Apple iPod Photo (4th Generation)

Apple iPod Photo
Released on October 28, 2004, iPod photo (originally named iPod Photo — with a capital P for “Photo” — but renamed less than a month after its launch) featured a 220 x 176-pixel (maximum pixel count of 38,720), 16-bit color screen capable of displaying 65,536 colors, and the ability to store and display JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG images. One millimeter thicker than the standard monochrome fourth-generation iPod, iPod photo could also play music for up to 15 hours per battery charge. It originally came in 40 GB and 60 GB versions, which cost $499 and $599, respectively.

On February 23, 2005, Apple discontinued the 40 GB model; which included a FireWire & USB cable and a dock, introduced a lower-priced 30 GB model; which included only a USB cable and no dock, and dropped the price of the 60 GB model. However, unlike the first iPod photos, the lower-priced 60 GB and the new 30 GB models lacked the dock, FireWire cable, carrying case, or AV cables (accessories valued at approximately $120).

On June 28, 2005, Apple Computer merged the iPod and iPod photo lines, removing all monochrome models from the main iPod line, giving the 20 GB iPod all of the capabilities of the former iPod photo line for $299, the same price as the previous monochrome version. The price of the 60 GB iPod photo, now known as iPod 60 GB, dropped from $449 to $399, and Apple discontinued the $349 30 GB iPod photo model. Apple Computer — as well as prominent fan sites (such as iLounge) — continued to refer to this lineup as fourth-generation iPods. Along with the new lineup, Apple also updated iTunes to version 4.9, which added podcasting capabilities to iTunes and to iPod.

To manage the photo library on iPod, Mac users use Apple’s iPhoto software, while Windows users can use Adobe Photoshop Album or Elements, or use a limited set of features within the free iTunes for Windows software. New Mac computers are bundled with iPhoto, while Windows users must either use the limited features within iTunes for Windows or purchase either of the Adobe products (a limited version of Adobe Album is available for download for free).

The new fourth-generation line of iPods/Color iPods came bundled with a USB cable and an AC adapter. Popular optional accessories included the dock, a FireWire cable (which owners could use in lieu of USB), an iPod AV cable (to view photo albums on a TV set), and an iPod Camera Connector (to transfer and view images directly from a digital camera to an iPod).

The dimensions are 103.5 x 61.8 x 16.1 mm for the 30GB version, and 103.5 x 61.8 x 19.1 mm for the 40GB and 60GB versions.

These iPods have a glitch that causes them to pause on their own, despite the hold switch being activated. A headphone contact switch, in coordination with iPod’s auto-pause feature, is supposed to pause the music playback if the headphones are disconnected, but incorrectly detects that the headphones have been removed. This erroneous detection occurs with some third-party headphones (such as Sennheiser models), but users have also reported experiencing the problem with the supplied Apple earbuds. The likely cause for this malfunction is that a small metal disk on the base of the earphone plugs makes electrical contact with the metallic back of iPod, tripping the detection mechanism. To fix this problem, a small piece of cellophane wrap with a hole in it or a thin, non-conductive washer may be placed between the headphone jack and the plug.