iPod to get Windows audience

Apple Computer loudly trumpeted the iPod digital music player at its recent launch, but people with Windows so far have been unable to hear the music.

Apple Computer made a big noise about the recent launch of its iPod digital music player, but Windows users so far have been unable to jump on the bandwagon.

That may change soon, however, with software maker Mediafour planning software to link the iPod with PCs running Windows operating systems.

The software, XPod, would let people with a Windows PC and a FireWire port connect to the device. Mediafour announced this week that it is at work on an XPod beta, but did not give a launch date.

The iPod has won praise for combining the high storage capacity of players like Creative Labs' Jukebox with the pocket-sized form of more traditional digital music players. It costs US$399 and is available from Apple's Web site.

There's one catch, however: Many Windows machines, unlike recent Macs, don't come with FireWire built in. FireWire add-on cards are available, for around US$100.

Mediafour, based in West Des Moines, Iowa, makes cross-platform Windows-Mac software, such as Macdrive, which lets Windows boot Mac discs.

Staff writer Matthew Broersma reported from London.

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