Next Generation iPods Offer Increased Handheld Features

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Apple iPod Apple today introduced its third generation iPods, which hold up to 7,500 songs. But they don’t stop there. They also hold the user’s personal information. These models continue to blur the line between a music player and a handheld.

Apple offered some of the first handhelds ever with its Newton line. However, these had limited success and Apple stopped making them years ago. Since then, rumors crop up occasionally that Apple is going to get back into the handheld game. It is beginning to look like this might happen, but not the way most people expected.

Rather than making handhelds with audio playback capabilities, as many companies do now, Apple is choosing to offer music players with some handheld capabilities. The company released software for its previous generation iPods that allows them to store contacts, calendar, and to-do lists. In addition, the new version announced today comes with a text reader, allowing the user to transfer notes from a desktop computer to the iPod. It also includes three games: Solitaire, Brick and Parachute.

However, the iPod remains a device only for displaying already entered information. There is no way to enter text. It doesn’t include a touch screen or a keyboard.

The new iPods are available in three models: a 10 GB version for $300, a 15 GB one for $400, and a 30 GB one for $500. The 15 GB and 30 GB models come with a dock for connecting to a Mac or Windows PC. These will be available on May 2.

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