Apple iPod Nano - 5th Gen Review

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3.6 / 5
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mark lucas's review of Apple iPod Nano - 5th Gen


“Ipod nano 3rd generation ”

Written on: 07/06/2008 by mark lucas (13 reviews written)

Good Points
Totally jog proof, versatile, easy to carry around and stores loads, good battery time.

Bad Points
Sound quality - Some tracks sound really terrible, even ripped at 320Kps

General Comments
Ipod nano 3rd generation

Well I got my first apple product and I can@t decide if I like the thing or not. I love the amount of features on this tiny media device, it's literally smaller than a credit card. The latest 3rd gen nano is capable of playing mp3's, storing up to 8 hours of video footage (encoded in mp4 format). It will also hold thousands of photos, even presents them as a slide show set to music of your choice. Additionally, It will store text notes with a 4Kb limit each. It plays all these formats right in the palm of your hand, at your convenience. All accessed via a stylish pressure sensitive jog dial. I bought one in gun metal black, my wife got a pink one.

My problem with this product is a few niggles concerning its technical attributes and performance. When you buy these products, all the hype and advertising make them out to be simple to use. In reality, nothing could be further from the truth.

I find it a bit cheeky when you buy products from companies and they expect consumers to pay out for gimmicky extras. For example, if you wish to have your album artwork depicted alongside your mp3 collection, you need to purchase your songs via the free-to- download syncing program -namely, itunes. There are free ways around this- (downloading i-grabber for example), but it's all time and hassle. Realistically, the majority of consumers are going to put their own CD collections on their ipod and walk. I found this a bit parasitical and pointless on apples behalf.

Futher to this, I hate the syncing program itself- itunes. It's the most over complex unfriendly buggy piece of software I've used . It can also conflict with other media programs such as nero. For those who aren't familiar - the most annoying thing about the ipod is the way in which it works. Any media content needs to be kept in the same place on your pc. If you move something, media which can't be found (in a root directory linked to itunes) is erased from the ipod. You can lose entire contents in seconds, then have to re-sync in order to get content back. For someone used to comparatively safe USB flash stick drives, this is really frustrating. I also like to delete music files on my PC to make more room on my drive. You can limit the way the ipod behaves when syncing, but it's confusing, I still haven't fully worked out these features. Found myself ticking and unticking boxes under itunes preferences, all of which seemed to make no difference. The instructions and help section at are really unhelpful and vague.

Onto the media 'Mp4 , I hate MP4 ! Look for a converter which will encode all your MPG or avi movies into Mp4 successfully. You'll have difficulty finding a free one which works, even a trial version with limitations. Apple should provide a free converter or online service if they're going to insist on this format. Fortunately there is a freeware program out there which works: videora ipod converter. Videos look very clear and the frame rate is smooth enough. However, on a screen this small and without any internal speakers, the novelty of video is going to wear off quickly.

Sound quality - have to say, not great. There isn't a great deal of bass or volume on the ipod. Some tracks sound really terrible, even ripped at 320Kps. There's an equaliser under the ipod settings but improvements applied are unnoticeable and ineffective. Cymbals sound clashy; I even found some distortion with heavy rock tracks. I don't think this is down to the format because I own small usb sticks which sound better. I shuffle tracks through an external amp sometimes, so a great little jukebox to hook up if you're not too fussy about sound quality.

Benefits are: it's totally jog proof, versatile, easy to carry around and stores loads. I don't think it's really worth what we paid but I suppose anybody could apply some serious recreational usage. Great for gadget fans and those already familiar with ipod but a lot of mobile phones can do as much for less.

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