has plans afoot to begin to charge for some premium content.
Anyone can submit their Podcast to be made available in iTunes - but Apple will only link it, not host it, which will undoubtedly lead to bandwidth problems for 'casts with a sudden rush of popularity.
Steve Jobs has called Podcasting the future of radio, and whilst this 'listen to what show you want, when you want' mentality is definitely a good thing, we're not sure that Podcasting is ready for the big time yet. Statements like that will certainly annoy XM Radio
, the Satellite radio station, who are allegedly working with Apple to get iPods supporting the technology in a future revision.
You can grab the new iTunes, for Mac and Windows, from the Apple iTunes
Thoughts on the new iPods? Think Podcasting is overhyped? Let us know your thoughts, and your favourite Podcasts, in the forum