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by Clarence B. Smith, staff writer


The entry-level model, starting at $299, has been increased to 30GB, up from 20GB in the fourth generation, and holds up to 7,500 songs. The flagship model is the 60GB ($399); it is 2 mm larger, boasts a longer battery life (up to 20 hours, compared to 14 in the 30GB) and holds up to 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos, and 150 hours of video.

Both units are compatible with Mac and Windows operating systems and can sync contacts and calendar information from Microsoft Outlook.

The original iPod was released in 2001, and what set it apart from other MP3 players was its large capacity and its Click-Wheel, an ingenious device that controls the entire player through the thumb. This has made the iPod one of the easiest MP3 players to use on the go.

Apple has also released the iPod Nano, a flash memory-based player that is thinner than a pencil and available in 2GB and 4GB sizes. The company continues to manufacture the iPod Shuffle, an MP3 player designed to work like a USB flash drive.

Since 2001 Apple has sold more than 20 million iPods. iPod dominates digital music player sales in the United States, with more than 90 percent of the market for hard drive-based players and more than 70 percent of the market for all types of players.



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