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Media (Apple) Media Handhelds Music Hardware

iPod Generation 4 Released 619

I_am_Rambi writes "According to MSNBC "The considerably tweaked fourth-generation iPod will roll out this week, and Newsweek got an advance peek. It looks a bit different, operates more efficiently, has a few more features and costs less. Here are the highlights...." Improved battery life, upto 12 hours, a click wheel, more efficient menus, multiple on the go play list, and probably one of the best changes is a lower price. $399 (down from $499) for a 40 gig, $299 (down from $399) for a 20 gig, and there are no 15 gig versions." And you can read Apple's iPod site for the full details.
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iPod Generation 4 Released

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  • 20gb = no dock! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:22AM (#9737190)
    Notice that price cut with 20gb version was made by leaving dock out of the package.
    • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:3, Informative)

      by JHromadka ( 88188 )
      Honestly, since Airport Express came out, I don't need the dock anymore. When I'm at home, I just stream from my Mac to my stereo using APX instead of having my iPod next to the TV.
    • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:5, Informative)

      by Mattb90 ( 666532 ) * <> on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:35AM (#9737276) Homepage Journal
      The carry case was also removed from both models to reduce the cost. Adding both back in to the 20GB model brings the price to £276.99 on the UK store (down from £299.99) and $377 on the US store (down from $399). A reduction, but not as significant as Apple make out.
    • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:5, Informative)

      by joeykiller ( 119489 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:39AM (#9737285) Journal
      Ever since the day Apple started selling iPod models with several hard disk sizes, the low end model have always been sold without the dock. So this isn't new, but it may be confusing that the old "middle" model (20gb) now is the low end model.

    • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:4, Informative)

      by thaddjuice ( 235568 ) * on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:52AM (#9737341) Journal
      Notice that price cut with 20gb version was made by leaving dock out of the package.

      The base model ($299) has _never_ had the dock, carry case, or remote. Now it's just that the base model is the 20GB.
      • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:3, Informative)

        by EulerX07 ( 314098 )
        Allright then, they didn't remove anything, they just bumped up the base model to 20 gigs. But why does the article say it's 299$ down from 399$ then? You have to pick one :

        1) Price has been reduced from 399$ to 299$.
        2) They did not remove the dock or carry case.

        One or the others, you can't have it both ways.
        • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:5, Insightful)

          by MachineShedFred ( 621896 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:54AM (#9737887) Journal
          This isn't as complex as you are trying to make it.

          here's how this works:

          1. The low end iPod doesn't have a dock or carrying case. It never has.

          2. The 15GB model has been eliminated, and the 20GB is now the low end.

          3. The 20GB iPod cost you $399 yesterday, and now it costs $299.

          Therefore, with these three statements, there was a price reduction, and the product line has been enhanced where the accessory opkits remain the same.

          Stop thinking you're getting screwed when you really aren't.
          • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:3, Insightful)

            by violajack ( 749427 )
            I think the confusion is coming from the two ways of looking at it. You are correct in all of your statements, except for a few important things:

            1. The low end iPod has always cost $299.

            2. The low end iPod has been upgraded from 15GB to 20GB.

            3. Yesterday, the 20GB iPod would have come with a dock, remote, and carrying case, and now it does not.

            You can either look at it as a price/accessory reduction in the 20GB model, or you can look at it as an upgrade in the storage capacity of the low end model.
        • SO WHAT?! (Score:5, Interesting)

          by SPYvSPY ( 166790 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:00AM (#9737947) Homepage
          I have found both the dock and the carrying case to be nearly useless. Also, the dock probably costs Apple about two cents to make (assuming they've recovered the cost for their plastic mold), and the carrying case probably costs them about thirty cents (a little cardboard, some fabric and some elastic). I doubt this is where Apple is getting its cost savings. Anyway, your better off buying aftermarket items that are just plain better.
          • Re:SO WHAT?! (Score:5, Interesting)

            by Monkelectric ( 546685 ) <slashdot@mon k e l e c t r i c . com> on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:47PM (#9739036)
            Its not about cost savings. That is a time honored tradition with electronics. It's all psychology. Say you buy a PDA and it doesn't come with a cradle and screen protectors and a protective case. Said PDA is also very cheap, say, 300$.

