Ipod Nano Review

Ipod Nano Review

In this age of​ portable music, the iPod has downloaded itself into the public consciousness…where it​ won't be leaving any time soon. Not that we mind. Despite a​ large pool of​ reputable competitors, such as​ Sony and Dell, who manufacture their own slick mp3 gizmos, the iPod is​ still the most popular and best-selling of​ the bunch. Just think of​ buying an​ mp3 player, and I bet your knee-jerk reaction will at​ least be to​ consider, if​ not choose, the iPod.

When Apple Computers' CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod Nano in​ San Francisco's Moscone Center, it​ immediately became known as​ the smallest member of​ the display-bearing iPod family line and successor to​ the iPod mini (the updated version of​ which was released a​ mere 7 months prior to​ the Nano). Compatible with both Mac and Windows-based computers, the iPod Nano comes in​ two colors, white and black. You also have your choice of​ a​ 2GB version ($199) or​ a​ 4GB version ($249), which is​ a​ bit steep given the fact that the iPod mini held the same price tag for the 4GB and 6GB models, respectively. The iPod Nano's storage drive is​ flashed-based, which means no moving parts inside (decreased wear-and-tear and breakage potential), higher durability, and no sound skips while jogging, biking, or​ stumbling home after happy hour. Given the increasing capacities and capabilities of​ flash drives, I wouldn't be surprised if​ some day Apple starts implementing this technology into more of​ its major products. But that's for another article.

The first thing one is​ likely to​ notice is​ that the Nano, as​ its name implies, is​ tiny. You have to​ actually hold one to​ see just how astonishingly small this device is, and my first thought was that the small pocket of​ my jeans might now finally serve a​ greater purpose. The Nano measures 3.5" long, 1.6" wide (smaller surface area than a​ credit card), and just .27" thick (thinner than a​ AAA battery). Sleek and serene, the Nano is​ characterized by the simple elegance familiar to​ Apple fans. Yes, it​ certainly is​ a​ gorgeous-looking little machine due in​ no small part to​ the shiny, thin layer of​ acrylic applied to​ its surface. But the downside to​ the finish is​ its susceptibility to​ scratching and/or fingerprints (especially on the black version of​ the Nano). Weighing in​ at​ only 1.5 ounces you could conceivably move the Nano across a​ flat surface by sneezing on it, though I don't recommended this for health reasons.

The main features: Like all other iPods, the Nano is​ primarily designed to​ play digitized music such as​ mp3 files. And like its relatives, the Nano excels when doing what it​ does best. According to​ my research, the Nano uses the same sound chip as​ the Mini, and as​ mentioned before, overall quality is​ excellent. The included earbuds do a​ decent job delivering the sound, though I would prefer higher-end headphones to​ take full advantage of​ the audio experience. Fiddling with the included equalizer settings also seems to​ make noticeable sound adjustments, so fickle sound connoisseurs may have something to​ smile at​ here.

Owners of​ previous iPods shouldn't have a​ problem navigating the interface, as​ selecting songs, play-lists, and the like using the touch-sensitive click-wheel is​ still as​ user-friendly as​ ever (but I hate leaving behind those darn fingerprints!). Setting up and connecting to​ iTunes on both Mac and Windows machines was smooth and straightforward as​ well. According to​ information available at​ Apple's website, the 2GB iPod Nano holds 500 songs while the 4GB version stores about 1,000, assuming that the average song is​ 4 minutes long and compressed at​ 128 kbps using AAC encoding. And like the larger iPods, the Nano recognizes songs encoded in​ the following formats: mp3, AAC (and protected AAC format from the iTunes Music Store), AIFF, and WAV.

Unlike the iPod mini, however, the Nano sports a​ color display as​ well as​ the same photo capabilities as​ the top-of-the-line iPod Photo. This might have been a​ "just because we can" idea cooked up by the engineers over in​ Cupertino, as​ I received some strange looks while sharing my latest photos on a​ screen that's barely the size of​ a​ postage stamp. But I admit it's a​ fun feature to​ be included on such a​ small device. Complete with the usual organization options, you are able to​ create slideshows (with music and transition effects) and categorize your pictures any way you want. The Nano recognizes images in​ the following formats: JPEG, GIF, PSD (Mac only), TIFF, BMP, and PNG. I'll take this time to​ note that the camera connector for the iPod Photo, used for transferring pictures directly from a​ digital still camera to​ the iPod Photo, will not work with the iPod Nano. Also, other current third party devices such as​ voice recorders and FM transmitters are not currently compatible with the Nano.

There are also features that exist exclusively on the iPod Nano, such as​ the World Clock function, which allows you to​ see the local time anywhere in​ the world. Once you select a​ region (or major international city), a​ clock will appear on the display. The clock graphic will darken or​ lighten depending on what time of​ day it​ is​ at​ the other region, which is​ handy for frequent travelers. Feel like prank calling your friends in​ Egypt at​ 3AM local time? The iPod Nano can help! (Of course, I do not condone this sort of​ behavior- use this feature to​ make sure you don't accidentally call your friends in​ Egypt at​ 3AM).

Other Nano-exclusive features include a​ screen lock and stopwatch. The screen lock allows you to​ create a​ 4-digit combination to​ prevent others from going through your music and photos. This would seem like an​ effective method of​ deterring would-be thieves (or nosy exes), but since I already have so many passwords and codes in​ my life to​ remember I can do without it. Besides, such a​ pricey gadget like the Nano should be kept in​ a​ safe place anyway. The stopwatch feature is​ pretty neat, and allows you to​ record your best lap times or​ to​ keep track of​ how long tech support puts you on hold.

Battery life: The iPod Nano claims 14 hours of​ music playback, though battery consumption increases when using the photo slideshow functions with music playing in​ the background. Charging via the included USB 2.0 cable, which connects to​ the dock connector on its underside, it​ takes the Nano about an​ hour and a​ half to​ reach 80% capacity, and 3 hours to​ achieve a​ full charge. at​ present, the iPod Nano is​ not firewire capable. in​ my research I've also learned that the Nano's battery appears to​ be permanently soldered into the unit, which leads me to​ question the feasibility (or even possibility) of​ future battery replacement. Information regarding this will be updated as​ it​ is​ found.

Included items:
- USB 2.0 cable (backwards compatible with USB 1.1). This connects via the dock
connector underneath the Nano. NOTE: Don't confuse the dock connector with the
dock itself. The iPod Nano dock is​ an​ accessory that costs an​ extra $29. Over USB 2.0,
the Nano transfers music at​ about 5 mb per second.

- iTunes software (Mac & PC)

- Earbud headpones: They're white, (even for the black iPod Nano).

Great sound quality, easy to​ use, beautifully stylish, extremely lightweight, portable, and durable. Nice color display, handy extras such as​ photo viewing and international clocks. Flash memory design prevents skipping, integrates easily with iTunes. Mac and Windows compatible.

High price for relatively small drive space (compared to​ other iPod models), lack of​ more advanced iPod features/support, no present firewire capability, surface smudges and scratches easily if​ not protected.

Despite the relatively hefty price tag for its storage capacity, the new iPod Nano by Apple is​ certainly a​ cool device for most gotta-have-it gadget-philes and for those who just want a​ reliable, easy-to-use high quality mp3 player. if​ you want to​ play your favorite songs while relaxing or​ running, the Nano and its few extra functions will make you happy. Those who are big on more complex functions may be disappointed with the present lack of​ features available (no support for FM transmitter, camera connector, firewire, etc.). But its ease-of-use, intuitive interface, style, and quality make this a​ very difficult gizmo to​ resist.

4 stars out of​ 5

Ipod Nano Review

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