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Review: Apple's fifth-generation iPod nano (2009)

post #1 of 51
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The glossy-finished new fifth-gen iPod nano builds upon last year's tall and slim form factor by adding video recording, FM radio with iPod tagging and Live Pause, VoiceOver navigation, a built-in Nike+ step counter, and a slightly larger and improved 2.2" display, all packed into the same thin aluminum tube.

Hardware features: video recording

The tall orientation of the revised nano might be the ideal design for delivering its biggest new feature, but it's a bit puzzling that Apple put the new video camera at the base of the unit. Unlike the iPhone, which places its camera at the top corner of its back, the new nano fits its camera at the bottom, opposite the click wheel used to start and stop the recording.

As a result, while it's easy to get your hand in the way of an iPhone shot, it's hard to position the nano for recording without having your fingers in the shot. The most natural way to hold the nano completely obscures the camera lens with your hand. Fortunately, there are two approaches that work. The first is to hold the device with the tips of your fingers (below left) rather than cradling it in your hand. This allows for precise aiming with one hand in both the landscape and portrait orientations. The alternative is to hold the device by its edges while recording (below right), something that might require both hands if you lack dexterity.

The only discernible upside to putting the camera in such a location is that it signals when it is being used for recording. You don't have to wonder if somebody is secretly filming you with their iPod nano in the gym unless they're holding it in contorted, awkward way that indicates they probably are. Apart from that, there's no other explanation.



Recording quality

As a video camera, the new nano is remarkably good. It's also extremely simple to operate, takes decent quality video at VGA resolution (640x480) at a fluid 30 frames per second rate. The total bit rate of its movies is around 2,500 to 3,000, making the output files portable and compact, and well-suited for online use.

Video shot by the nano compares favorably with video shot with the iPhone 3GS. An example taken with the nano's camera in landscape mode actually looks better than video taken simultaneously with the iPhone 3GS in portrait mode. Both devices create video output files in VGA (0.3 megapixel) resolution, although the nano has a wider angle, fixed focus lens on a camera mechanism that likely has a much lower native resolution than the 3.0 megapixel camera in the iPhone 3GS. In both cases, the camera's raw video is compressed in software as it is recorded.

Even so, our iPhone 3GS video consumed a higher bit rate (3,700 vs 2,800 kbit/sec on the nano capture) yet delivered muddier video, perhaps indicating that the iPhone can dramatically improve its video capture via optimized software. Uploaded to YouTube, the video is compressed even further, but still good (below).





Also important in creating usable video is the nano's integrated mic, which captures pretty good quality audio. Few things are as disappointing as capturing video with badly garbled audio or blank silence. The nano picks up inside voices quite clearly using the mic next to the camera lens. Video playback on the nano is also readily audible using its tiny internal speaker.

The audio recording quality is even better when you record video using the mic integrated into a pair of iPhone-style headphones. Note that the nano only ships with standard headphones lacking an integrated mic, however. Even using the nano's built-in mic, audio is decent and very usable for the casual applications one can expect of it.

You probably won't want to use the iPod nano's tiny speaker as a boom box for listening to music, as it isn't capable of producing very high fidelity music, but it can serve a functional way to share videos with friends without using headphones.

Moving pictures only

The camera doesn't take photos, although you can of course snap a still video shot and export a frame of the video as a picture. With the camera held still, you can make out pretty good details, although any motion renders still shots quite blurred. The choice to make the nano's camera video-only wasn't just arbitrary, but based on the fact that it uses a simpler camera mechanism to fit its thin body. The fancy autofocus camera in the iPhone 3GS is twice as thick as the nano's.

Below is a picture of a parking ticket that's been laying around, snapped with the nano's video camera and the iPhone 3GS in both still and movie modes. They're all easily readable, but the iPhone photo visibly sharper, while the nano's video still suffers from noisy smearing.



While the new nano makes a pretty decent video camera for casual captures of your friends, the type of photographs it could take, given the tiny amount of room available for the camera, would not make it competitive with even the low end of standalone toy cameras or cell phone cams. On the other hand, its video features make it suitable for replacing a separate digital video recorder unit on outings or at parties.

