Apple updates iPod software

The iPod software update adds support for new Belkin voice recording and photo storage accessories for dockable iPods, allowing users to record hundreds of hours of audio and store thousands ofdigital photos on their iPod. Available for both Mac® and Windows, the iPod software update also includes faster browsing and accessing of large music libraries, the ability to sync On-The-Goplaylists back to iTunes® and a new Music Quiz game which tests a player’s knowledge of their own iTunes music library.

“Apple’s latest iPods have been a huge hit, becoming the most successful digital music players ever. With these new added features there are even more great reasons to get one,” said Philip Schiller, Apple’s senior vice president of Worldwide Product Marketing. “We have worked together with Belkin to provide a simple and elegant solution to iPod users’ two most requested features, digital voice recording and photo storage.”

With the new voice recording features, iPod users can use a Belkin Voice Recorder to record and instantly review over 600 hours of lectures, interviews or notes on a 40GB iPod. Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the voice notes are automatically synced with the computer just like songs and playlists are synced in the iTunes library. These audio recordings are stored in WAV file format and can be easily edited or even sent to others via email. The Belkin Voice Recorder for iPod is the first third-party voice recording accessory to take advantage of these new capabilities in iPod. Belkin’s ultra-compact Voice Recorder for iPod is equipped with a high-quality, omnidirectional microphone and 16mm speaker, works with all dockable iPods through the headphone connector and indicates recording status through iPod’s LCD screen.

iPod’s new photo storage feature allows users to use a Belkin Media Reader to import, store and backup over 20,000 digital photos from a 3 megapixel camera onto a 40GB iPod and take them anywhere. This frees up valuable camera and memory card storage space so users can continue to take pictures without the hassle and expense of buying and carrying multiple memory cards. Once the iPod is connected to a Mac or Windows PC, the digital photos are easily transferred to a user’s computer and photo editing software. With Mac OS® X, iPhotoâ„¢ will automatically recognize the iPod as a media storage device and prompt users to transfer their photos into the iPhoto library—just as if it were a camera, allowing users to erase the photos after transfer if desired. The ideal tool for professional photographers and people on vacation, Belkin’s new Media Reader for iPod is the first third party iPod photo storage accessory. The Belkin Media Reader for iPod connects easily though iPod’s dock connector and supports the five most common memory card formats—CompactFlash, SmartMedia, Memory Stick, SD and MMC.

Pricing & Availability
The new iPod software update, Version 2.1, is available today as a free download from www.apple.com/ipod. iPods for Mac and Windows PCs are available for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) for the 10GB iPod, $399 (US) for the 20GB iPod and $499 (US) for the 40GB iPod through the Apple Store® (http://www.apple.com/), Apple’s retail stores and Apple Authorized Resellers. iPod requires a Mac with FireWire® port, Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later (Mac OS X v10.2 or later recommended) or a Windows PC with FireWire or USB 2.0 port, or Windows-certified FireWire or USB 2.0 card, Windows 2000, or Windows XP Home or Professional.

The new Belkin iPod accessories are also available starting today at http://www.belkin.com/ and http://www.apple.com/ for a suggested retail price of $49.99 (US) for the Belkin Voice Recorder and $99.99 (US) for the Belkin Media Reader.

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