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Wednesday, 24 October, 2001, 14:32 GMT 15:32 UK
Apple unveils digital music device
iPod
iPod: Apple hopes size and design will triumph
Apple Computer has unveiled iPod - a portable digital music device that can hold 1,000 songs.

It is the company's first foray outside its core business for eight years and is about the size of a deck of cards.


To have your whole music library with you at all times, it's a quantum leap in listening to music

Steve Jobs, Apple

It will take only 5 to 10 seconds to download a CD of music via a link called FireWire to the iPod.

"We think this is a major, major breakthrough," said Apple chief executive Steve Jobs.

"To have your whole music library with you at all times, it's a quantum leap in listening to music."

Portable CD-sized MP3 players are already on the market and at a lower cost than the Apple model.

But Apple hopes that the small size, sleek design and speed will appeal to consumers.

Steve Jobs of Apple
Steve Jobs: "Quantum leap in listening"
The MP3 player will only work on Macs running Apple's own operating systems and iTunes 2, its music software.

MP3 stands for Mpeg-1 layer 3, a digital compression format from the Moving Picture Expert Group.

It shrinks bulky music files down to about a twelfth of their original size by only recording the sounds you can hear.

Industry analysts have welcomed the potential of the device.

"This definitely raises the bar in portable music devices in terms of industrial design and capacity," said Susan Kevorkian of the International Data Corp.

Piracy

Apple hopes that the device will sell well among the 7 million users who already have this equipment.

"People aren't willing to buy a new personal computer but they are willing to buy things to accessorise it," said Rob Enderle, an analyst with the Giga Information Group.

iPod only works one way - from a single computer to the iPod - in order to discourage digital music piracy.

It is being unveiled two days before Microsoft releases its digital media operating system upgrade, Windows XP.

See also:

06 Jun 00 | Entertainment
MP3: A novice's guide
12 Jul 00 | Americas
MP3 sites accused of music 'hijack'
30 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Doing the rights thing
09 May 00 | Entertainment
The music industry's MP3 headache
07 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Swapping without suing
28 Jun 00 | Sci/Tech
Big digital disk debuts
02 Aug 00 | Sci/Tech
MP3 players move into the big league
02 Apr 01 | New Media
MP3 player sales to soar
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