Apple has refreshed its line of iPod photo digital music players with a new, slim 30GB model, replacing the previously available 40GB unit, now costing £212 plus VAT.

Apple has reduced the price of the 60GB iPod photo from £365 to £263 plus VAT. Apple also introduced the new iPod Camera Connector, which enables users to dump their photos straight from their digital camera to their iPod.

Apple told Digit that the 40GB hard disk drive mechanism previously used in the low-end iPod photo was dropped in favour of the 30GB mechanism for size - the 40GB mechanism used two platters to store information on; the 30GB mechanism uses a single platter, so it's thinner.

The 30GB model measures 0.63 inches thick, while the 60GB model remains unchanged at 0.75 inches. The 30GB model weighs a bit less, too.

Otherwise the iPod photo remains cosmetically unchanged: It still features a backlit 2-inch LCD panel capable of displaying more than sixty-five thousand colours.

Apple has also dropped the Dock with this refreshed line -- it's now an optional accessory. Like the iPod mini, the iPod photo no longer includes a FireWire cable, either, although Apple makes them available for a small cost.

The iPod photo comes with ear-bud headphones, a USB 2.0 cable, USB power adapter and a CD containing iTunes 4.7.1 for Mac and Windows PCs.

IPod Camera Connector

The iPod Camera Connector is an optional accessory expected to hit store shelves in late March. The device connects the iPod photo to a digital camera and enables users to transfer images directly to their iPod photo, bypassing a your computer completely.

Third parties have already developed interfaces that allow users to dump the contents of their digital camera's media cards into the iPod for storage, but such devices generally only use the iPod as a storage mechanism, until the device is synchronized to a Mac or PC.

Apple notes that the iPod Camera Connector will allow iPod photo users to immediately view the pictures, and then later sync the updated contents back to iPhoto or to a photo viewing application on the PC.