Like any tiny CCD camera, it takes the best shots in good lighting. Inside in dim lighting, shots get noisy quick and motion blur is a lot more evident. The video-capable nano isn't going to put Flip out of business, but it will dramatically expand the number of recording eyes out there in the hands of millions of iPod users. Given that the nano's video recording feature doesn't cost any premium over the previous generation, Apple is effectively dumping millions of free video recorders into the market, something that will impact the emerging market for standalone video recorders.

On page 2 of 3: Special effects; Hardware features: Nike+ and pedometer; Hardware features: FM radio; and Hardware features: VoiceOver.

Special effects

To spice up recording, the nano offers a series of 15 special effect modes for video capture: sepia, black and white, x-ray, film grain, thermal, security cam, cyborg, bulge, kaleido, motion blur, mirror, light tunnel, dent, stretch, and twirl. These degrade the captured quality and can't be removed later, so more serious mobile filmmakers might want to import their video clips into iMovie for editing with special effect filters instead.

If the target is YouTube or Facebook, however, the nano's simple in-camera effects can help turn a third grader into a short clip cinematographer, with enough variety to make nano videos as fun as Mac OS X's Photo Booth. Simply click and hold the center button while the video camera is up, and you get a preview of what the capture will look like with the effect applied.



Putting basic special effects right in the camera, and making them easy to apply, means kids won't even need to master iMovie to create fun clips they can share like digital-era Polaroid talkies. And for us adults, applying film grain or security camera effects means you won't even notice the crow's feet.

There's no trim video editing features within the nano as there is on the much more powerful iPhone 3GS, but similar simple editing controls are now available in QuickTime X, making it easy to cut off the beginning intro where your fingers were all over the lens. Because the nano captures standard H.264 video, it's also easy to pull them into iMovie or similar tools for more advanced sprucing up as well.

Hardware features: Nike+ and pedometer

Unlike last year's nano, the 2009 model no longer requires the Sport Kit external transmitter and shoe sensor just to track your steps. You can still use the Nike+ Sport Kit to act as your running coach as before, but the new version includes an independent, accelerometer-based pedometer for tracking basic fitness goals.

The system can be turned on to count all your steps in the background, so you can upload your regular walking activity to the free Nike+ website to monitor your progress and perhaps incentivize taking the stairs. Enter your weight and set a daily step goal, and the new nano will keep a calendar of your daily walking activity. While counting steps, a shoe icon appears on the nano screen next to the battery indicator.

The nano also supports regular Nike+ workouts with the Sport Kit and Nike+ cardio gym equipment designed to plug in via the dock connector, both of which continue to work the same as in previous iPod models.

Hardware features: FM radio

Apple has previously maintained that few iPod users are clamoring for FM radio features, and that its external radio adapter is enough of a solution for those who want to listen to the radio rather than their own music. The new nano now incorporates an FM radio, along with support for iTunes tagging, a feature that identifies the song being played and can add it to a favorite list for later purchase from the iTunes Store. Radio stations supporting this tagging feature display a tag icon.

The new radio also features Live Pause, a digital recording window that lets you pause your radio station and play it back with as much as a 15 minute delay, similar to how DVRs like the Tivo pause live TV. You can rewind and fast forward to any point within the cached playback period, making it handy for repeating part of a song, pausing the playing music for a quick conversation, or, of course, skipping ads. If you have a few minutes of radio playback cached and leave the radio app's menus, the stored radio segment is lost.

The nano's FM radio uses the headphone cord as its antenna, so without headphones plugged in, the radio won't work. Given that the nano is the most gym-friendly iPod model, inclusion of a radio may be welcomed by those who run treadmills in front of a bank of TVs with their audio broadcast on different FM stations. No iPod models support built-in FM radio transmitting though, so if you want to play back music through your car's speakers, you'll still need to use an external radio or cassette tape adapter.

Hardware features: VoiceOver

The new nano now supports VoiceOver, a feature that debuted on the iPod shuffle. VoiceOver will announce the name of the currently playing song with a single press and brief hold of the click wheel, if you're eyes are too busy to check the screen. The feature is enabled in iTunes, which involves installing the VoiceOver component. Once installed, the system can be set to speak song information in twenty languages, and will automatically read off foreign song titles in the correct language.

