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New iPods and iTunes – Chapters!

On the new 5G iPod Colors, or 4G iPods with the latest 3.1 software version, you can play AAC files (sorry, no MP3 support yet) that have been marked up with “chapters”.

That is, at certain points in the song/podcast, the iPod or iTunes will display the text and/or image that has been designated for that part of the audio. You have to use a special tool to mark the chapters, which is Mac only for now. Since the functionality is so new, very few podcasts are actually using it (so far, only Adam Curry’s Podfinder, and Apple’s New Music Tuesdays).

The ability to jump around within a podcast, and to see text and images pertaining to the part of the show you’re listening to is quite cool, especially once you see it in person. The podcast community has been asking for this (and show notes) for a long time, and it’s exciting to see them finally arrive.

Now, Apple, Lazyweb, or whoever, get cracking on a way to make this happen with regular old MP3s.

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