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Thursday, April 29, 2004, 08:50 am PT (11:50 am ET)

Sources: Apple films new iPod television spot

It's no secret that Apple is readying the release of its 4th-generation iPod digital music player. The company retains a strong position on the sale of digital tracks and players, and plans to ease up on the competition are not a part of its playbook. After all, Apple isn't paying its engineers to sit back, smoke cigarettes and sip spiked Capri Sun fruit drinks, though some may find that mental image amusing.

In fact, word has it that Apple and its iPod team are inching closer to deploying the major revamp of its flagship iPod music player, which AppleInsider first reported on earlier this year. And while some industry analysts have expressed doubt that the company would introduce a totally revised iPod just prior to the rollout of the HP iPod, it was never stated which generation of the player HP would first begin shipping.

According to an anonymous — and unconfirmed — report, Apple has just recently wrapped up the filming of a new of a new iPod commercial staring the yet unannounced 4th-generation iPod. While the spot was reportedly filmed in New York City, its unclear if the Big Apple will act as the setting for the commercial, or if the production simply took place somewhere in the city.

Elsewhere, users who've been the unfortunate participants of the iPod mini waiting game are just now beginning to receive their orders, slowly. But what is even more interesting are these users' followup reports, which appear to confirm rumors that Apple may have twisted the truth in order to buy time to fix a major engineering glitch with the small 'pods.

"Yesterday my friend got her new iPod Mini in the mail after almost 2 months of waiting," one reader said. The reader went on to describe noticeable differences between the new player and previous iPod minis, stating that the 'clicker noise' was 'a lot louder' than it had been on previous mini's. The report suggests the possibility of design tweaks based on feedback from the first batch of the players.

In April, several users noted a potential design flaw with the iPod mini. Published reports indicated that the player's headphone jack connection to the main system board was fragile and routine use of the player would warp the player and wear the connectors, causing static after around 35-40 days.

If you have any further information on this report, or details for a future report, please contact us at confidential@appleinsider.com, via our anonymous voicemail or through our anonymous mailer.