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Ipod Nano, An Enjoyable Player

May 22, 2008
Apple's new nano is designed to improve upon the past models and add some functionality. The improved video, smaller thinner body and updated firmware are enough to make it stand out.

The Looks

First the aesthetics. Some people will prefer the gen2 nano's longer body with the larger click wheel. Apple shortened the body in order to limit breaks due to the former generation flexing in people's pockets and bags.

The longer nano was prone to bend (and sometimes break) when people put them in their pocket and sat down or moved around.

Another change motivated by durability is the metal face. The old clear composite face was a magnet for smudges and scratches.

The new metal face holds up nicer. Be warned though; it does chip and scratch some more, so get a cover. Apple does lose some points for the smaller click-wheel being awkward. It's a trade-off.

The Sound

Sound quality is not significantly improved from previous models. The slight improvements touted in Apple's marketing are exagerated.

However, let's be fair to Apple here. They are not alone when it comes to high cost MP3 players with only moderate fidelity sound.

Almost no MP3 players are actually designed for audiophiles / musicians / sound engineers; i.e., the people who could tell the difference between good sound and great sound.

Keep in mind also that MP3 is a compression technology that does experience quality loss. Particularly, with a lower bitrate your MP3 files will lose more and more of the sound integrity from the original recording.

Combine that with the fact many people rip from CDs that are not digitally mastered, and you would get inferior sound quality with any device.

Features

Other than the changes in the body design, not many new features are noteworthy with this device.

There are some changes in the components and software that do make the screen brighter and allow you to do more things, including watch videos and play games. Some complain there isn't enough memory for video.

But you can still get enough on here for a cross-country flight. It's a nice extra even if these nanos don't have tremendous memory.

The flash memory in this device could have been a higher speed. However, the main advantages of the flash player are still here: less risk of hardware failure associated with a hard disk drive player (better for running or working out).

The device does seem to have a slighly shorter battery life than advertised. Perhaps there is a trade-off with the shorter form factor.

Few users will notice this as they are still likely to get a day's worth of use from a full charge.

Apple's software is still a weakness with very limited direct control over your device library and few file options. However, most users have limited needs and will not notice. Apple hits the minimum compatibility needs of most of the market.

Coverflow is little more than a gimmick. It's still buggy and covers tend to blank out if you scroll quickly.

Cover art has been downloaded with previous software versions and with other players, so the ability to scroll covers is not really a breakthough.

Keep in mind that the iPod actually still has less features than most competitive devices. It doesn't have a radio tuner, voice recorder, bluetooth, WMA support, etc. But what it does it does well.

Overall this device is an improvement. Apple really wins with sleek design and a wealth of accessories.

This unit is no different. While it is not perfect, none of the competition is good enough to dominate it any time soon.
About the Author
iPod nano is the small iPod with one very big idea: Video.
Alojate.com is the premier web hosting company in Mexico.
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