Using headphones with integrated playback controls (which again do not ship bundled with the nano), you can also control playback blindly in the same manner as the shuffle: click once to pause or resume, double click to jump to the next song, or triple click to restart the song or jump to the previous song.

VoiceOver uses high quality voice synthesis created on your iTunes computer, so it doesn't tax iPod playback and provides more natural sounding voices than the iPod itself could generate given its low power embedded processors.

On page 3 of 3: Software features: iTunes 9 Genius Mix, games, voice memos, and other basics; Polished colors and specs; What ships in the box; Product Review Rundown; and Rating.

Software features: iTunes 9 Genius Mix, games, voice memos, and other basics

The new nano also benefits from some other features introduced in iTunes 9, including Genius Mixes. Previously, iTunes scanned your music to compile Genius Playlists based on a song you selected, which paired it with other, similar music.

Along the same lines, Genius Mixes just make up a series of up to a dozen ready-made playlists from your music to help you discover tunes you have but don't regularly listen to. No need to pick out a seed song for iTunes to base your Genius Playlist on; iTunes just compiles several lists for you so you have ready to go mixes that are digitally computed to play well together.

The new nano carries forward previous features, from Cover Flow album browsing to synced photo viewing and TV slide shows; simple iPod games, which now number up to four dozen in the iTunes store in addition to the three included for free; voice memo recording, which now works using the new built-in mic; and the mini apps ranging from the stop watch and alarms to the synced calendar and contacts.

Polished colors and specs

Both nano models come in a spectrum of 9 different colors: silver, black, purple, blue, green, orange, pink, along with (PRODUCT) RED and orange, which are exclusively available through the Apple Store. The colors are similar to last year's spectrum but generally darker and more serious looking than the powdery rainbow "nano-chromatic" colors introduced last year. The deeper blue, forest green and rosy pink versions are the most noticeably different shades this time around, but all of the colors sport a glossy new clear coat finish that sets them apart.



All have a white click wheel apart from the black and silver models, which sport a black click wheel. The 16GB model holds up to 4,000 songs, 14,000 photos, and 16 hours of video, and the 8GB model holds up to 2,000 songs, 7,000 photos and eight hours of video. Capacities are unchanged over the previous generation.

While using the same shell size, the new 5G nano has a slightly larger 2.2" display (versus the previous 2.0" screen on earlier nanos) with a few extra lines of resolution, 240x376 versus the previous model's 240x320. This gives the new nano more pixels than the latest iPod classic, and a screen nearly as large as the classic's unchanged 2.5" display. The new nano also sports what Apple calls a "TFT display" as opposed to the "color LCD with LED backlight" used on the latest classic. The new nano screen seems to be noticeably brighter.

Despite the new larger screen, camera, mic, speaker, radio and other hardware features, the new nano is also slightly lighter than the previous model, at 1.28 oz rather than 1.3 oz. The click wheel is ever so slightly smaller than the previous version by a millimeter or two. Battery life is still rated at 24 hours of audio playback, but video use has increased from 4 hours to 5, matching the rated life of the earlier, squatty third generation nano.

What ships in the box

The new nano comes in the same plexiglass case with the standard stickers, a thin guide, a Universal Dock adapter, standard earbud headphones (no mic, no playback controls), and a USB to dock connector cable. There's no power adapter or dock or, in a nod to Apple's increasing environmental efforts, any other superfluous packaging. The new nano is also advertised as having a recycle-friendly aluminum design that uses arsenic-free glass, and no Brominated Flame Retardants, mercury, or PVC plastics.



The 8GB nano retails for the same $149 as the previous video camera-free model, while the 16GB model is twenty bucks cheaper than last year's at its new $179 price. That distinguishes the sporty, video capturing iPod nano from its gaming-oriented, web browsing, multi-touch big brother, which now drops down to hit the magical $199 price point with its low end 8GB model.

Product Review Rundown

With the latest 5G iPod nano, Apple has taken its most popular iPod and given it an entirely new use as a pocket sized video camera. The new step counter and FM radio shore up its gym-savvy, and new Genius Mixes make it all that more effortless to find collections of songs to listen to from your own library.

