MP3 Players Reviews: Apple iPod nano 16 GB Pink NEWEST MODEL …

I previously owned a Nano 3rd Gen, and liked it well enough. My only major complaints were Itunes (buggy and annoying interface) and the 8 GB limit. I have quite a large music library and was constantly juggling it trying to fit everything I wanted to carry around. otherwise, I liked the Touch 3rd Gen, and liked the compact form factor. I liked the video ability too, which I found astonishigly useful. Alas, somehow it was lost/stolen.

Ipods are enough of a luxury for me that I didn’t replace it immediately. The 4th Gen Nano was an improvement (except for the forrm factor — I’m one of the few who liked the more compact form of the 3rd gen). The 5th gen Nano finally sucked me in with amazing new features and teriffic design. Below are the things I really liked and which caused me to shell out for the latest version:

1. Better screen. sure the screen is tiny, but I can see it very clearly with my glasses off, I’m nearsighted, but have good closeup vision.

2. FM radio – this is something available in other mp3 players, but finally Apple has decided to join the world on this feature. It works pretty well. as noted, the radio uses the earbuds cord as an antenna. while that is a problem for some, it is actually a plus for me, as my office is in the center of a large building and FM reception is iffy. I can position the cord in such a way that I get better reception than my table radio. YMMV.

3. Video – It’s amazingly decent for such a tiny device. I don’t need video — at least at present, but adding features like this inspires new uses that no one ever predicted (SEE UPDATE BELOW).

4. 16 GB. I can fit more stuff in it now (yes, this was available in the 4th gen, but it is a big plus for me — I did not want to buy another 8 GB ipod.) Additionally, I really don’t care about the unavailability of still pictures. I have a Blackberry that takes fairly good pictures already, and I can send them via email immediately — much more useful than if I relied on the Nano.

5. External Speaker – very useful, enough said.

6. Voice recording — I understand that you can add a decent directional mike, but haven’t explored this yet. If it works, it’s a real plus, digital recorders are expensive and carrying them is a PITA.

Things I don’t much care for –

1. Itunes continues to be basically proprietary, although I actually like the good integration with the Apple Store. I always have the feeling that Itunes is doing something with my music and data that is for Apple’s benefit, not mine (the Genius feature is interesting, but I’m certain that Apple is doing something profitable with the “non-identifiable” data it collects). I know there’s no more privacy on the net, but that doesn’t mean I like the trend. If I’m going to be part of someone’s business model, I’d like to be able to opt out or receive some share of the dough from the data harvesting. this is not an Apple-specific complaint — they all do it. in addition, when Itunes works, it’s fine, but when you have a problem with it, you better be have a black belt in Google searches for the answer. The Apple support site requires much more time and trouble than it should.

2. I have damaged hearing in one ear. The quick fix would be for me to adjust the right/left balance in the equalizer, but Apple has never put such an adjustment in, and the Apple store personnel were surprised by this. I sent in a suggestion to Apple. no response. this is an issue I do not understand. why hasn’t Apple fixed this 5 years ago?

UPDATE 10/19/2009: I am surprised by how much I enjoy the Genius feature on this thing. one of the minor “problems” on .mp3 players is the time it takes to program in a playlist of favorites — alternatively you can simply randomly listen to everything. Genius will look at any song selection you make, and construct its own playlist (which you can save if you like it) based upon some kind of criteria (not sure), but I think it includes data from user selections. this is remarkably like litening to a very good radio station with good programming, no commercials and no DJ blab. of course, you have to own the music first (you did BUY all the music in your library, right?) but if you have a large music library, you’d be surprised how much of it you’ve forgotten you owned. Unlike many groovy dudes and dudettes, I don’t have the time or inclination to put together a lot of mixes and Genius is in some ways better, as you won’t know what’s being played or in what sequence.

Additionally, I have found that nano video is better than I thought it would be. I have video on the Blackberry, but it is encoded in some kind of horrible lossy format that looks like mush when you enlarge it (.3GP, I think). Nano’s video looks good even when enlarged full screen on the desktop. The only issue I’ve seen is that while the microphone is quite sensitive, it is not buffered against wind noise. I am still looking for a good external mike and if I find a fix for this, I’ll update.
Rating: 5 / 5

MP3 Players Reviews: Apple iPod nano 16 GB Pink NEWEST MODEL …


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