Apple has revolutionized the portable media player market with the introduction of its iconic product — iPod. With the complaints of most consumers that the existing players were “big and clunky or small and useless” with their user interfaces being “unbelievably awful”; Apple released iPod in 2001 touting it as “1000 songs in your pocket”. The introduction of this product, Apple has changed the way the people listen and perceive music — a genuine ‘Apple Experience’ — prompts the common man to continue purchasing these products.
With the increasing popularity of iPod, Apple added new models to their line — one of them being iPod Nano. The last in the line, the 5th iteration or “generation”, of iPod Nano had been jam-packed with features — a video camera, a microphone, a radio with Live Pause all while decreasing the thickness of the player and lengthening it’s screen. It came in nine colours with two special edition colours available only through the Apple Store Online.
Living up to its name, Nano has continued to shrink down in size. At 3.75 cm by 4.1 cm, it is roughly half the size of its predecessor. Losing its patented click-wheel user interface, Apple has instead chosen to go in the touch screen direction. The newest model of Nano has lost its video camera, video playback capability, its microphone, speaker and it has a smaller screen. However, it retains the accelerometer and “shake to shuffle” features. The colour selection has dropped down as well but the 8 GB and 16 GB capacities remain the same.
The Nano is a gorgeous piece of electronic equipment, pretty much living up to the Apple legacy. It has three buttons, one power button to turn the Nano on and off while the other two are volume controls. Apple also borrowed a feature from its iPod Shuffle line, the safety clip, which allows the users to clip the miniscule device onto their clothing or bags for safe keeping. It even promises a battery capacity up to 24 hours of music.
The new user interface is the multi-touch screen which allows one to scrolls through menus and songs by swiping through screens but pressing and holding allows one to return to the Home screen. The touch screen is responsive and even has a feature to actually ‘rotate’ the screen in every direction.
Another new feature is the playlists — one can actually make playlists on the device itself instead of syncing some from iTunes. One can just go to the song currently playing and bring up a menu to make ‘Genius’ mixes — an iTunes features which makes a playlist of songs similar to a song the user chooses.
The handy ‘Games’ are missing as well since the touch interface is too small to support any. Apple doesn’t have much to say on the issue leaving most to speculate that the current version is bound to have no games to help pass time.
With the 6th Generation iPod Nano, Apple has chosen to go back to the basics — back when iPod was just a music player. This Nano can be called a cross between a Shuffle and an iPod Touch. It is ideal for anyone looking for a well-designed device solely dedicated to playing music.
The price point, however, is a cause for argument since Nano has been priced same as its predecessor – $ 149 for 8 GB and $ 179 for 16 GB (or 10,000 and 11, 500 approximately) — for roughly half the features. One can instead choose to opt for an iPod Touch or Shuffle instead or a different player entirely. Sony and Philips players have the same (or more) features at the same price point giving the customers the same experience at a lower value.
In conclusion, we can only hope that the next model of Nano would surprise us as it has for over a decade.