What's missing? Apple didn't include its mic-integrated headphones with playback controls, but it did include a new integrated mic that works well enough for both voice memos and video recording to avoid making a headphone upgrade essential. The missing hour of battery life we counted against the previous nano is back, along with a lower price on the 16GB model.



The new 5G iPod nano shows Apple isn't content with selling last year's products, and is constantly working to deliver desirable new features in the same sized package at the same price. Anyone in the market for a slim, easy to use MP3 player should be extremely satisfied, particularly with its fun new camera and other hardware upgrades.

Rating 4.5 out of 5



Pros

Thin and compact, scratch resistant, sturdy construction.

Great new video capture with fun special effects.

Audio recording using an built-in mic and speaker for playback.

High quality, larger, bright 2.2" screen.

TV output for slide shows, movie rentals and downloads.

Simple step counter in addition to Nike+ option; FM radio features

Cons

Doesn't include iPhone-style headphones with mic or playback controls

Camera is positioned to capture fingers on video

Where to Buy

iPod nano 8GB & 16GB - Amazon.com
iPod nano 8GB & 16GB - MacMall.com
post #2 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post

Both nano models come in a spectrum of 9 different colors: silver, black, purple, blue, green, orange, pink, along with (PRODUCT) RED and orange, which are exclusively available through the Apple Store.
iPod nano 8GB & 16GB - MacMall.com

One of the "orange" looks yellow or gold.
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post #3 of 51
Well done Apple for bringing out such a feature rich, multipurpose device and cramming it into such a small space. I ordered mine as soon as I saw it.

I do hope the next generation of iPod Classic will include............................ I'll leave that for another 10 months!
post #4 of 51
For godsake AI- once again you review an iPod, without any mention of its sound quality?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!
post #5 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


As a result, while it's easy to get your hand in the way of an iPhone shot, it's hard to position the nano for recording without having your fingers in the shot. The most natural way to hold the nano completely obscures the camera lens with your hand. Fortunately, there are two approaches that work. The first is to hold the device with the tips of your fingers (below left) rather than cradling it in your hand. This allows for precise aiming with one hand in both the landscape and portrait orientations. The alternative is to hold the device by its edges while recording (below right), something that might require both hands if you lack dexterity.

The only discernible upside to putting the camera in such a location is that it signals when it is being used for recording. You don't have to wonder if somebody is secretly filming you with their iPod nano in the gym unless they're holding it in contorted, awkward way that indicates they probably are. Apart from that, there's no other explanation.

I am COMPLETELY befuddled with the way you chose to hold the nano while recording video. Are all you guys left handed?

The most natural way for any right handed person to hold it, especially anyone who has ever used a point and shoot camera is to have it exactly OPPOSITE the way you are holding it in the "Held by the edges" photo, with the screen on the left, and the clickwheel on the right. This way the camera would be completely unobstructed. You would use your pointer and thumbkin of your left hand to hold the nano by the edges, and the right hand you would use your thumbkin to use the controls and your pointer or tallman to hold the back of the nano toward the middle or slightly lower.
post #6 of 51
Looks like Apple has another winner here.

Video quality looks pretty decent.
post #7 of 51
I'm actually surprised with this review as it is of better quality than many of Princes reviews. However like one poster has already mentioned if there is an iPod that deserves a review of its audio quality it is the Nano for that is its primary purpose.

As to the video review portion of the report I don't want to see still photos from a video camera. It would be far better to post a hand full of "VIDEOs" taken under different circumstances. After all it is a video camera. By the way I understand the economics here so give the videos 48 hours or so and then pull them down or post to YouTube.

I'm impressed with this rev in general though, even without the video camera it adds enough extras to distinguish itself from the previous models positively. All in the same case too. The only thing Apple should seriously consider is a 32 GB model. The device is otherwise highly tailored to the needs of many of its users.


Dave
post #8 of 51
The Shuffle and the Nano are definitely the best valued iPods for the money. I thought that of the 4G Nano and even more of this one. The colors are even better.

It would have been a better package if they included the mic headphones but I'm not complaining. Maybe next year they'll add that along with a higher resolution video camera built at the top of the Nano.
post #9 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post

Looks like Apple has another winner here.

Video quality looks pretty decent.

