|Apple's iPod nano Review
09/14/2005 - Updated 01/15/2006
Here's the box that my 4 GB black nano came in. The embossed image
of the nano on front will reveal the color of the nano inside but,
from what I've read in Apple's forums and other websites, that
that isn't necessarily true. Well, anyway, I did order a 4 GB black
nano and inside the box there was at least a black one. The bottom
photo was modified to conceal my serial number.
|Box within a box
My first attempt at opening the box was from the left side because
of the typical box lid, or flap. I then realized that the internal
box actually slid out from the right side. Duh...
When you remove the internal box, it opens up like an album, and
that's when you first see the nano.
In my haste, I removed the outer plastic skin (with the "Don't
steal music...") and the second clear plastic skin that covered
the face of the nano. I wish I'd left the second skin on.
The package included:
1 - iPod nano (in this case a 4 GB black)
1 - USB 2.0 cable
1 - Earbud headphones
2 sets - Black earbud pads
1 - iPod nano Quick Start guide
1 - Installation CD for PC and Mac
1 - 1 year warrantee statement
1 - Software license agreement
1 - Some white plastic dock adapter thingy
|Looking at the nano
Peeling off the first layer of plastic skin and, regrettably, removing
the second skin, you will notice how small (3.5" x 1.6" x
0.27", 89 mm x 41 mm x 7 mm) and lightweight
(1.5 oz., 42.5 g) the iPod nano is. Another thing you will notice
is how easily it collects dust and fingerprints.
I ordered my nano engraved despite advice from others to not personalize
it. Since this is my first iPod, I don't plan on selling it or giving
The bottom of the nano reveals the dock connection port and the mini-stereo
headphone port. On top is the hold switch, probably the most confusing
component on the iPod , because it serves multiple functions and
the use of the terminology 'on' and 'off' has different meanings.
For example, to turn the nano on, you slide the hold switch 'off'
(no orange). To turn off the nano, you hold down the pause/play button
for several seconds, then slide the hold switch to 'on' (when you
see orange). When playing and you want to prevent accidental skipping,
pause, reverse, in otherwords, disabling the click wheel controls,
you slide the hold switch to on (orange).
When you look directly at the side of the nano, you will notice
a thin clear layer on the face. Since my nano is black, this clear
layer seems to be bonded to a black (plastic?) layer underneath.
This was the very moment when I realized that I should have left
the second layer of skin on the nano. Oh well...
|Using the nano
|I've installed the CD software on my Mac (OS X 10.4.2) and PC
(XP Pro). That's when I realized that the nano will only work with
the Mac or the PC. It will not work with both. However, when formatted
on the PC, in disk mode, I can transfer files to the nano from
the Mac but, when formatted on the Mac, the PC will not recognize
the nano at all. Well, since all my songs are on the Mac, I'll
have to format it using the Mac.
|Testing the nano
|While loading my songs on the nano, I left it on charge for about
3-4 hours. As a test, with the earphones plugged in, at around
40% volume, backlight off, equilizer off, hold on, the nano played
well beyond the 14 hour mark, even though the battery indicator
showed that it was empty. I think the battery died near the 15
My second test was to use the nano as I would normally use it, and
that is with the hold switch off, and frequent use of the click wheel
to repeat songs, skip songs, cycle through album art, lyrics, ratings
(using the select button). This test was done over several days,
and to my surprise, the battery life varied tremendously. Anywhere
from 6 to 12 hours, and that depends on how frequently you use the
click wheel. I've never counted the click wheel usage, and since
I plan to use my iPod, for me, that test is done.
The third test is with displaying photos. Of course, when displaying
photos, the backlight has to be on. On a full charge, with continuous
backlight, the battery will only last 2 1/2 hours. It varied from
2 hours 20 minutes to 2 hours 25 minutes on the two tests I did.
|Overall, the iPod nano, for me, has been a very dependable device.
I've been using it everyday for the past year and a half. I would
use it primarily for listening to music and displaying photos.
An occasional reset is
required, every now and then, when hooking up to the StereoDock,
FM transmitter or Car Stereo adapter, but I've learned to turn
the nano on prior to attaching to such devices so lately, it has
been problem free.