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New Apple iPOD Features Video



Apple Computer Inc. unveiled Wednesday an iPod capable of playing videos, evolving the portable music player of choice into a multimedia platform for everything from TV shows to music videos.

Videos will now be sold online alongside songs on Apple's iTunes Music Store. Citing a groundbreaking deal with ABC Television Group, Apple chief executive Steve Jobs said the online iTunes store will sell episodes of hit shows "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 each, making them available the day after they air on television for viewing on the new iPod's 2.5-inch color screen.

Analysts consider Apple's much-anticipated introduction of a video iPod a test of whether consumers would embrace video on such a small screen. Over-the-air TV services are already available for cell phones but the quality remains substandard.

"It's never been done before, where you could buy hit TV shows and buy them online the day after they're shown," said Jobs whose other company, Pixar Animation Studios Inc., has a long relationship with ABC's parent, The Walt Disney Co.

Competing portable video players have been available for several years but very little compelling content has been available, and Apple's move comes amid fledgling initiatives to offer original video programming on the Internet.

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