Apple has announced a video version of its hugely popular iPod digital player, as well as a new series of iMacs.
Hoping that it can steal the fledgling digital video market as it has the digital music market, Apple announced a deal with US television company ABC at the same time as the video iPod.
The five popular ABC shows will be made available for download on Apple's iTunes service the day after they are broadcast. The two that will be known to UK residents are Desperate Housewives and Lost. They will cost $1.99 each.
"I think this is the start of something big. Sometimes the first step is the hardest one to take," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said at the launch.
The new iPod comes in 30GB and 60GB versions and has a 2.5in TFT display for watching TV shows, music videos or short films. They cost $299 and $399 respectively.
Broadband Internet connections are essential, Jobs said. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes to download an episode over a broadband connection. Over 2,000 music videos will also be available for download on the new iTunes along with six short films produced by Pixar. The video content is only available in the US at the moment.
As for the new range of iMacs. The all-in-one desktop computers will come with a built-in video camera and faster G5 processors. The new systems also feature a remote control that activates media-organising software present in every new iMac.
That software, Front Row, is Apple's answer to Microsoft's Windows XP Media Center Edition. Like Media Center, it allows users to organise their music, photos, and videos from a central location and is designed to be used from across a room, rather than directly in front of the screen.
The new iMac costs $1,299, the same as its thicker predecessor. It comes with a 1.9GHz PowerPC G5 processor, 17in display, 512MB DDR2 SDRAM, Apple's SuperDrive for burning DVDs and CDs, a 160GB hard drive, and a Radeon X600 Pro graphics card.
A more powerful version costs $1,699 with a 2.1GHz PowerPC G5 processor, a 20in display, 512MB of DDR2 SDRAM, a SuperDrive, a 250GB hard drive, and ATI's Radeon X60 XT graphics card.
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