New iPods were released today. The iPod mini lineup was updated with new colors, longer battery life, and 4/6GB storage capacity. The iPod photo lineup now consists of 30GB and 60GB models. Most notable is the optional $29 iPod photo Connector. Apparently, this will allow direct image transfer from a digital camera to an iPod photo.
I’ve been waiting so long for this feature (note: the Belkin Media Reader does not count) that I went ahead and bought an Epson P-2000 image tank. I’m tempted to get one now, but there are some major questions to be answered:
- How does it connect to the camera? USB 2.0? FireWire?
- How many transfers can you perform before the iPod needs recharging?
- How are images transferred to the computer? Can you skip import into iPhoto and dump the images directly onto the Desktop?
- Does it download and preview RAW images?
I’m guessing it will be USB 2.0 only, meaning my 1D Mark II is out of the loop with its FireWire and USB 1.1 ports. The battery will probably last for about 6 downloads of 2/4GB memory cards, which is fine by me. I’m thinking there’s tight integration with iPhoto, but I’m hopeful that the images are visible when you connect the iPod to the Desktop. Finally, though I’m banking on complete RAW support (esp. since iPhoto 5 has rudimentary RAW support), I’m guessing that RAW images are downloaded but not viewable on the iPod photos.
Regardless of what I think, we’ll find out soon once the new iPod photo with the connector are in the hands of the iPod nation.
Update: Aha! News.com has an article with additional information.
The camera connector, Joswiak said, is a small white plastic device, similar in appearance to a small docking station, that has a cable for connecting to the iPod and a USB port for connecting to a camera. It will work with both the new iPod Photos and with earlier photo player models, Joswiak said.
Pictures loaded onto an iPod directly will be able to display immediately on the iPod. But for the photos to be shown on a TV, the iPod Photo will need to be connected to a Mac or PC first.
So it appears:
- USB 2.0 for connecting to the camera and iPod photo
- Files are transferred preserving the file/folder formats of the memory card (DCF)
Question: What happens when you try to transfer the same memory card twice? On an Epson P-2000, it just creates another folder with the card’s contents, so there’s no chance of any data being overwritten. I hope that this is the case with the iPod photo.