October 29, 2004 3:30 PM PDT
This week in iPod news
Apple's chief executive, Steve Jobs, had a few notable friends to help with the introduction--members of rock band U2.
The company added color to the latest iPods, as well as the capability to display digital photos on the gadget's screen or via a TV set.
Where does U2 fit into all of this? Apple unveiled a special-edition U2-themed iPod. The black device features a red navigation dial and comes with a $50 coupon that can be used toward buying "The Complete U2" music collection from Apple's online music store, iTunes. The special-edition iPod features 20GB and will sell for $349.
The iPod Photo has begun shipping to stores and will be available soon, while the U2 iPod is due in mid-November.
Meanwhile, Gateway joined the band of computer makers selling hard-drive-based digital audio players, but its riff adds miniaturization and a color screen for displaying photos. The $249.99 Gateway MP3 Photo Jukebox player has a 4GB capacity, a 1.6-inch display and a rechargeable (and replaceable) battery.
And Sony has released the first of its digital audio players to support the popular MP3 format, marking a significant shift in its music strategy. As expected, the company announced the release in Europe of two flash memory-based devices, the Walkman NW-E99 and NW-E95, which can natively play songs in MP3 and Sony's own Atrac file format.
Also on the media front, RealNetworks and Apple both issued security fixes for their Windows-based media players. RealNetworks issued a patch for its RealPlayer 10, RealPlayer 10.5 and RealOne Player software. The vulnerability could allow an attacker to run code on the victim's computer by presenting it as a graphics theme, or skin, for the player. Apple, meanwhile, released QuickTime 6.5.2 to plug two holes in its Windows-based Media Player.