I was surprised at how good such a small camera is. Look out Flip!
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post #10 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by MacTel View Post

The Shuff and the Nano are definitely the best valued iPods for the money. I thought that of the 4G Nano and even more of this one. The colors are even better.

I dont know. I guess it depends on what features you want. GB to price the Touch wins, and it has a lot more power and a more robust OS. I have an iPhone so that isnt an option for me. I am going to get the new Nano because of the Nike+ options and the colours kick ass. No more pastel-ish hues. Never thought Id replace my Shuffle with a Nano. If they make a Shuffle with the Nike+ components Ill likely go back to that.

Quote:
It would have been a better package if they included the mic headphones but I'm not complaining. Maybe next year they'll add that along with a higher resolution video camera built at the top of the Nano.

I hope they dont. As long as Apple is going to include those cartilage ripping earbuds I want them to be as cheap as possible so I can better afford good headphones.
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post #11 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

For godsake AI- once again you review an iPod, without any mention of its sound quality?????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

Uh, ... What are you talking about?

It's not a Bose speaker system or a Bang & Olefsen stereo. Aside from cheap Asian knock-offs and the type of players you get in cereal boxes, pretty much any PMP you care to mention that's been released in the last ten years reproduces sound at a quality level above that of the human ears ability to tell the difference. In other words almost any one you care to mention will sound as good or better than any other (excluding the purposely crap, scam ones).

Also, the biggest effect on the sound quality is the earbuds, not the player. If it doesn't sound as good as you think it should, get a different set of earbuds and it will probably sound better. Again, the player is already capable of reproducing as good a sound as any stereo system and beyond the ability of your ears to tell the difference.

Finally, what is it that you want them to do? They aren't going to test it in a laboratory or anything. How would doing what Engadget or other sites do by adding the typical "sounds good" line to the article anything meaningful anyway? If it sounds good to you, buy it, if it doesn't, don't. Simple no?
post #12 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Uh, ... What are you talking about?

It's not a Bose speaker system or a Bang & Olefsen stereo. Aside from cheap Asian knock-offs and the type of players you get in cereal boxes, pretty much any PMP you care to mention that's been released in the last ten years reproduces sound at a quality level above that of the human ears ability to tell the difference. In other words almost any one you care to mention will sound as good or better than any other (excluding the purposely crap, scam ones).

Also, the biggest effect on the sound quality is the earbuds, not the player. If it doesn't sound as good as you think it should, get a different set of earbuds and it will probably sound better. Again, the player is already capable of reproducing as good a sound as any stereo system and beyond the ability of your ears to tell the difference.

Finally, what is it that you want them to do? They aren't going to test it in a laboratory or anything. How would doing what Engadget or other sites do by adding the typical "sounds good" line to the article anything meaningful anyway? If it sounds good to you, buy it, if it doesn't, don't. Simple no?

He kind of has a point, but he states it in an obnoxious way that hurts his inquiry. No one expects it be high quality, but AI does compare it to previous model Nanos and are comparing the video and other features which are far from high-end.

iLounge will review the sound quality in an article, likely next week, and Id say that its far bit more complicated than doing visual comparisons. That is what they excel at so I say let them do it. Case in point, the 2G Shuffle was found to be slightly inferior to the 1G Shuffle, yet the 3G Shuffle was back on par with the 1G Shuffle in sound quality. It could also play Apple Lossless, which AI didnt report on.

I can see why AI doesnt want to test this. Its not easy to test, the testing ends up being a lot of personal opinions that the reader cant easily determine like with images, and I doubt that any Nano buyers are buying it because there is a slightly better sound. If Apple really made any worthwhile change to sound quality Id expect them to advertise the frak out of it.
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post #13 of 51
Say what you will about Prince, but this must be the first tech review that demonstrates a camera by taking stills of a parking ticket. Instant classic.

One thing that has impressed me with these players is the anodized finish. I have never seen such vibrant and shiny colors using that process. Very impressive.
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post #14 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Dueces View Post

I am COMPLETELY befuddled with the way you chose to hold the nano while recording video. Are all you guys left handed?