            The PDA company then sells the cradle, protectors and case at far above their "value", knowing that a large percentage of customers will just grab them when they buy the PDA. That way they get to advertise their 300$ price ont he low profit item (the PDA), and make quite a bit more on high profit items like stylses and screen protectors and what not.

        • Re:20gb = no dock! (Score:5, Informative)

          by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:17AM (#9738120) Homepage Journal
          To be completely honest, the 20 gig model they're offering is DIFFERENT from the old 20 gig, anyway. It's not the old "middle" model" bumped down, it's a completely new base model with the same price as the old middle one. Besides the new click wheel (which is a mixed blessing, I *LIKE* the round buttons but the one wheel design is so clean and will make for sturdier accesories), there's also the preeminent Shuffle feature on the main menu. A minor change, but something I would use all the time, since I like to switch between "play this album in context" and "full tilt random" depending on my mood. Right now, this means going back three or four menu levels, surfing to settings, and surfing to Shuffle - Songs. Shuffle on the menu eliminates the need to do this for every switch, and also eliminates one level of searching.

          I hope they implement this functionality on the 3G, but since it's a minor enhancement that may sell the new model, I doubt it will find its way back. Shit, it'll sell it to me, soon as that 60 gig is out (my full library is an ever expanding 83 GB, and it's eating 50 gig of my 80 gig laptop drive at any given time).

          Furthermore, the dock and carrying case are incentive accessories and are not worth the add on price, anyway. They're not bad, but the case is a little chintzy and the dock no more useful than a straight line cable. They're added to make paying $400 or $500 seem like a better deal. I used my plastic case for about a week before investing in a series of third party accessories, culminating in the excellent iSkin EXO2. I have never seriously used my dock...for a while, it sat on my stereo, but when it did I had no control over the ipod so I switched to a wireless line out (900 MHz, not an FM tuner).
  • by TheRaven64 ( 641858 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:23AM (#9737199) Journal
    And you can Apple's iPod site for the full details.

    Nice job Hemos. Sentences should a main verb.

  • 15gb (Score:5, Interesting)

    by rbolkey ( 74093 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:23AM (#9737206)
    I guess they had to get rid of it. With $100 drop across the table, they would have been cheaper than the minis. Unfortunately, my price point would have been the 15gb with the $100 drop.
    • Re:15gb (Score:5, Insightful)

      by ODD97 ( 645414 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:26AM (#9737235) Homepage
      Sadly, the cost to make a tiny hard drive like that doesn't go down. Capacities go up, but the expensive part is the actual physical hardware, not the capacity. I agree that I would have seriously considered getting a 15GB if it were dropped $100.
  • Firmware update (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Saven Marek ( 739395 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:24AM (#9737213)
    is their a firmware update to bring the new features to my older ipod??? battery life is down allot and its only 2 years old. It still works but not as well as it used to and an update to get 50% more battery life would bring mine back to a new state, if it is by working differently instead of new battery technology, which I doubt.


    The Nets Biggest Adult Anime Gallery's []
    • by Anonymous Coward on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:26AM (#9737234)
      There certainly is a firmware update, and in keeping with Apple's general update policy, it will only cost around $399. Now you can't ask much fairer than that.
    • Re:Firmware update (Score:5, Informative)

      by jcostantino ( 585892 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:30AM (#9737262) Homepage
      You can't magically 'get back' battery life. All rechargable battery cells have a finite amount of charge/discharge cycles until they start to lose capacity. You can do some googling and find companies that will sell you a new battery or replace it for you. There is always Apples' refurb program but it's the most expensive (although I believe you get a refurb unit instead of just a battery).

