AP: Apple’s new iPod, iPod nano, iPod shuffle ‘clearly worth the wait’

“Fans of Apple Computer Inc.’s portable music players will find the new, video-capable models of the iPod and its miniature counterpart, the Nano, clearly worth the wait,” Dan Scheraga reports for The Associated Press.

“As with previous iPods, the Nano now comes in a variety of storage capacities and colors, not just silver and black. There’s green, blue, pink and — starting last week — red, each holding 4 gigabytes of music, or roughly 1,000 songs. Silver is available in 2 GB and 4 GB configurations, and the black model holds 8 GB,” Scheraga reports. “The first thing I noticed is that the new Nano is tiny. Very tiny… so discreet, slim and light, at 1.4 ounces.”

“The battery life of the Nano is impressive. Apple rates it at 24 hours, and my own testing of an 8 GB model supported that. It charges quickly, too, powering up to 80 percent capacity in 90 minutes while hooked up to your computer using the included USB cable,” Scheraga reports. “The Nano’s display is 40 percent brighter than the first-generation models… Priced at $149, $199 and $249, respectively, for 2 GB, 4 GB and 8 GB models, the new Nano models pack a lot of punch into a small package at a small price.”

“I wish I could say the same for the new iPods,” Scheraga reports. “Obviously, the big draw here is the iPod’s video capability, something not available in Nanos. The display, though rather small at 2.5 inches diagonally, is beautiful, crisp and 60 percent brighter than its predecessor. However, video images tend to pixelize in areas of low contrast, probably because of the data compression necessary to squeeze video down to iPod size.”

“The iPod I tested exhibited other strange behaviors, once freezing my entire computer as I tried to sync it with my music library. It even seemed once to confuse audio with video. When I asked it to play one album, it rapidly cycled through a series of movie images instead,” Scheraga reports. “No doubt Apple will be quick to smooth these kinks out of new iPods rolling off the assembly line, but it was disappointing to encounter them at all.”

“The iPods are reasonably priced at $249 for the 30 GB model and $349 for the 80 GB model, though the value is not quite as compelling as it is for the Nano,” Scheraga reports. “Perhaps the most pleasant surprise of all is in the earphones. Usually a cheap freebie with other portable audio devices, Apple resisted the temptation to pinch pennies here and instead gave them a complete reengineering with the new models. The result is probably the most comfortable set of earphones I’ve worn, and they seem never to fall out. The sound quality is great, too…”

“Consumers can feel comfortable laying down their credit card for either one. Another option is the new iPod Shuffle, which Apple is introducing this month. Barely larger than a cufflink, the Shuffle is designed to be worn, with a clip that fastens onto your clothes,” Scheraga reports. “It holds only 1 GB of music and has no display, making song selection difficult. But at $79, it’s attractive for people who intend to use the iPod while jogging or working out. For my money, though, the Nano is the best bet. I went out and bought my own after my review…”

Full review here.

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Computerworld review: ‘Apple’s new iPods are better than ever’ – September 27, 2006
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8 Comments

  1. Shuffle… “It holds only 1 GB of music and has no display, making song selection difficult”

    Uh…that’s because it is designed for “shuffling”…they always make it sound like a defect.

  2. I still don’t get why the coloured versions are limited to 4GB, I can understand making black a premium model and trying to give it perceived added value but why limit people who are willing to pay more for the added size to only 1 colour?

  3. Hmmmm, I think the best thing was saved for last.

    He said, “For my money, though, the Nano is the best bet. I went out and bought my own after my review…”

    Yes,nothing is perfect, even Apple, “but its so good, I laid down $200 of my own money for one.”

    Yep. Another one bites the dust. Hey, maybe he should wait to see how good a Zune is???? ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”grin” style=”border:0;” />

    N.

  4. I’d be interested in seeing the difference between the old and new ‘buds. My dad bought a 30GB iPod a couple months before they upgraded the lineup. Perhaps if I get one in the future, I might have that opportunity =)

    MDW before. iPods were great before, but now they’re freakin’ awesome. Same goes for Apple.

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