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Apple Launches Video IPod, Announces TV Deals

Apple Computer, hoping to do for video what it did for music - ease piracy fears to allow legal distribution of content online - on Wednesday introduced an iPod capable of playing videos in what is the portable device's latest evolutionary step toward becoming a multimedia platform; it is now capable of offering music videos and TV shows, with the videos to be sold on Apple's iTunes online music store, reports the Associated Press.

Also announcing a landmark deal with Disney-owned ABC Television Group, Apple CEO Steve Jobs said iTunes would sell episodes of "Desperate Housewives" and "Lost" for $1.99 each, a day after they air on TV - as well as short films from Pixar, Jobs's other company. The videos can be watched on a computer or on the new iPod's 2.5-inch screen.

"This will tell us a lot about whether…consumers will be comfortable watching longer-format programming on a small screen," Susan Kevorkian, an analyst with research firm IDC, is quoted as saying.

On Wednesday Apple also introduced two newer, thinner models of the all-in-one iMac desktop computer, with features (such as a remote control that allows browsing of music, photo, and video files from afar) in line with Apple's goal of making the computer a digital multimedia hub, and the iPod its portable extension, writes the AP.

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