back to article Apple 4G iPod Nano

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. That's why most of the iPod range has received only relatively minor changes in the run-up to this year’s Christmas spending spree. Apple has almost 75 per cent of the market for portable music players, so minor tweaks to the iPod Classic and Shuffle were all that were needed to update those …


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  1. Anonymous Coward

    Shake & Shuffle means...

    I think they missed a beat hear and lost an opportunity to trade mark the iWank (tm) for this shuffle of songs feature.

    I am sorry but I will never be able to take the iPod seriously again...think about it; thousands of ipodders casually flicking their wrists furiously to move the the next song. tee hee hee.

  2. Anonymous Coward

    Have I missed it?

    Have I missed the compulsory "5 MP3 players that are better than the iPod Nano" article?

  3. Joe K
    Dead Vulture


    "In our experience, though, most people just stick it in their pocket, in which case having the headphone cable coming out of the bottom of the unit just seems awkward. The larger iPod Classic, in contrast, has the headphone connector on the top of the unit, which seems less clumsy to us. So does the Touch."

    Umm, no, the Touch has it on the bottom too, i dunno about the classic.

    It makes more sense on the bottom by far. You have it pointing down as when you pull it out it'll be in your hand and under your thumb, and having the cable on the bottom is much neater than it poking out the top (as my phone does).

    And HOORAY, the old comment icons are still here!

  4. Jonathan Hogg
    Paris Hilton

    Disagree about the "way up" thing

    I have an iPhone and I always put it into my pocket upside down. This is because when I reach in and pull my phone out I grab the back of it. Then when I bring it up to look at it, I'm naturally holding it with the screen right way up. Having the headphone socket at the top is a pain in the ass.

    How the heck do you guys pull your iPod out of your pocket? Surely you'd have to be reaching over the top of the thing in some strange contortion?

    Paris because of all of the obvious "pull it out of my pocket" stuff in this post.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    More info please

    Um, is it too much to ask for an understanding of the the quality of the music being pumped out by an MP3 player that's being reviewed? Isn't that one of the key things, rather than the gimmicks which get all the focus in this review?

  6. Jamie Kitson
    Thumb Down

    Headphone Socket

    You could always try putting it in your pocket upside-down.

  7. Sane Pete

    If it aint broke...

    An Ipod!

    It will be by boxing day.

  8. Tom

    More to the IPod Nano-CHROME-atic than meets the eye?

    Are the similar names of Chrome and the Nano-Chromatic really just a coincidence?

    I'm thinking Apple might be playing the media game again, and are on the verge of making a big announcement together with Google.

  9. Anonymous Coward

    Will Apple update my 2G nano software?

    It's great to see Apple updating the 1G Touch and iPhone firmware, but will they ever give 2G nano users the chance to use Genius playlists or the new Now Playing menu (i.e. browse album/artist)? I don't expect to magically get an accelerometer into the 2G, but those 2 features are presumably possible with the old hardware and are now a huge omission from the firmware.

  10. Simon Dick

    Shake to shuffle?

    I can't wait for the Shake n Vac spoofs to appear on YouTube...

  11. Ash
    Thumb Up

    Headphone socket on bottom

    Genius idea! Apple marketing haven't cottoned on to this yet, so i'll save them the hassle.

    As the author has stated, most people put their iPod in their pocket. I choose a hacket as it has more room (more later on this). This means that when I come to put it down once finished selecting songs, it is always top-first with switchgear facing towards my body. This means the headphone lead faces out of my pocket and allows for maximum length when power-walking to the local boozer.

    Secondly, this allows me to reach in my pocket, and INSTANTLY my thumb is on the wheel. Skip a track? Move thumb right and press. Turn up the volume? Run thumb around wheel to suit. Put iPod on shuffle? Run thumb around wheel clockwise one full turn (top bottom of menu) and press center button. All without the iPod leaving my pocket!

    A wonderful design for pocket usage, IMHO.

  12. Anonymous Coward

    Decisions, decisions ...

    "The one potential weakness of the new Nano is that it’s still more expensive than rivals from companies such as Creative Labs and Archos, which both have similar slimline players on offer for less than £100."

    Plus, for an extra £20 you could get yourself a 16Gb Touch instead - I like the new Nano design, as well as the fact that there's a 16Gb model now, but the prospect of shelling out a bit of extra wedge for a lot more functionality is making the buying decision less of a no-brainer than I imagined ...

    Damn you, Apple ...

    (nice to see some of the old icons are back, too!)

  13. Tom
    Jobs Horns

    New iPods 5 volt charge only.

    Older iPods will charge with 5 volt (USB) or 12 volt (Firewire). All of the new iPods are 5 volt only. They don't tell you that in the manual so a lot of people have been wondering why they can't charge their new iPod with there old add-ons. Most car adapters and a lot of speaker docks (including Apples own Hi-Fi) charge with 12 volts.

    It's hard to know what current devices work as most don't say on the box or manual, a few list the new 3G iPone (the first 5 volt only device) but it will be a while before the Nano 4G shows up on compatibility lists.

    iHate for not putting it in the manual.

  14. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Headphone port

    "The larger iPod Classic, in contrast, has the headphone connector on the top of the unit, which seems less clumsy to us. So does the Touch."

    Actually, the iPod touch headphone port is also on the bottom, like the nano. Perhaps you're thinking of the iPhone?

  15. Vincent
    Paris Hilton


    "‘Kylie Minogue’, who was on our iPod purely in the interests of research."

    Don't worry. I believe you.

    Paris because, well, it could have been worse. A lot worse.

  16. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Re: Decisions, decisions ...