The most natural way for any right handed person to hold it, especially anyone who has ever used a point and shoot camera is to have it exactly OPPOSITE the way you are holding it in the "Held by the edges" photo, with the screen on the left, and the clickwheel on the right. This way the camera would be completely unobstructed. You would use your pointer and thumbkin of your left hand to hold the nano by the edges, and the right hand you would use your thumbkin to use the controls and your pointer or tallman to hold the back of the nano toward the middle or slightly lower.

Seems like six of one and half a dozen of the other to me.

It's clear that the reviewer is left-handed but also that they are making more out of the covering the lens aspects of it when it really isn't that big a deal at all.

Whatever problems there are would be almost the same for right and left handers with the exception that right-handers would tend to cover the lens more easily in the portrait orientation of the first picture and left handers in the landscape orientation of the second picture. Since the camera is much more often going to be held in the landscape view when in use, it favours right-handers as you mention and maybe the lefty reviewer is just mad about that?

In any case, what everyone is overlooking is that this is primarily marketed at kids with tiny fingers. I don't see they will have any trouble holding it at all unless they are mentally deficient in some way; especially after the first couple of "thumb shots."

I see this more as a picky reviewer doing their job and being picky about that part of the design, but there really aren't a lot of options in a device so small and I doubt anyone will care at all about this a week or two from now.

People adapt. No one is going to throw it away cause they can't keep their thumb out of the shot.
post #15 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by bigdaddyp View Post

One thing that has impressed me with these players is the anodized finish. I have never seen such vibrant and shiny colors using that process. Very impressive.

Hopefully Melgross (or someone else with prior experience) can shed some light on the anodizing.
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post #16 of 51
You say the battery life is 5 hours for video, but I assume that is battery for video playback. What is your experience of battery life when recording video?
post #17 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

He kind of has a point, but he states it in an obnoxious way that hurts his inquiry. No one expects it be high quality, but AI does compare it to previous model Nanos and are comparing the video and other features which are from high-end.

iLounge will review the sound quality in an article, likely next week, and Id say that its far bit more complicated than doing visual comparisons. That is what they excel at so I say let them do it. Case in point, the 2G Shuffle was found to be slightly inferior to the 1G Shuffle, yet the 3G Shuffle was back on par with the 1G Shuffle in sound quality. It could also play Apple Lossless, which AI didnt report on.

I can see why AI doesnt want to test this. Its not easy to test, the testing ends up being a lot of personal opinions that the reader cant easily determine like with images, and I doubt that any Nano buyers are buying it because there is a slightly better sound. If Apple really made any worthwhile change to sound quality Id expect them to advertise the frak out of it.

I get your point, but I think we agree on the fact that if AppleInsider *did* add "sound quality" to the review, it wouldn't amount to much more than "sounds good to us" however they actually phrased it.

I also like to read the iLounge reviews sometimes, but even so I think sound quality is really subjective without a laboratory test which I don't think they do, do they? IMO their "sounds better than the last one" kind of statements should really have "to us" appended to the end of them due to the necessary subjectivity of those kind of assessments.

For things like picture quality on monitors, and sound quality on players and stereos I always think it's best to trust your own eyes and ears. Case in point is Sony Vega TV's which have been advertised for years as being off excellent quality but I've never seen one that didn't look grainy and fuzzy to me.

I agree with you about teckstud though.
post #18 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I was surprised at how good such a small camera is. Look out Flip!

But that's very misleading because you're only looking at the video it records on the super small screen of the Nano itself. You have no idea how smeary or jerky it must look at a conventional screen size.
post #19 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

Uh, ... What are you talking about?

It's not a Bose speaker system or a Bang & Olefsen stereo. Aside from cheap Asian knock-offs and the type of players you get in cereal boxes, pretty much any PMP you care to mention that's been released in the last ten years reproduces sound at a quality level above that of the human ears ability to tell the difference. In other words almost any one you care to mention will sound as good or better than any other (excluding the purposely crap, scam ones).

Also, the biggest effect on the sound quality is the earbuds, not the player. If it doesn't sound as good as you think it should, get a different set of earbuds and it will probably sound better. Again, the player is already capable of reproducing as good a sound as any stereo system and beyond the ability of your ears to tell the difference.

