U2 iPod, Photo iPod and Additional iTMS Localizations Released

Apple released today an all-black U2 edition iPod digital music player in conjunction with the release of the new album by U2. The new iPod is a 20 GB 4th generation with a RED 'click-wheel' iPod with the band's signatures laser-etched onto the mirror-finished back of the device, and comes with a $50 US coupon for "The Complete U2" album. The iPod is available for pre-order from the Apple Store.

Apple also released today a color-screened (220x176, 65,000 color) iPod Photo for holding up to 15,000 songs and up to 25,000 photos. The new iPod Photo is available within 1 to 2 weeks, for either $499 for a 40 GB model or $599 for a 60 GB model. Both offer up to a 15 hour battery life, offering a 1.5x increase over previous models, and TV out, for sharing photos on a television screen.

Additionally, the iTunes Music Store opened its doors to a large number of new customers and now covers the US, Germany, France, the UK, Austria, Belgium, Finland, Greece, Italy, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Portugal, and Spain, with the EU stores offering songs at .99 Euros each. These countries represent the entire collection of EU countries that are adopting the new Euro currency, with the notable exception of Ireland. Localized versions of iTunes software are available for download free from apple.com. A credit card account in your specific locale is required to create a user account.

Notably absent from the list of newly-included countries are Japan and Australia, which were widely expected to be included in this new wave of localized stores.

Updates: Apple also announced that it will launch the iTunes Music Store in Canada in November.

iTunes 4.7 is now available for download for Mac OS X, Windows 2000, and Windows XP.

QuickTime 6.5.2 is now available for download. Messages in iTunes report that QuickTime 6.5.2 is required to use music purchased from ITMS in other applications such as iPhoto or iMovie.

iPod Socks will be coming direct from Apple within a month or so - not yet available from the Apple Store. These mark Apple's first foray into the iPod Accessory market, and are offered in various colors. According to Steve, they're to "keep your ipod warm" when it's cold out.

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