      Apple will NEVER release firmware that upgrades older units to newer features unless it suits them. Example: Gen 1 and 2 iPods got ACC decoding but didn't get on the go playlists. They /could have/ done OTG playlists but that's one of the features seperating old from new.

    • Re:Firmware update (Score:5, Insightful)

      by __aafkqj3628 ( 596165 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:45AM (#9737304)
      I wish!

      I don't see any technical reason why things like multiple generated playlists, speed-variable playback and hearing the clicker through the headphones can't be done on current iPods.
      However, the current update page [] seems to restrict those features the the newest model.

      I wish Apple wouldn't try and alienate their older customers so much like this. With software, it isn't so bad since the investment usually isn't as large. But with firmware and hardware, the investment can be quite conciderable.
    • Re:Firmware update (Score:3, Insightful)

      by OS24Ever ( 245667 ) *
      You must be new to the computer industry. Someone releases a new product hoping you'll buy it, not continually updating an old product in the hopes you'll never need to spend money with them again.
  • Price (Score:5, Informative)

    by prewashedironman ( 605517 ) <steady.eddie@g m a> on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:25AM (#9737221)
    The best bit about this i feel is that apples changed the exchange rate for the UK. In the USp the 20gb now costs what the 15gb did and the 40gb costs what the 20gb used to be. But in the UK we get the 20gb model for GBP30 cheaper than the 15gb model used to be(GBP220vs GBP250). Hurray for apple!
  • by ( 551216 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:26AM (#9737230) Homepage
    the European version sells for 284 (370) Euros excluding sales tax (which is usually another 15-20 percent!). That is USD 353 plus tax. Why the markup?
    Are there higher import taxes for electronics from Taiwan?

    Or is the Eurpean market just considered not so competitive?

    (Btw: Canon is doing that as well with their digital cameras. Really annoying!)
    • by mjs ( 8718 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:02AM (#9737420) Homepage
      Europe has some legal requirements that increase costs. For example, in the UK at least, you can return anything you buy within 10 days of buying it, for full refund, even if you simply decide you don't like it anymore. As far as I know you can't do this in the US.

      See UK T&C [] ("If you have received the ordered Product(s) and have simply changed your mind about purchasing them you may return the Product(s) or entitlement to Service to us for a refund..."), US T&C [].

      (This applies to everything, not just Apple products.)
      • by Oddly_Drac ( 625066 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @12:17PM (#9738754)
        "For example, in the UK at least, you can return anything you buy within 10 days of buying it, for full refund, even if you simply decide you don't like it anymore."

        14 days. It's a standard contractual 'cooling off' period where you can suddenly decide you don't want it. However, collecting on that clause in the Sale of Goods Act is _extremely_ hard unless you have something heavy to bludgeon the store with. Woolworths, for example, decided that they didn't want to play in terms of computer games, DVDs and CDs. I tend to go around pointing out that signs taped to the cash desk don't actually invalidate statutory rights...

        One little known clause is 'fitness of purpose'; anything you buy has to be fit for the purpose for which it was bought.

        Of course, my favourite is the implied and statutory 12 month warranty. I've had many an argument over a limited time warranty before now.

        However, this is all normally policed by Trading Standards, and they _really_ have their hands full dealing with internet purchases/scams.

        BTW, the major cost increase in the UK compared with anywhere else is importation duties and the recognition of the UK market as a cash cow...

  • by nmg196 ( 184961 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:27AM (#9737242)
    How is it "considerably" tweaked? It looks pretty much identical and few new features.
    • by Eric_Cartman_South_P ( 594330 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:06AM (#9737461)
      THE LIST:

      -50% more battery
      -Removal of 4 buttons with a single click wheel like the iPod mini
      -A little thinner
      -Better menu UI design
      -Shuffle songs feature
      -Faster or slower e-book reading by 25% without changing the readers voice pitch
      -Price drop

