iPods may be the gold standard in portable digital music, but Apple has consistently cut prices to make sure that it won't take too much gold to buy one. To the frustration of competitors and the delight of the cost-conscious, CEO Steve Jobs did it again last week. Now you can buy an iPod mini (holding 1,000 songs) for $199--a fact that won't be lost on millions of kids bugging parents for a unit. For the previous price, $249, there's a roomier version that stores 1,500 songs. Better yet, these models have twice the battery life, rocking for 18 hours between charges.
If you were lusting after the crisp color screen of an iPod photo, you're also in luck: the top-of-the-line 60-gigabyte model now costs $449, a nice discount from its previous $599. But the best deal of all might be the new, slimmer $349 iPod photo, holding up to 7,500 songs. Now the color screen makes sense even for those who don't do photos. And if you do, a new $29 doodad lets you download snaps directly from your camera.