Apple IPod Photo
At a Glance
[Editor's note: Since this review was first published, Apple has released a 30GB model of the IPod Photo, which is identical to the model reviewed here except for its capacity and price ($349). You'll find the 30GB model ranked in our latest Top 10 Audio Players chart.]
Carrying a wallet full of pictures around with you is so last year. Apple's IPod Photo makes looking at your most beloved pictures while on the go as easy as listening to your favorite tunes. But it isn't cheap.
The IPod Photo comes in two sizes. I tested a shipping 40GB version, which costs $499--$100 more than the plain-vanilla 40GB IPod. A 60GB version of the IPod Photo comes priced at $599.
This IPod variant is the first in Apple's line of digital audio players to feature a color screen. The 2-inch, 65,000-color display is beautiful and crisp, though a bit small for viewing photos. It can also display tiny versions of album art while music plays.
You load photos in the same way that you would load music, via ITunes 4.7 software. Scrolling through thumbnails--even hundreds of them--is lightning fast. You can choose to look at a single photo, scroll through photos manually, or start a slide show. The Slideshow Settings menu lets you specify, among other things, how long each slide displays, as well as a playlist to aurally accompany the slide show. An included cable gives you the option of plugging the unit into a TV's RCA jacks for big-screen viewing.
In spite of the Ipod Photo's color screen, Apple managed to improve the unit's battery life. I squeezed nearly 14 hours of listening and viewing pleasure out of one charge (that's up from about 12 hours of run time on current fourth-generation monochrome IPods).
The price may be steep, but the IPod Photo won me over with its gorgeous color screen and high-quality audio. Now instead of suffering through 40 minutes on the treadmill while staring at the calorie counter, I can pass the time looking at my favorite pictures.
The Apple IPod Photo is an elegant but pricey way to tote around your favorite photos as well as your music.