      Remember, it's hard to improve on something many people think is perfect (the sales #'s agree with that statement). But it's nice to see the company keep-on-truckin' and improve things. Some people might bitch about "thinner" being only 1 mm, but holy SHIT! At least they are trying! Better then 1 mm thicker!
  • USB2 cable (Score:4, Informative)

    by prewashedironman ( 605517 ) <steady.eddie@g m a> on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:30AM (#9737257)
    Interesting, both models now ship with USB2 cables as well as firewire. And free laser engraving for the time being. And, surprisingly for apple their both shipping in "2-4 days" in the UK and "1-2 days" in the USA. Very Exciting!
  • by Lispy ( 136512 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:30AM (#9737261) Homepage
    while there is a beautiful iPod [] icon is actually a bit weird, but hey, this is Slashdot.
  • by coe ( 31704 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:38AM (#9737283)
    Taken directly from apple's spec sheet for the new ipod:

    Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 (32 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible, AIFF, Apple Lossless and WAV

    I mean what does it take for us to get the OGG support into iPod? For 3 generations of this machine, one major target audiance of "switch" campaing has been unix users. We, the guys who support and now have started to love the new apple have begged for this support into iPod.

    4th generation. And still no support. Lots of feedback sent, even on the official apple forums and nothing. Not even an official explanation why not.

    How many generations this will take?

    For example, I have over 110GB of music and other audio recorded in OGG format, rendering iPod totally useless for me. I did a quick "hey, whats your status" in my local university and situation was the same. iPod feels, looks and sounds too good to be true, everyone of us wants one. Expect for one big but.. where in the hell is the inhouse OGG support.

    I know the problems with ARM processor inside iPod and lack of integer based OGG coded, but now that there is one (tremor) ( and it's even in BSD license, I cant belive apple choose yet again to leave OGG support out of iPod.

    Could someone please take a club and bash the ingorant iPod tech division to little pieces, since I and many like me, would pay huge sums for this support.

    It could even be "silent" "no warranty" "not supported" type of deal, just could someone please answer why cant this one of the most advanced piece of modern consumer technology lack the most important feature..

    OGG VORBIS - Support.
    • by sammy baby ( 14909 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:02AM (#9737422) Journal
      Could someone please take a club and bash the ingorant iPod tech division to little pieces, since I and many like me, would pay huge sums for this support.


      20 gigs: $299
      40 gigs: $399
      15 gigs with Ogg support: $499

      I mean, come on. What do you really mean by "huge?" They obviously don't feel that the cost of integrating the feature would be worth the effort. And when I think about it, I can't blame them: hell, I'm willing to bet that they wouldn't have included mp3 support if it wasn't for the fact that the installed base made that the "cost of entry" for the device to the market. Otherwise, they'd just have gone with AAC (and later, ALC).

      Oh, and by the way: what do you mean by "many like you?"
      For the first time, Apple sold more iPods in a quarter than it did Macs--and Apple CEO Steve Jobs is happy about it. "We feel great," Jobs told the New York Times. "We sold a lot of Macs, but we've sold more iPods in the quarter than all the Macs put together." As reported by MacMinute Wednesday, Apple sold a record 807,000 iPods in the quarter, a more than 900 percent increase from the period a year earlier.
      - MacMinute []

      Somehow, I kinda doubt your conception of "many" jibes with theirs.
    • by chegosaurus ( 98703 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:14AM (#9737543) Homepage
      I used to feel the same. Finally I admitted I'd made the wrong choice, re-ripped as VBR mp3s, got an iPod and never looked back.

      It's not the first time (and won't be the last) that I'd backed the wrong horse. For instance, I preferred the Amiga to the PC, but I lost out there too. Market forces meant that I either stayed back with my little minority interest and my politics, or I (begrudgingly at first) followed the herd.

      I held out for a good while for ogg support, now I've had 9 months of happy iPodding and I couldn't care less. I really don't see the benefit of vorbis over decent bitrate VBR. I also don't think 95% of the people who've bought iPods have any idea at all what ogg, flac, aiff, audible and so on are. /.ers tend to overestimate the real world impact of their pet technologies.

