Apple outdoes its secretive self by announcing the arrival of the new video-capable iPod at a no-live-coverage, cellphone-blocking, WiFi-disabling event at the California Theater in San Jose. Let's get the subtleties right: Steve Jobs didn't give it a proper name like he did the iPod photo, mini and nano. It's not the "iPod video" or "video iPod" or some such. It's back to the good old iPod, just so no one forgets that this is a music player first and foremost.
The new video-capable iPod: leaner but meaner
The fifth-generation iPod comes with a bigger 2.5-inch display -- a 25 percent improvement from the prior top-end iPod photo -- in a thinner, lighter body. Resolution isn't bad at 320x240 pixels -- it's the same as most video-focused portables out there. Here is what the new iPod will most likely be compared with: the iriver PMC-120, whose only advantage is a bigger 3.5-inch screen.
By extension, Jobs also unveiled iTunes 6.0 which now allows users to download music videos and TV shows from the iTunes Music Store at $1.99 each. Those with QuickTime 7 Pro can also sync their home movies with iTunes, which will then sync them with the iPod. The letdown? Apple didn't jack up the capacity: the maximum is still 60GB. As it is, my 60GB iPod photo can't hold of all my songs anymore, let alone my pictures. So as much as I covet this thing, I'm gonna hold off until Apple brings it to 80GB or more. Something tells me I won't be waiting long.
Eminem is due to release a Greatest Hits album on December 6th, called Curtain Call, sparking rumors of retirement. The album will include two new tracks that he will start recording with Dr. Dre some time this week, barely two months after getting out of voluntary rehab.