Finally, what is it that you want them to do? They aren't going to test it in a laboratory or anything. How would doing what Engadget or other sites do by adding the typical "sounds good" line to the article anything meaningful anyway? If it sounds good to you, buy it, if it doesn't, don't. Simple no?

It's an iPod which was invented to listen to MUSIC . How the music sounds is completely missing from this review .
I could care less how the video recording sounds or a voice memo.
post #20 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

But that very misleading because you're only looking at the video it records on the super small screen of the Nano itself. You have no idea how smeary or jerky it must look at a conventional screen size.

Ive seen the video. Ive studied the video and I stand by my previous statement that its better than I thought such a small camera on such a weak device could be. Flip video is much better, especially the Flip HD, but if you look at the iPhone and other phone cameras as examples, the one you have is better than the one you dont have. For casual users the standalone camera is less used than that integrated one.
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post #21 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's an iPod which was invented to listen to MUSIC . How the music sounds is completely missing from this review .
I could care less how the video recording sounds or a voice memo.

I think we have to assume that audio pout hasnt changed much to make a difference to buyers as the audio will at least be adequate, but this new feature should get a review. If the mic is so weak that using it in a lecture class or a meeting is in adequate then that is a reason for some not to buy the device. For all we know, next week iLounge will come out saying that the audio is exceptionally worse than last the 4G Nano, but I think if that were the case it would be instantly noticeable to listeners who would have blogged about it already.
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post #22 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

I get your point, but I think we agree on the fact that if AppleInsider *did* add "sound quality" to the review, it wouldn't amount to much more than "sounds good to us" however they actually phrased it.

I agree with you about teckstud though.

As opposed to solipism's statement that the video "looks good to me" comment.

I could care less what you agree on. The quality of it sound is missing and is a basic requiremnt when reviewing an iPod. Simply state- it's the same as the last one, better, worse, etc. It's not that difficult.
post #23 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

As opposed to solipism's statement that the video "looks good to me comment.

This is why myself and others have a problem with your comments. I stated that its better than I thought it would be, not that it looks good.
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post #24 of 51
iLounge's review is now available and it got a respectable B+. Very good not great. Some will really like it, others will be like - Eh?
At least I now know the audio is excellent. Thank you iLounge.

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...th-generation/
post #25 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

iLounge's review is now available and it got a respectable B+. Good not great. Some will really like it, others will be like - Eh?
At least I now know the audio is excellent. Thank you iLounge.

http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/rev...th-generation/

Now that is a helpful post. Thanks for the update.


edit: From the article...
Quote:
Sonically, the fifth-generation iPod nano is completely up to snuff with the fourth-generation model, the second-generation iPod classic, as well as the iPhone 3GS, all of which have almost completely eliminated low-level hissing noises from their amplifiers, creating cleaner-sounding audio that’s as close to audiophile-quality as any iPod we’ve previously tested. Even when using $1300 earphones to listen to the latest Beatles album remasters, which were given a fine-tooth combing for sonic imperfections by their producers, the fifth-generation iPod nano produced legitimately wonderful, “no complaints” sound on its default equalizer setting. We got lost in the music and really didn’t want to give up listening in order to write about it, consistently great performance that really kicked in across the family starting with last year’s models.
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post #26 of 51
surely the camera positioning is due to the screen?
could they fit the camera behind the screen and keep the nano at the same thickness (or thinness)?
post #27 of 51
Does anybody else think that Apple will roll out still photos in the iPod nano by working on software that creates still images? Apple always has clever ways to work around limits and they might save photos for next years update. I think that iPod's could also use a major UI overhaul, as they are beginning to look cluttered and messy IMO.
post #28 of 51
w/r/t
Quote:
Apart from that, there's no other explanation.

I suspect the camera couldn't fit behind the screen and keep it the iPod the same thickness
post #29 of 51
Personally, I am more interested in the new FM radio feature. Watching videos on the nano was ridiculous enough but recording video is a gimmicky feature that doesn't need to be on a tiny media player. I would rather have seen the unit come with higher quality mic/controller headphones or a lower price.
post #30 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

I dont know. I guess it depends on what features you want. GB to price the Touch wins, and it has a lot more power and a more robust OS. I have an iPhone so that isnt an option for me. I am going to get the new Nano because of the Nike+ options and the colours kick ass. No more pastel-ish hues. Never thought Id replace my Shuffle with a Nano. If they make a Shuffle with the Nike+ components Ill likely go back to that.