      Whenever I see the spec, though, I always wonder how many people are carrying round an iPod full of WAVs...
  • by natd ( 723818 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:48AM (#9737319)
    From the product page on;

    "you could fly from Sydney to Singapore and still have hours of listening time left over as you stroll the Champs Elysée."

    I think the Australian 'localisation team' need to do better than a find and replace of 'New York' & 'Paris'...

  • Man! (Score:3, Funny)

    by caldroun ( 52920 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:56AM (#9737364) Homepage Journal
    I just got a 15g for my Wife for her birthday earlier this month.

    Damn you Jobs!
    (Ok... the one I got is still cool, though)
  • I, Pod (Score:4, Funny)

    by ackthpt ( 218170 ) * on Monday July 19, 2004 @09:58AM (#9737388) Homepage Journal
    The story of a new generation of personal music players which takes over peoples brains, until tough cop Will Smith shuts them all down.

    Rated [R] for "Rip Off"

  • by tc1970 ( 744957 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#9737404)
    Too bad...there is still no radio on the new iPod. I refuse to buy any portable music device without built-in radio. Remember the black out from last year? I think AM/FM is a must-have life-saving feature. Mr. Job, are you listening? I wonder how many of you agree?
    • by NormanEinstein ( 660175 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:10AM (#9737506) Journal
      Having a built-in radio receiver would be nice, but I'd hardly call it a "must-have, life-saving" feature.

      Maybe you should ask Steve Jobs to include a weeks dry rations and heart defibrillator too.
    • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:58AM (#9737924)
      I don't agree that an AM/FM radio is a requirement.

      In fact, I wouldn't want a device that included a radio tuner, or for that matter, voice recording and image viewing capabilities. That is the road that cell phone manufacturers went down with the camera phone, MP3 playback, SMS messaging and all that. To some it is a necessity, but not for me.

      The iPod is a tool for transporting and listening to high quality music of your choosing, on demand. The ability to listen to AM/FM radio runs counter to this purpose.

      I understand some people *really* need a radio, or the ability to record their own voice, or some other feature. Luckily, there is a huge 3rd party industry with high quality products from comapnies like Griffin Technologies [] that address these concerns wth add-ons.
  • thanks to apple (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nighty5 ( 615965 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:01AM (#9737406)
    for bringing their products to the masses.

    Now its cool to own mac stuff, and not as geeky. When im podding down the street I get stopped by common folk, conversations are struck and I'm meeting new people all from a little white music device.

    "oh I want one of those, whats yours" - is all thats said until a conversation is struck.

    I have a 3rd gen ipod, and very happy with it. I wont bother with a mini, or the 4th because mine is going great guns.

    Some would say expensive, but if they can charge the market and get away with it to get the best margin then goodluck to them.
  • by rogerborn ( 236155 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:11AM (#9737514)
    This expression is used continually everywhere to describe run away success in sales, popularity, etc. It was used here in this thread at least a dozen times when talking about the fantastic sales of the iPods.

    I do not understand this? Who are these hotcake vendors? Where are they selling these hotcakes everyone talks about being so popular? Who buys these hotcakes anyway?

    I certainly am not interested in buying hotcakes. They probably aren't Atkins friendly anyway. In fact, they don't sound so appetizing to me. Do they come with syrup? Are they sold with powdered sugar coating? Or fruit toppings? How about with butter or creamc heese?

    Sounds like the popular pancakes that used to be sold in Moscow.

    Surely this isn't where the term "selling like hotcakes" comes from, right?

    How about we all change this old fashioned, outdated and silly phrase!

    Lets all being using the term "Selling Like iPods!" instead. . .

    Roger Born
    "Out of my mind. Back in five minutes."

