The word for today is “slash.” And that’s just what Apple did to the prices of the iPod mini and the iPod Photo. But it’s not just a price cut. Yes, the 4GB iPod mini, for example, is now priced at $199, which is the level some suggested it should have been in the first place. But there’s a new 6GB version that retails for $249. The iPod photo is updated with the 30GB model at $349 and a new 60GB version at $449. Your regular, garden variety iPod, with a 20GB drive, is $299. The U2 edition? It’s still available, but you better hurry, as it may not be long for this world. In any case, Apple has also answered complaints that iPod battery life isn’t sufficient. It’s up to 18 hours on the new versions iPod mini and 15 hours on the iPod Photo (five hours for slide shows accompanied by music). In late March, you’ll also be able to buy an iPod Camera Connector, which will allow you to download photos to your iPod Photo direct from your digital camera. Any downsides? Glad you asked. The new iPods come with a USB 2.0 cable. This is largely a reflection of the fact that most Windows PCs don’t have FireWire. Yes, the FireWire port is still there, but you’ll have to shell out an extra $19 if you want a cable to go with it. The iPod Dock is also optional across the line, clearly a concession to the need to get the price points as low as possible. The updated iPods are supposedly available immediately, according to Apple, but you know how much that means these days.
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