Apple iPod 30GB review

Can the iPod conquer new territory?

Our Verdict

Small screen size and too many hidden costs make it hard to recommend

What can you say about the iPod that hasn't already been said?

Its signature white headphones can be seen dangling from the ears of every other person that you pass on the street - it's quite simply become one of the cultural icons of the last five years

And now, in the words of Apple supremo Steve Jobs, 'it does video'. Sadly, it doesn't really do it quite as well as it does music. It's not that the video playback quality is bad - the vibrant colours and detail levels are actually very impressive - it's just that ultimately the iPod is still very much a music player at heart.

The tiny little 2.5in screen will have you squinting at movies and music videos, especially those in widescreen - as it uses a 4:3 ratio, 16:9 widescreen stuff has to be letterboxed to fit, making it a guaranteed strain for even the those with 20:20 vision.

Little to get excited about

The selection of videos currently on offer at the UK iTunes store is also rather uninspiring, consisting solely of music promos (are you seriously suggesting, Mr Jobs, that we should pay £1.89 a pop for the pleasure of watching what are essentially adverts now?) and short animated films.

US owners can download 45-minute-long episodes of Lost and Desperate Housewives for $1.99 - it's not really fair, is it? - but the hope is that a similar service will appear here in the UK in the not-too-distant future. If you want to encode your own videos, meanwhile, you'll need to buy QuickTime Pro for £19.99.

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