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Software makers expand iPod capabilities

Although Apple Computer has deliberately not opened the iPod to outside software developers, several enterprising companies are nonetheless finding ways to augment the pocket-size MP3 player.

Such innovations will be on display at next week's Macworld Expo in San Francisco, including a program that lets the iPod connect to a Windows-based PC and another program that allows contacts and other data to be stored on the iPod.

Apple may well release its own method of allowing the iPod to work with Windows-based PCs, but software maker Mediafour is hoping to beat it to the punch with Xplay, which is currently available for free in test form. The tiny West Des Moines, Iowa-based company hopes to have a final version ready in February.

Mediafour representatives plan to meet with the press at Macworld in an effort to get the word out that PC owners can go ahead and buy an iPod and know there will be a way to make the device speak Windows.

"It's real," a Mediafour representative said. "It's not vaporware."

News source: Cnet

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