The company also rolled out a new iMac and a new version of iTunes, iTunes 6, just five weeks after the debut of iTunes 5.
The iPod has "been a huge hit for us, so it's time to replace it," Apple CEO Steve Jobs said as he showed off the new product at a press event in San Jose, Calif.
Apple's new video iPod "Yes it does video," he said. The music players, which come in black or white with a 2.5-inch screen, will be available in a 30GB model for $299 and a 60GB for $399. Those are the same prices as current models with the same storage capacities. The new devices hold up to 15,000 songs, 25,000 photos or more than 150 hours of video, Apple said.
Jobs kicked off the event by revealing a new iMac G5 that will be similar to the current model, but thinner. The 17-inch 1.9GHz desktop goes for $1,299; the 20-inch 2.1GHz model is $1,699. The iMacs will have a built-in iSight camera with still and video capabilities and a new bundled Apple remote that lets users watch music, photos and video from 30 feet away.
At the gathering, Jobs used the tiny white remote control like an oversized iPod Shuffle to play a Black Eyed Peas video and an "Incredibles" DVD and also to play home movies and photos.
Through the new version of iTunes, consumers will be able to buy TV shows, in addition to music. Shows available for purchase one day after broadcast will include ABC television offerings "Lost" and "Desperate Housewives" and the Disney Channel's "That's So Raven." It will take 10 to 20 minutes to download an episode, said Jobs. Each will cost $1.99 and will be ad-free. Users can also download six short films from Pixar Animation Studios for $1.99 each.
Apple last week sent out invitations that included the words "One more thing..." Wednesday's announcements took place at San Jose's California Theatre, where Apple introduced the U2 iPod and the first color-screen iPod Photo.
The video iPod arrives just one month after Apple unveiled its pencil-thin iPod Nano. Company executives said on Tuesday that demand for the Nano is strongly outstripping Apple's ability to supply the flash-memory-based music players.
Apple's video device isn't the first to hit the market. Sony currently markets a handheld computer called the Type U in Japan that can be used to watch videos. Consumers can also watch movies (with a tiny Universal Media Disc) on the PlayStation Portable.
Intel and Microsoft, meanwhile, designed a portable media player back in 2002 that some manufacturers brought to market last year. (First it was known as Media2Go and later as the Portable Media Center.) Meanwhile, Samsung and others have come out with phones that can receive TV signals, thereby allowing commuters to watch shows on their cell phones.
Previous Next So far, though, portable video hasn't been a big seller. The screens on these devices are far smaller than TVs. Video can also sap battery life. Watching TV over cellular signals, some Korean consumers found out, can really rack up bills. (New versions of the cell phone TVs use a TV tuner card, rather than deliver TV over the cellular network.)
Sony execs, though, recently said that sales of Universal Media Disc movies for the PSP are a little better than expected.
CNET News.com's Michael Kanellos contributed to this report