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Video iPod, At Long Last

Apple Computer last week unveiled its long-anticipated video iPod, designed to dominate the online video-download market. The only problem is that the market doesn't really exist--yet. But Apple expects big things.

The new iPod features a 2.5-inch color screen. It's thinner and has more storage than the previous iPod version, but the price is unchanged--$299 for the 30-Gbyte model and $399 for the 60-Gbyte one, which Apple estimates will hold 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos, or more than 150 hours of video.

Apple partnered with Disney to offer downloads of ABC shows such as Desperate Housewives and Lost. In addition to some 2,000 music videos, iTunes users can buy Pixar short films. And though there aren't many video blogs now, that's likely to change if video iPods become popular.

Audio podcasting took off thanks to both iPod and iTunes, and video podcasting should follow a similar trajectory. Expect to see a lot more of it, from the usual suspects and emerging talent.

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