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At an all singing all dancing event in San Francisco Apple has rolled out a new family of iPod products in an effort to out perform the likes of Sony and Samsung who are finally tuning into the portable music market with alternate products to the iPod.Apple co-founder, CEO and man-who-can-do-no-wrong-for-the-moment Steve Jobs has introduced new versions of every product in the company’s iPod music and video line, including a new iPhone-like touchscreen music and video player that has a full Internet browser and the capacity to download music.

At 8 millimeters thick, the touchscreen iPod is thinner than the iPhone but has a similar set of controls that allow consumers to use the heat of their fingers to flip through songs or albums to choose what to play. It comes with built-in Wi-Fi wireless capability that could be used to download music.

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The iPod touchscreen also adds a Safari Web browser connection that allows users to connect to the Internet. Google and Yahoo search services, plus YouTube videos, are built in to the Web browser. The new iPod touch is scheduled to be available later this month and comes with an RRP of $419 for the 8GB iPod touch model and $549 for the 16GB iPod model.

 

“We think it’s one of the seven wonders of the world,” Jobs enthused at a news conference on Wednesday in San Francisco. “If you have used an iPhone you will feel very much at home.”

The Apple leader also said his company will help users make do-it-yourself ringtones of songs. Consumers can choose any 30-second segment of a song and save it as a personal ringtone for 99 cents a piece, Jobs said. Apple will turn on the feature next week, he said.

Jobs introduced new Zippo lighter-sized versions of the existing iPod Nano with a 2.0 inch video screen. Jobs called it a true pocket-sized Nano.

The 4-gigabyte and 8-gigabyte iPod Nanos with two-inch video screens will cost $199 and $279, respectively. The new Nanos offer 24 hours of audio play and five hours of video time, he said. These are truly pocket-sized devices.

 

 

He also introduced heftier versions of the company’s hard-disk-based iPods, which will now be known as the company’s “Classic” iPod line. The two versions have 80-gigabyte and 160-gigabyte storage capacities.

During his appearance, Jobs made light of NBC Universal’s decision to stop selling TV shows through Apple iTunes and switch to Amazon.com’s rival media delivery service.

With John Lennon’s anthem “Give Peace a Chance” blaring in the background, Jobs quipped: “That’s for when NBC calls.”

Both iPod classic models are available immediately in silver and black. The 80GB iPod classic model will cost $349, while the 160GB iPod classic will be available for $479.

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