Wednesday, September 16, 2009

New iPod Nano Fulfills Its Mission, Mostly

New iPod Nano Fulfills Its Mission, Mostly
By Stephen Williams

It’s glossy, it’s slick, the video’s for real, the audio speaker’s not.

I took a run up to the Apple store on 14th Street in Manhattan on Thursday, and a young lady showed me the new iPod Nano, a gold colored version with a sassy gloss finish and a nifty camera lens peeking out the rear. It was the only demo Nano in the house, she said, but I could buy all the Nanos I wanted — in any color — for about $150 and up.

After a short hands-on fool-around with it — others were waiting, real customers — I concluded that:

* The video camera’s a delightful feature.
* The speaker inside the Nano — if you can call it a speaker — lacks any fidelity.
* The FM tuner’s a neat addition (although not too effective inside the store).
* The satiny finish is cool.

The larger issue, however, is: why is there no camera in the new iPod Touch model?

It’s curious, since little brother Nano has one, and its seems a no-brainer to install a camera into the Touch, since it could be transplanted directly from the iPhone 3GS, which shares a similar form factor. There were stories last week that some “technical problems” had arisen in the camera option, but it appears that Apple might just be waiting to upgrade the device. Again.

Back to the FM radio, a component that Apple has steadfastly refused to include in its portable music players. As an article in Wired points out, “the answer comes with iTunes-Tagging. In addition to live pausing of the radio stream (and rewinding up to 15 minutes through the buffer) you can tag tracks by hitting the center button. If a radio station supports it, the song info is saved and later you can see a list in iTunes alongside, you guessed it, the option to buy the song.”

Meanwhile, as I reported earlier, it had appeared that Apple has lowered the prices on some “older” iPod models, including dropping the price on the iPod Touch with 32 gigabytes from $399 to $279. However, the latest update to Apple’s online Store page only refers to the new models introduced on Wednesday. A manager at the Apple store in Manhattan told me that all previous iPod incarnations had been boxed and shipped out of the Chelsea location.
Smaller? Thinner? Camera enabled? Rewind capable? This is a cool ipod!
Find out more here.

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