updated 04:30 pm EDT, Mon August 14, 2006
iPods and 120 GB Drives
A key obstacle to portable video players is space: one factor in Apple's decision to focus on music videos and TV shows has been the dramatic increase in file size. Even at the iPod's relatively modest 320x240 resolution, a music video can amount to dozens of megabytes. The one full-length movie currently available on the US iTunes Music Store, High School Musical, is nearly half a gigabyte large. As such, the pressure is on for Apple to make room for longer-running clips. Just such a change is looming as soon as this year, according to Seagate's CEO William Watkins. He says that the company should have 60GB and 120GB 1.8-inch drives in the last quarter of 2006 and references Apple as a likely customer for them. These would provide exactly double the 30GB and 60GB capacities of Apple's existing models. While no definitive link was made by the CEO, there is little doubt that Apple is under pressure to surpass the 60 GB ceiling it reached in 2004 with the iPod photo and has held ever since.