METRO PLUS

Your iPod's now on a diet

NEW SOUNDS iPod has changed the way people listen to music

NEW SOUNDS iPod has changed the way people listen to music  





Over the years, the iconic music player iPod has grown slimmer in size but fatter in functionality

When Apple's iPod plunged into the portable media player market a few months back with its VidPod, music fans worldwide were thrilled to bits. As licensing and control agencies snored with anger against free availability of streaming video content, users were unperturbed and continued watching the weekly episodes of Desperate Housewives and Hope and got a large chunk of their favourite music videos on-the-move. But the iPod has had a steady growth to the top, across its different variants.

All-in-one

A gadget which was primarily targeted to play music soon morphed itself to an all-in-one device that plays legal music, displays photographs and shares Podcasts. The biscuit-sized player has considerably changed the way people listen to music. By allowing users to legally purchase music tracks from its sister website, iTunes, Apple has steered itself clear of going the Napster way. The first edition of the iPod was released in October 2001 and cost a whopping $400. Weighing 50 grams and running on a 1.8 inches Toshiba hard drive, it sold an impressive 125,000 units. In March 2002 came a beefed up 10 GB version that was further increased to 20 GB in July. A simultaneous price cut for the 5 and 10 GB versions saw an entire range of iPods flooding markets worldwide.The iPod became fatter in memory but slimmer in physical size as its memory touched the 30 GB mark in 2003, which meant you could carry 7,500 songs in your pocket. In addition to this, it could also flash slideshows of photographs on its colour screen. But the major jump came a few months back when the iPod went the video way. Armed with a 60 GB memory, it could store about 150 hours of video. A smaller 30 GB model was also released at $300. But it was at the fag end of 2005 that the iPod went on a dietary exercise and reappeared in a slimmer, smoother avatar. The pencil-thin pod, which is regarded as one of the ergonomic wonders of 2005, is most likely to be the thinnest music player you can find in the market today. Starting at $199, the iPod Nano comes in 2 GB and 4 GB versions.

Design marvel

Armed with a high-resolution colour screen, the Nano is a marvel in design. Apple has also beefed up battery life and has added an impeccable smoothness in its control keys. Compared to the earlier versions of iPod, this one has done away with the time delays and jerks between tracks and the start-up is amazingly fast. The sensitive click-wheel performs most of your favourite functions, and the cute white earphones sit snugly on your ears.The iPod Nano may not boast of a 30 GB memory space, but its sheer performance and ability to comfortably fit in your pocket or belt clip makes it an enviable gadget this year.A. VISHNU





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