Apple intros video iPod, strikes deal with ABC

Apple introduced a video iPod and partnered with ABC to offer TV shows for download on iTunes.

Hoping its success in the music business translates to television, Apple Computer Inc. on Wednesday announced plans to make episodes of five different TV shows available through a new version of iTunes.

Apple's Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Jobs announced that his company has cut a deal with the ABC television network to make five popular ABC shows available for download on iTunes the day after they are broadcast.

Ad-free downloads of "Desperate Housewives," "Lost," "Night Stalker," "That's So Raven" and "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody" will be available on iTunes for US$1.99 each.

The shows can be watched on a PC or Mac or on a new video player iPod. The new iPod comes in 30G-byte or 60G-byte versions with a 2.5-inch TFT (thin film transistor) display for watching TV shows, music videos or short films.

ABC is owned by The Walt Disney Co. and new Disney CEO Robert Iger joined Jobs on stage to announce the partnership. Jobs believes the deal is the first that would allow downloads of new TV programs to PCs or video players.

The 30G-byte version of the new iPod will cost $299, while the 60G-byte version will cost $399 when they become available next week.

Apple will also introduce a new generation of iMac all-in-one desktop computers that come with a built-in video camera and faster G5 processors. The new systems also feature a remote control that activates media-organizing software present in every new iMac.

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