I hope they dont. As long as Apple is going to include those cartilage ripping earbuds I want them to be as cheap as possible so I can better afford good headphones.

The new Nano does not have built in Nike+. It has a pedometer function that works by using accelerometer data. If you want Nike+ features, you still need to use the same old receiver plugged into the dock connector that you've always used.

That's one more thing the Touch has that beats the Nano.

The presence of the accelerometer in the Nano also points to accelerometer-based games, of course.
post #31 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by wizard69 View Post

SNIP! why no iPod Touch review

Dave

What's there to review the iPod Touch 3G about? It's just a speed bump and that's all. Nothing else changed after all. And the speed bump should be equal to that of the 3GS.
post #32 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by solipsism View Post

Hopefully Melgross (or someone else with prior experience) can shed some light on the anodizing.

There are some negatives about this anodized coating like cracking.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anodizi...ized_aluminium

Have a read more about this. Hope it helps you.
post #33 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by SGSStateStudent View Post

What's there to review the iPod Touch 3G about? It's just a speed bump and that's all. Nothing else changed after all. And the speed bump should be equal to that of the 3GS.

According to the iFixit teardown the CPU model number is slightly higher than in the 3GS. There is also a history of Apple using a higher clock speed on the Touch than in the iPhone, not to mention that it is not constantly running phone related processes, so I wouldnt be surprised if that Touch outperforms the iPhone in various tests. Less likely, but perhaps a more powerful GPU since they are advertising it as a gaming device.
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post #34 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by tonton View Post

The new Nano does not have built in Nike+. It has a pedometer function that works by using accelerometer data. If you want Nike+ features, you still need to use the same old receiver plugged into the dock connector that you've always used.

That's one more thing the Touch has that beats the Nano.

The presence of the accelerometer in the Nano also points to accelerometer-based games, of course.

That's nice. But I highly doubt Apple's custom games will make it accelerometer-fun, unless they change the default games. Otherwise, this would have to mean an app store and that is not possible.
post #35 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by 544k3r View Post

surely the camera positioning is due to the screen?
could they fit the camera behind the screen and keep the nano at the same thickness (or thinness)?

Correct - at last someone with common sense.
There is clearly not enough room behind the screen to hold the depth of the camera.

There is also an error in the review. It states that (PRODUCT) Red and Orange are only available from the Apple Store, actually it is (PRODUCT) Red and Yellow.
post #36 of 51
Quote:
Personally, I am more interested in the new FM radio feature

Me too, if they've got it right it'd be the reason I'd buy one to use at work instead of my phone/iPod Touch combo.

The demo pictures have it showing the station, track and artist that's playing - does the radio have RDS? Is RDS used in the US now, I thought it was pretty much Europe-only.

If there's no RDS, how does it identify the station, track and artist?

Alan.
post #37 of 51
teckstud already made my comment. I skimmed this review looking for the sound quality appraisal. Didn't find it.
post #38 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gazoobee View Post

People adapt. No one is going to throw it away cause they can't keep their thumb out of the shot.

Just hold the nano upside down and **poof** the camera lens is in the top corner. Now get a good grip on it. Use your thumb to take the picture (or the pointer finger of your other hand if you are old.) Clean off the ipod screen if you have dirty hands, download the picture to your computer, flip it over, and post it to your facebook.
post #39 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by JonathanC View Post

I skimmed this review looking for the sound quality appraisal. Didn't find it.

If fail to see this concern. What makes you worry that the sound quality might have worsened compared to the past? And, if there was going to be an improved quality of sound, how/why would that happen?
post #40 of 51
Quote:
Originally Posted by teckstud View Post

It's an iPod which was invented to listen to MUSIC . How the music sounds is completely missing from this review .
I could care less how the video recording sounds or a voice memo.

with my Sennheiser 595 Headphones this new nano matches almost any thing on the market and beats almost all on the market ,
,bbbbbecause its the speakers that deliver the sound dude .,and Sennheiser Headphones 595's are worlds best
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