iPod Classic and iPod Nano

iPod Classic and iPod Nano

The new iPod nano: It's a movie theater in the palm of your hand.

 

Darn you, Apple. You know our iPod love is fickle, and you take advantage each and every time. We were happy with the 5G iPod (a.k.a. the video iPod), but we admit, we wanted the next-generation iPod with spiffy new features. The 2G iPod nano? It was a nice little music player that also made us happy, but we knew it could do more - and apparently, you did, too. So now here we are, with a new iPod classic and iPod nano to covet. Darn you, Apple.

 

The original iPod product line that started it all now has the “classic” designation to help differentiate it from the other iPods. The iPod classic is still a hard-drive-based media player, available as an 80GB version for $249 or a 160GB version for $349. The iPod classics are the same height (4.1 inches) and width (2.4 inches) as the previous iPod, but the 80GB (0.41 inches) and 160GB (0.53 inches) iPod classics are 0.02 inches slimmer than the respective iPods (30GB and 80GB) they replace.

 

Since there’s no change to the dock, you should be able to use the iPod classic (as well as the iPod nano) with any dock accessory, including speakers, and Apple includes an iPod classic Universal Dock adapter. If you have a case for your 5G iPod, it might fit the iPod classic (If your case depends on a snug fit, like silicone sleeves do, to maintain clickwheel alignment with the case opening or to simply keep your iPod enclosed, then you’ll have to shell out cash for a new case.). We were able to use one of our favorite cases, Griffin Technology’s iClear ($19.99) with the iPod classic, even though the fit wasn’t tight. Don’t worry, though; case manufacturers should have iPod classic-specific cases in time for the holidays. Way to keep that iPod economy rolling along, Apple.

 

However, once you see the new iPod classic, you could decide that you don’t need no stinkin’ case. Say goodbye and good riddance to the old iPod’s glossy exterior, because the iPod classic has an aluminum front that’s quite durable. In our testing, we didn’t notice a scratch or nick after a couple of weeks, while the previous iPod had scratches mere minutes after we opened the box. Another case change that actually made us a little misty-eyed: Silver is the new white - the iPod classic comes in black or silver, which will make members of the Oakland Raiders’ Raider Nation punch-drunk giddy.

 

The iPod nano now has a 2-inch screen that’s a half-inch bigger that the screen in the previous iPod nano. That means the iPod nano is now wider, but to maintain nano-ness, Apple cut down the vertical height. The new iPod nano looks squat (it’s 2.75 inches tall and 2.06 inches wide) but it’s not bulky and is actually as thick (0.26 inches) as the previous iPod nano. You can choose from five colors (black, blue, green, red, and silver) and two capacities (4GB, $149, silver only; or 8GB, $199, all colors). Feature-wise, the iPod nano is essentially a smaller version of the iPod classic, and is now capable of video playback and games.

 

The iPod classic and iPod nano have a new iPod software interface that now incorporates graphics. Sometimes the graphics help, while at other times, the graphics just seem decorative. The main menu is split in half with the menu options on the left and an appropriate graphic on the right. When you select Music in the main menu, the iPod displays an album art montage. Or, if you select Photos, the iPod runs a random slideshow of your pics complete with the Ken Burns effect (Apple sure does love that Ken Burns effect).

 

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Mark T. (West Hartford, CT)

Roman, I was literally on my way to our local Apple Store to get the Nano, when I heard a Podcast discussion of Apple's change in its ability to connect to a TV ... something I do fairly often. FYI, the Apple Component AV Cable that connects to the iPod via the dock was available for $59 (not $49), and they were still selling the $20 component cable --- the geniuses were unaware that they don't work with the new iPods. I ended up not buying a new Nano ... and will keep using my 5G Video iPod for a while.

If someone can tell me that this change has merit from a technological perspective, I'd be interested in hearing about that.

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