Apple shrinks iPod line, adds to iTunes

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Apple has merged its iPod and iPod photo lines and outlined plans to build further podcasting functionality into iTunes.

Apple has merged its iPod and iPod photo lines and outlined plans to build further podcasting functionality into iTunes.

A statement released by Apple said the vendor would merge its iPod and iPod photo lines to create a single line of white iPods with colour displays that let users view album artwork, photos and slideshows. 

Apple did not say whether the move was based on sales results for the two independent lines.

The simplified iPod lineup would have a 20GB model for some 5000 songs and a 60GB model for up to 15,000 songs.

Apple said it was also building podcasting functionality into iPods, starting with a podcast menu with bookmarking and artwork display features.

Greg Joswiak, vice president of iPod product marketing at the US vendor, said iPod customers liked "to enhance their listening experience" with colour.

"[Apple is] simplifying our iPod lineup," Joswiak said.
 
Meanwhile, a new version of iTunes -- 4.9 -- was aimed at helping users more easily find and subscribe to podcasts. New episodes could be automatically downloaded to a user's Mac or PC and "auto-synched" to an iPod, Apple said.

"Apple is taking Podcasting mainstream by building it right into iTunes," claimed Steve Jobs, Apple's chief executive officer.

"Podcasting is the next generation of radio, and users can now subscribe to over 3000 free podcasts and have each new episode automatically delivered over the Internet to their computer and iPod," Jobs said.

A podcast directory in iTunes 4.9 had some 3000 free audio programs, Apple said.

Examples included the BBC, Newsweek and local US shows, Apple said.

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