Apple took their sweet time upgrading the iPod family as the 4th Generation iPod Touch and 6th generation iPod Nano basically skipped a year of upgrades. Fortunately, along with the release of the iPhone 5, a whole new family of iPods came with it. As seen during the announcement, the 2012 iPod Nano has been given a major overhaul making it the thinnest media player in the market, which begs the question: is this Apple’s best Nano yet?
The Nano has long been the estranged iPod in Apple’s music player line-up. It has gone through numerous redesigns and concept changes that its position in the market has never been clearly defined. The 6th generation iPod Nano, which can be turned into a wrist watch, enjoyed commercial success and was sold in the market for nearly two years. I honestly thought Apple has finally identified the Nano as the product that would usher in a whole generation of smart watches, but to my surprise, the smart watch design concept was dumped in favor of another.
Not that I’m complaining though as the new 7th generation iPod Nano looks absolutely bitchin’!
Encased in anodized aluminum and available in a myriad of attractive colors, the iPod Nano looks very striking. It looked a bit like the 5th generation Nano (the one with the camera) but this time, it’s thinner, sleeker and has a full capacitive touch screen. I really can’t get over how thin the new Nano is! It’s so thin that I can easily stow it in one of my wallet’s credit card slots. The combination of the Nano’s thinness and aluminum casing make for a very striking first impression.
In terms of feature set, Apple has seen it fit to bring the new Nano up-to-speed with its bigger siblings. Aside from the usual features expected of an iPod (built-in FM tuner, music, podcast and audio book playback), some of the features that were removed from the previous generation Nano have made a comeback, including video and photo viewing.
As it stands, the 7th generation iPod Nano is now a full fledged multimedia machine. While the impracticality of looking at photos or watching a full length movie on such a small screen can be levied as criticism against the iPod Nano, the addition of such features undoubtedly gives the device additional value, as proven during a recent trip to the dentist where the iPod Nano was was able to entertain me with some episodes of Modern Family and The Simpsons while waiting for my turn.
Yes, as an entertainment device, the iPod Nano is quite an able machine. With the combination of iTunes, I was able to transfer my music, videos, audio books and podcasts quite easily, although there was one setback with the whole iTunes syncing. For some reason I am not able to fathom, not all of the videos on my iTunes library can be transferred to the iPod Nano. The movies I bought from the iTunes store played on the iPod Nano without a hitch, and the problem stems from some of my movies which I got from other sources. I usually transcode .mkv files into .mp4 format, load it on my iTunes so I can transfer it to my iPad or iPhone for viewing. Most of these converted files refused to be transferred into the new Nano. I got the “files couldn’t be played on the iPod” error on my iTunes. It happened consistently when I tried to move a 720p video into the Nano, as I was able to transfer some videos with lower resolution into the Nano. It might be that the Nano is incapable of playing HD movies, go figure. I hope Apple addresses this bug in an update.
Bluetooth has long been a staple feature of the iPhone and iPod Touch, so it was time that the wireless standard finally be incorporated into the iPod Nano. The addition of Bluetooth is a huge deal, as it finally gives the Nano a way to take advantage of all the cool wireless accessories available like earphones, speakers and heart rate monitors. Heart rate monitors you say? Yes, the built-in pedometer and Nike+ app of the Nano is now even more useful as it can be paired with a Bluetooth enabled heart rate monitor.
The iPod Nano is a technical marvel. It’s a media device and sports aid combo that’s crammed inside a very small, sleek and attractive package. I still can’t get over how I can fit the Nano inside my wallet’s card slot. The asking price of Php 8,290 may seem a bit expensive considering a brand new 8 GB iPod Touch (4th generation) can be had for just a little more money. Still, the feature-packed 7th generation iPod Nano will undoubtedly carve itself its own niche market where size and feature set is of paramount importance.
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