Apple announces iPod Hi-Fi

iPod Hi-Fi
Apple announced the new iPod Hi-Fi at yesterday’s special event. While it’s not
terrifically exciting, it’s an alternative (albeit a pricey one at $349) to third party iPod speakers. The Hi-Fi
features a Universal Dock into which you can slide your iPod and another spot on the back for an iPod shuffle. (If
you’ve got an iPod model without a dock connector, you’ll have to buy a separate audio cable to integrate your iPod
with the Hi-Fi.)

The iPod nano and the iPod with video will display a new Speakers menu for the iPod Hi-Fi.
The menu will let you control tone (with settings like normal, treble boost, and bass boost), display large album art
on the iPod while the Hi-Fi is playing, and set the iPod backlight to remain on so you can see the album art. Sorry,
but apparently there won’t be a Speakers menu or tone control for older iPods.

Theoretically, the Hi-Fi is portable. It will run on six D-cell batteries “for several hours” according to Steve. However, the size and
rectangular design of the Hi-Fi makes it look like it will be awkward to haul around. It’s about as big as a breadbox:
17″ x 6.6″ x 6.9″  with hand grips built into the plastic shell.

The Hi-Fi will charge your iPod while you’re playing music. It includes an Apple Remote to control music playback from across the room. And it’s got a combined analog and digital optical input jack, so you can connect it to your computer or to an Airport
Express to use as a speaker system for those devices. However, the requisite audio cable is a separate purchase, which is too bad.


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