Apple Computer announced an update to its line of iPod devices that merges the mainstream iPod with the iPod photo family. All iPods now come with full-color screens that can display album artwork, photos, and photo slide shows. The company now offers only a 20GB model ($299) and a 60GB model ($399), along with its current line of iPod mini (black-and-white displays) and iPod shuffle (no display) devices. The move simplifies Apple's iPod lineup and helps brings down the cost of the device's excellent color screens. The company also updated its 20GB iPod U2 Special Edition device to include a color screen and lowered its price to $329. In addition, the 1GB iPod shuffle's price was decreased to $129, and Apple released a new version of its audio-management software, iTunes. The new release, iTunes 4.9, adds support for the popular Podcast trend that's spreading across the Internet. Podcasts are free radio-like audio recordings that traditional content providers such as ABC News and ESPN and amateurs and other individuals offer for download. The new version of iTunes adds a directory of Web Podcasts and gives users an easy way to download them. Apple hopes the addition of Podcast support will bring Podcasts into the mainstream.
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