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Apple's new iPods: what you need to know

We take an in-depth look at the new audio devices

We field your questions about the changes to Apple's music player line-up.

Apple recently refreshed its iPod line-up. The latest incarnations of one the world's most popular MP3 players sees some pretty big changes.

The new iPod nano looks like something Dick Tracy would wear, the iPod shuffle was given its buttons back, and the iPod touch is even closer to being an iPhone 4 without the phone. (Sadly, the iPod classic was excluded from the upgrade party, although it remains - begrudgingly, it seems - in the iPod line-up.)

Having a hard time keeping all these changes straight? We outline what's new, what's improved, and what's missing while tackling all your questions about Apple's revamped iPod lineup.

What are the capacities and prices of the new iPod models?

The fourth-generation (4G) iPod touch comes in 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB capacities, priced at £189, £249 and £329, respectively. The latest iPod nano - the sixth generation (6G) if you're scoring at home - is £129 for the 8GB model, and £159 for a 16GB version. It's also available in all the colours of the rainbow, assuming your version of a rainbow features graphite, silver, pink, blue, yellow, green, and red (as part of the Product Red project). There's just one capacity of the new fourth-generation iPod shuffle (2GB) and one price tag (£39). But it does come in blue, pink, green, yellow, and silver.

When will the new models be available?

According to Apple's online store the shipping dates for the assorted iPod models range between '1 to 3 days' and a week.

Does the iPod touch have a built-in microphone? If so, what's stopping me from using it as a Wi-Fi iPhone?

Yes, there's an omni-directional microphone on the back, next to the camera. But even with a built-in microphone, the touch still doesn't have a speaker just above the top of the display, where you would expect to find one on an iPhone - the speaker is found on the bottom of the iPod touch, to the left of the dock connector port (as you face the iPod's display). As a result, you won't be able to hold and speak into a new iPod touch like a traditional phone. But as with the previous iPod touch model, you can plug in a pair of headphones with a built-in mic and place phone over Wi-Fi calls with an app such as Skype. And because the iPod touch now has both a built-in microphone and speaker, it's possible that you'll be able to use a VOIP app to make 'speakerphone' calls that don't require a headset.

Can I use the microphone built into the iPod touch's included headphones?

Given that the iPod touch now includes a built-in microphone and speaker it would make sense for its headphones to include a microphone. Regrettably, not only do the included earbuds not offer a microphone, they also lack the play controls found on some Apple headphones. If you have Apple headphones that do include play controls and a microphone, they work with the new iPod touch.

NEXT PAGE: So what's new with the iPod touch, then?

  1. An in-depth look at the new audio devices
  2. What's new with the iPod touch, then?
  3. GPS in the iPod touch?
  4. Watching videos on the nano
  5. What's changed with the shuffle

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