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Tuesday, December 16, 2003, 08:00 am PT (11:00 am ET)

PortablePlayer Photo Edition could add image capabilities to iPod

According to an article published in today's edition of The Register, "PortalPlayer, the company behind the hardware, software and processor technology that powers Apple's iPod, will soon launch a upgraded version of its chip/firmware combo that paves the way for a Photo iPod."

"PortalPlayer Photo Edition will support synchronizing digital photos between portable devices and host PCs, along with on-device playback. [..] The Photo Edition comprises new, 180nm system-on-a-chip silicon based on two 80MHz ARM cores, plus a real-time OS updated with photo handling code that supports the JPEG and Motion JPEG picture formats. The device's software package supports picture manipulation features like editing, rotating, cropping and red-eye correction. It can also allow users to add music to slide-shows. All these features handily replicate functionality provided on the desktop by Apple's iPhoto."

The platform will reportedly support TV output, USB 2.0, Firewire and Ethernet, along with high-resolution color LCDs. Meanwhile, Apple's iPod already supports the the transfer of digital images via Beklin's Media Reader accessory, though company CEO, Steve Jobs, has widely denounced rumors of a picture or video capable iPod.