Apple Computer today unveiled the two latest updates to its iPod franchise: the iPod Photo, a larger-capacity portable player that holds album art and other digital images as well as music, and the li
Apple Computer today unveiled the two latest updates to its iPod franchise: the iPod Photo, a larger-capacity portable player that holds album art and other digital images as well as music, and the limited-edition black "U2 iPod."
In addition, as expected, the company has launched its European Union iTunes Music Store, rolling out the service in Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Portugal and Spain. Meanwhile, the computer giant announced that it will launch iTunes in Canada next month.
The iPod Photo uses a high-resolution color screen and can hold tens of thousands of digital photos if no music is on the device. It comes in 40GB ($499) or 60GB ($599) models, which hold up to 10,000 or 15,000 songs (minus pictures). The 60GB model can hold up to 25,000 photos; no picture count was available for the 40GB version. The new iPods also claim 15 hours of music playback or up to five hours of slideshows.
"Unlike video content, photo content is free and abundant, and there are no copyright issues to deal with," Apple CEO Steve Jobs says in a statement.
The new U2 iPod, first reported here last week, is a 20GB device that is black rather than the standard white. It holds up to 5,000 songs and costs $349 -- a premium over the 20GB white iPod, which costs $299. In exchange, the device features custom engraving of U2 band members' signatures.
U2 iPod customers will receive a coupon for $50 off the purchase of "The Complete U2" -- a "digital boxed set" of the band's catalog and rare tracks to be made available exclusively through iTunes for $149. Both the boxed set and the U2 iPod are expected to be available in mid-November.
The deal builds on an existing relationship between Apple and U2. The band is featured in a new Apple television commercial, and its latest single, "Vertigo," is being offered exclusively through iTunes.
U2's Interscope album "How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb" streets Nov. 23.
The EU version of the iTunes Music Store -- which expands on country-specific launches of the service in the United Kingdom, France and Germany -- features more than 700,000 songs from all four major labels and more than 100 independent labels.
The service claims exclusive tracks from Anastacia, Marc Anthony, Andrea Bocelli, Black Eyed Peas, Destiny's Child, Duran Duran, Keane, Bob Marley, George Michael, Gianni Morandi, Nas, La Oreja De Van Gogh, Laura Pausini, the Prodigy, Gwen Stefani, Travis and Zucchero.
The EU music store accepts payment in the Euro currency. Tracks cost €0.99 ($1.26) each.