Apple took the covers off its brand new iPod photo portable digital music player earlier today. The 30Gb model is now the entry level for the picture ‘Pods, which debut at $349(UK£249). Apple also took the sensible route and cut the cost of the 60Gb model for those who want as much storage as possible at any price. The big brother now costs $449 (down $150 and UK£309), while the 40Gb model has been discontinued. We expect another iPod rush at Apple's Regent Street store in London after its opening and Christmas sellouts, whatever the UK price, but the 60Gb model should now look attractive to upgraders from the original, two years on, as well as the early adopting "gadgeteer" sector.

The user's own pictures, which can already be displayed slide-style on a television or projector, can be viewed on the 65K colour screen. For £/$30 the TV can be abandoned and an iPod Camera Converter will allow the transfer of pictures straight from your digicam if you want safe backups on holiday, to cite just one example. Users of older models will be offered a software update to make the Converter compatible in case they choose to stick with their chosen iPod.

Since you'll be able to see 25 shots at a time on preview, it'll be easier to flick through your collection on an iPod than your digicam's preview LCD, which would be one way to pitch the Camera Converter. That's in addition to the cover art accompanying the albums or singles you've bought from iTunes. Music transfers allow the choice of USB 2.0 or FireWire so any modern PC is covered without the need to buy an add-in card. 25,000 photos and no music, or 15,000 songs with cover art pictures only, are the rated maximums for the new model, halved for the 30GB variety, with battery life at 15 hours.

It's not just the fans who were happy with the new launches today: Apple's share price increased by 30%/$2.94, with optimistic profit reports providing the success story continues. Since Apple doubled its market share last year to 60%, we think they'll be fine in the short term, in spite of growing competition for both players and legal download sites.