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Dave Approved: iPod nano

Posted on Monday, September 12th, 2005

Dave!Much to my shock and delight, the iPod nano I ordered arrived today!

I've only had it for two hours, but it is already one of my most favorite gadgets ever. It has the functionality of a full-sized iPod, but the portability and unobtrusiveness of the iPod shuffle. It is, without a doubt, the finest MP3 player I have yet owned or played with, and once again catapults Apple to the top... nothing else can touch it. It is a stunning display of both design and functionality that has me wishing that Apple would move into other markets. What I wouldn't give to have an iToaster.

iPod nano

The sound quality is stunning... about on par with my iPod shuffle, and slightly superior to my 2G full-size iPod. Unlike the competition I've tested, the volume gets plenty loud as well. The only downfall is that Apple continues to include these suck-ass earphones. I mean, for what they are, they sound okay... but the only way to go is to use in-ear phones. Fortunately, I've got a great pair that really maximize the quality that iPod is capable of.

The display, despite its tiny size, is remarkably crisp, clear, and easy to read. This means that the teeny, tiny little picture of the album artwork is recognizable enough to be useful. Also, the miniscule cards are readily discernible in the included Solitaire game, and the world clock (something I will use OFTEN) is just beautifully rendered. I don't know how they managed it, but the iPod nano is also capable of displaying your photographs, and easily syncs with iPhoto to make it happen. Another nicety is that it will sync with your address book and iCal calendar as well, so it is quickly becoming part-PDA as well as music device.

iPod nano

The iPod nano includes aforementioned crappy earphones, a dock adaptor (THAT DOESN'T FIT MY DOCK!!), a USB-2 connection cable, and a CD with drivers and outdated iTunes software. No FireWire cable is included, which sucks so much ass that I don't even know where to begin... FireWire is a standard that Apple championed, yet they f#@% over the Mac faithful by tossing USB-2 in the box? WTF? Only the most recent rounds of Macs even support USB-2! This means I have to transfer songs over painfully slow USB-1 on my Titanium PowerBook (which is where all my music is). The included adaptor looks like it is supposed to convert my old full-size iPod dock (which has FireWire) to work with nano, but it doesn't fit right... maybe my dock is too old? Oh well, if you just jam it in the dock without the adaptor, it works just fine, which is all I care about (you can, of course, use the cable alone as well). Still, lack of FireWire support out of the box is a notable f#@%-up in an otherwise miraculously perfect product... especially if you don't have a previous model to "steal" from. Okay, this f#@%ING SUCKS... the iPod nano doesn't support FireWire AT ALL! Even if you use an older cable with a FireWire connector. When you plug it in, it comes right up and tells you so. You can still use the dock... with a USB cable... but FireWire is entirely forbidden. This is STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!!! If Steve Jobs was here, I would bitch-slap the shit out of him for such a dumbass move. First Apple puts FireWire on everything, then stops supporting it? Thanks a lot f#@%ers. Shit like this is what turns faithful Apple whores into vengeful Apple haters. I am very, VERY pissed. F#@% APPLE... F#@% THEM UP THEIR STUPID ASSES!!!

I've seen some people complain that there isn't enough storage, which is crazy given the size of this thing. 1000 songs at a time is more than enough for me, and I've got a full-sized iPod If I ever want to carry my entire library around. I suppose the extra space would be nice for photos, but I don't think people will be using iPod nano as a substitute for a photo album considering there's no video-out and the small screen makes sharing difficult.

SURPRISES: The iPod nano comes with a stopwatch (with lap timer!), which I didn't see in any of the press materials. The small click-wheel is even more comfortable than the larger wheel on my full-size iPod. The calendar is actually worth using.

DISAPPOINTMENTS: Other than the missing FireWire support, there's only one other quibble... lack of a lanyard so you can wear the thing. Sure there's a "combo" model coming out that integrates headphones into the lanyard, but they're the same crappy earphones Apple is using already. I want a lanyard that lets me use my own earphones. No doubt there will be one soon, but this is a good reason to hang on to your iPod shuffle until something is released.

All in all this is a mind-blowing product. If you don't own an iPod, there are no more excuses, because the iPod nano is practically perfect IF YOU HAVE USB-2. If you already do own an iPod, then this is probably an excuse to upgrade IF YOU HAVE USB-2. Highest possible recommendation IF YOU HAVE USB-2.

Categories: Apple Stuff 2005, Music 2005Click To It: Permalink


  1. Kevin says:

    I can see your point about using the older iPod for the max storage device, but I just never saw much point in having multiple devices. Why have two when you can have one with a big drive? I just wouldn’t have much use for a smaller iPod. Yeah, I work out in a gym, but my original iPod is perfect for the occasion. Just clip it to my shorts or put it in the cupholder of the cardio machine I am using.

    I actually do like having all my music with me. Well, a big chunk of it anyway. I never know what I’ll be in the mood for and you cannot plan for that with something as small as a Nano (still having trouble with that considering “Nano” is what I’ve called my grandmother since I was a baby).