    • Well Actually.. (Score:5, Informative)

      by Klar ( 522420 ) <> on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:18AM (#9738130) Homepage Journal
      "Hot cakes cooked in bear grease or pork lard were popular from earliest times in American. First made of cornmeal, the griddle cakes or pancakes were of course best when served piping hot and were often sold at church benefits, fairs, and other functions. So popular were they that by the beginning of the 19th century 'to sell like hot cakes' was a familiar expression for anything that sold very quickly effortlessly, and in quantity." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997)
  • by gataylor ( 609192 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:16AM (#9737559)
    My fiance ordered a 20GB iPod for me on Friday (through Apple's online UK store). Apple just sent her an email saying:
    Today Apple announced an exciting new generation of iPods!
    We have automatically upgraded your 20GB iPod to the new 40GB iPod, at no additional cost and added the iPod Carrying Case, Wired Remote and Earphones (which are no longer included with the new 40GB iPod) free of charge.
    Kudos to Apple for doing this!

    • Apple is well known for doing this. Not so long ago people who bought a Mac with OSX 10.2 got an upgrade to 10.3 if they had purchaced one within 3 months of the new OS upgrade. My iBook had a defect with the logic board and Apple just replaced it for free - 10 months after the warrenty expired. They payed for all shipping and handling and expenses. They also offered to upgrade my CD/DVD drive but I already had the newer version. Try getting THAT kind of service from Dell.
  • by Jouni ( 178730 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:21AM (#9737614)
    ... so no more iPod killings [], I reckon. :)


  • by WormholeFiend ( 674934 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:28AM (#9737667)
    for the generation of iPods that will come with 100 teragigs, stop the war and cure cancer.
  • Nice Update (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UMhydrogen ( 761047 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @10:37AM (#9737740) Homepage
    It seems that whatever apple does, people will complain. Yes, the 20gig version no longer comes with the case, dock and remote, but does it really matter?

    If you're looking into the 20gig version, here are some thoughts:
    1) Spend $40 to get the remote (if you don't have it already).
    2) The dock is only an added feature, it's not really needed. I bought the case and remote on my own when I got the 10gig version and have never seen a need for the dock.
    3) Get a better case than the $40 Apple one that requires you to take it out of the case to use it. There are some nice cheap clear ones out there.

    Also keep in mind, if you wanted the 40gig version in the past, it's now $100 cheaper! I was planning on getting the 20gig because I filled up my 10gigs. Now for the same price I can get another 20gigs. While the new 20gig version does leave out some things, the 40gig is much better deal now!

    If you're like me and bought the remote and case seperately, then upgrading to the 20gig version still lets you have the remote/case. No big deal. The way I see it, I'm still saving $100 no matter what I do.

    Look on the bright side, there's now longer battery life, a cleaned up interface and a new wheel.

  • by mbourgon ( 186257 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:16AM (#9738112) Homepage
    We already know Toshiba is making them, they just got dumb and leaked the news before Steve did. Just like when ATI leaked info in advance on one of the cards. (One difference: while Steve didn't mention the ATI, it was still available via the web site)

    Or is this a way to make the iPods appear cheaper, since there's no $500 one? Now, the apparent difference between a Windows-type Media Device (which, say, sells for $600) and an iPod is $200, not $100.
  • by amichalo ( 132545 ) on Monday July 19, 2004 @11:21AM (#9738167)
    Apple [] also released a Software Update [] for ALL iPods.

    The updates (from there site) are:

    New for Click Wheel iPods:
    -Shuffle songs with one click
    -Create multiple On-The-Go playlists
    -Delete songs from On-The-Go playlists
    -Select reading playback speed for audiobooks
    -Hear the clicker user interface sound through headphones
    -Charge via USB 2.0 connection
    -Enjoy improved playback performance

    Updates for iPod with a Dock connector and iPod mini:
    -Compatibility with iTunes 4.5 or later and the iTunes Music Store
    -Improved playback performance
    -Support for the Apple Lossless Encoder, to enable compressed music encoding at high quality

    Updates for iPod without a Dock connector:
    -Compatibility with iTunes 4.5 or later and the iTunes Music Store
    -Improved playback performance

Logic is a pretty flower that smells bad.