    "Plus, for an extra £20 you could get yourself a 16Gb Touch instead - I like the new Nano design, as well as the fact that there's a 16Gb model now, but the prospect of shelling out a bit of extra wedge for a lot more functionality is making the buying decision less of a no-brainer than I imagined ..."

    Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano.

  17. Toxteth O'Gravy
    Thumb Up

    Sir Toxteth of Gravy

    I like the new Nano, but I'm sticking with my Shuffle - way better sound quality.

    And I'm sticking with my Apple earphones - absolutely fine for my needs, and certainly not so bad I need to splash out another 80 quid on a pair of Sennheisers, Shures or somesuch.

  18. Anonymous Coward

    5 pages???

    5 full pages of review just for the next little tweak of the iPod? crazy.

    so, its got some extra little features (coverflow, 'shake shuffle' (hmm, that'll be good

    down at the gym) and spoken menus (which COULD be don on other models if they cared for their users...but no, force them to upgrade. thats apples model)

    and nothing at all about sound quality. naff supplied headphones again? still total

    worse quality than a Creative Zen?

  19. Warhelmet
    Jobs Horns

    Talking Menus

    My father-in-law is slowly losing his eyesight to glaucoma.

    If Apple sort out iTunes handling of mp3 talking books, and if they make buttons/wheel a little more tactile, I could see it being a good bet for him.

    I nipped over to the RNIB website and the cost of some of the products is scary. A mass market device could easily do the job... And it removes some of the stigma associated with buying "special" products.

    And done right, it would enable navigation of menus without taking the iPod out of your pocket. There are places and times when I don't want to show off my kit. Also, if I'm exercising, I don't neccesarily want to stop and look at the iPod to adjust it. I can generally slow down and spare a hand. Jogging, I need to keep my eyes open for dogshit, uneven pavements and inconsiderate cyclists on the pavement.

    Similarly, if you could get the Touch to show big text instead of album flow, that might be good too.

    This sort of stuff costs manufacters nothing. But do they do it? No.

    Jobs hate because could do better.

  20. Jeff Clarke

    @ sir toxteth of gravy

    my only comment is that the apple standard headphones may be good enough for you, as the intended listener (i won't go into details, but you are wrong - you get what you pay for in the low end, i.e. sub £100, audio area, headphones are no exception) but they sure piss off the people in your locality - they are horrendously audistically leaky - you can hear a very bad tinny redition of the latest and not so greatest pop tunes from any white earlobed applite.

  21. A

    Sound quality?

    As Paul commented above you appear to have concentrated on the looks of the device; which is something that we can see from the pictures, personally I'd rather you concentrated on the functionality.

    What we can't see are important things like, the accuracy of the battery life claims or how the sound quality holds up compared to other models (both Apple and otherwise), or even just how the sound quality stacks up again the quoted figures, or how useable the screen is (viewing angle/brightness etc). Those are the reasons why we need reviews.

    Personally I can't see why you didn't ding them for the going with the stupid built-in battery rubbish again either. In a society where many people are trying to reduce their environmental impact the built-in battery is nothing short of scandalous. If I'm going away for a couple of days I can't simply take a second battery with me; instead I need to find power and carry a bulky power supply with me. Don't give me the old Apple spin that "it's impossible to do on something this small"; we know all know that's nothing but spin. An eeePC901 has a removable battery, yet is smaller and lighter than a Macbook Air.

    Nice to see they borrowed the shake functionality from Sandisk too ;)

  22. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Move along,nothing to see here

    I cant see any new ideas that havent been covered by other manufacturers. The shake feature appeared a while ago on some Sony phones and was derided as gimmick so why is it better now ? Just about all the 'new' features have appeared elsewhere so why pay a premium for having an Apple logo on it ?

  23. Dex

    Do you think....

    That given the older generation of iPod tocuhs and iPhones have acclerometers that they'll do a firmware upgrade to filter these features down to the old models?

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Paris Hilton

    Re: Decisions, decisions ...

    "Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano."

    Oops ... my bad. <slaps forehead>

    For some reason, I thought the 8Gb Touch had been canned. Storage capacity aside (I've got a 1Gb shuffle which is rarely more than 75% full but I still have adequate tunage for when I'm out and about) I think the 8Gb Touch may be a better buy, for me at least. Roll on payday :-D

    Paris, 'cos she'd have got it right ...

  25. Stephane Mabille
    Thumb Down

    Sound quality???


    I would like to confirm that the new nano and the new touch suffer the same poor sound quality inherent to the change of DAC as the Classic (6G)?

    I tried the new touch in Apple Store this weekend, but even with my own (proper) pair of earphones and my 5G, the settings doesn't really allow a proper test:

    - No similar file on both device

    - Noisy environment (even if the Shure SE530 took a good care of that)

    - Probably more important: the Touch battery was nearly dead (hey another great side-effect of putting the earphones jacks at the bottom.... and it's hard to charge it upside down)

    So the sound sounds very metallic, a bit of distortion and frankly quite unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's (only) linked to the discharged battery or the cheap DAC.

    So, of course it's a flashy gadget, with a great browser (the Touch) but it's still supposed to be a music player.... so sound quality is still for me a important factor!

  26. Anonymous Coward
    Thumb Down

    Nice gadget but 2 things...

    One, I've got a 3 year old 20GB iRiver that came with Sennheiser earphones which still has better sound quality and cost about 300 quid (I think, was a while ago) at time of purchase and I can see it for $140. It looks good, although it doesn't have a colour screen or many of the features, but hey, I'm very happy with it.

    Two, could you accidentally turn on shuffle while jogging?

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