  2. Jackie says:

    Nano! Excellent. I like your seal of approval graphic. Cool product analysis, you’re just like Amazon. com. 🙂

  3. jen says:

    thanks for the review! i’ve been doing some research on the product for my 13 year old daughter’s upcoming birthday, and this is by far the best information i’ve seen on the nano so far.

    all of this, AND a cool blog!

  4. Jenny says:

    Oh, man. I just saw these at an Apple store on Sunday and was drooling. They’re just beautiful – the color display is so nice!

    Must. not. buy. this. I already have the shuffle and an old full-size one, which I haven’t come anywhere near filling. But I can certainly see the appeal. Nice review!

  5. Kevin says:

    Ouch! Just read the updates. I think I’m sold… against it.

    iPod Photo, here I come…

  6. Art says:

    Damn Dave. I didnt expect to see “Anger Lad” quite so soon after his interduction. Perhaps prior to reviewing items such as this you should spend some time in the the company of, “kittens, rainbows, and Betty White”.

  7. Neil T. says:

    Is there any way you can add USB2 to your Powerbook, like on an expansion card or something?

    CNet had something about the lack of Firewire support over the weekend. It didn’t come to any conclusions but one of the comments suggested that adding Firewire would mean more circuitry and would therefore make the device larger. More computers support USB than Firewire (in the PC world, anyway) so the latter had to go. It’s only a theory, though.

    You can, of course, still charge the Nano over Firewire but no file transfers.

  8. Larry B says:

    Hmmm, given your quick turn of opinion on the Nano, I’d think twice before wishing for an iToaster. Not pumpernickel compatible, only runs on 208v-3phase, and reorders bread automatically. But only from Peapod. What you need is the Toshiba Toastra running Windows XP/TE (Toaster Edition) with special bagel extensions.

    I’m still hanging on to my 5GB first generation iPod, but I do appreciate your reviews. I’ll probably break down and buy a new one in the next year or so.

  9. April says:

    Hey there. Bloghopped my little butt over from Atomic Bombshell’s. Nice site, with a personal touch! Mucho flavor! Now, that’s a spicy meatball!!

    Anywho… thanks for the heads up on the Nano. No one that I read right now has said anything about it yet… not quite ready to get it yet, but your post makes me tempted, lol.

  10. lizriz says:

    I use my mini with a USB 2 cord plugged into my USB 1 port (I have the first small white iBook), and I haven’t found it to be too slow. Maybe I’m just ridiculously patient.

    I am still on dial-up, after all.

    Ah, see, now if you switched back to dial-up, it wouldn’t seem slow at all! 😉

  11. Dave2 says:

    I would die with dial-up! I suppose I should apologize for the many images that clutter my blog… it must take forever to load!

  12. Dave2 says:

    Once the iPod nano is loaded over my s-l-o-w USB-1 connection, I am absolutely thrilled with it. It truly is flawless and beautiful. I love it to death.

    But the absence of FireWire STILL makes me want to scream, even after I’ve had a day to calm down. Perhaps the electronics were too big to fit. Perhaps it would have added expense. Whatever. The simple fact is that Mac users who bought into Apple’s FireWire future got f#@%ed. If they could only do ONE interface, then they should have given a choice. I’m betting the vast majority of Mac users don’t have USB-2. That’s just wrong… and Apple is screwing over their customers.

  13. Kevin says:

    Which new Macs actually do have USB-2? I didn’t realize that it was so small a number, apparently.

  14. dave says:

    i really want one of these
    ipod nano’s

    i like the black the best im just worried that it would snap in my pocket if i leaned to far forward to tie my shoelace or something

    but thats just me being paranoid

    i cant see people wanting the ipod mini or shuffle now

    no wonder there so eager to give them away with walkers crisps?

  15. Bill L says:

    I’m within inches of buying one of these (my first iPod) but I’m hesitant because I’m not sure 4G is enough. My total music collection is about 10G right now. But do I need to carry it all with me?

    I would like to be able to jog with the player. Maybe that makes the decision right there…

  16. Anonymous says:

    Ive loaded 2 gb of music on my itunes. What happens now when I plug in my ipod 1gb nano to recharge and reload? Will it simply fill up to 1gb and stop or will I do something irreversible to the ipod nano?

  17. Dave2 says:

    Uh… yes. Haven’t you tried it?? You specify the criteria as to which playlists are loaded OR let it pick songs for you up until the iPod is full.

  18. Mike says:

    I will repeat my question with my name and email added. What happens if I load more than 1gb into itunes and I charge up and reload my ipod nano that holds only 1gb?

  19. Dave2 says:

    Well, I answered your question, but if you don’t believe me you can look at Apple’s web site in the iPod section by clicking here.

    An excerpt…
    “If you have more songs in your iTunes library than you can fit on your iPod, let iTunes create a playlist to fill your iPod, or just update your iPod by dragging over individual songs.

  20. Avitable says:

    Dave, I didn’t know you moonlighted as iPod tech support.

    Some people are just freeloading idiots, eh?

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