Windows users to get iPod client

A US software firm is promising access to Apple's sleek new iPod music player from a Windows PC

Apple made a big noise about the recent launch of its iPod Mac-only digital music player, but Windows users so far haven't been able to jump on the bandwagon. That may change soon, however, with software maker Mediafour planning a Windows client to handle iPod.

The software, XPod, would let users 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.

IPod has won the praise of many critics for combining the high storage capacity of players like Creative's Jukebox with the pocket-sized form factor of more traditional digital music players. It costs £349 inc VAT in the UK, or $399 in the US, and is available on Apple's Web site.

There's one catch, however: most Windows machines, unlike Macs, don't come with FireWire built in, an exception being Sony's VAIO series. FireWire add-on cards are available, but will add another £80 or so to the already pricey iPod.

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

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