Product Type: Apple MP3 players
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Generation 4 is with us.
Apple iPod Nano (4G) 8 GB
Member Name: paulhanton
Apple iPod Nano (4G) 8 GB
Date: 02/01/09, updated on 02/01/09 (395 review reads)
Advantages: Best player.
Disadvantages: Apple formats.
4th Generation - 8GB (purple for me)
I have now owned a 1st, 2nd and 4th Generation iPod.
lets face it, Generation 3 were naff, I said so at the time and they lasted all of a year...rubbish design and just looked awful.
Now the 4th Generation is altogether different and starts off where Gen 2 left off. That is, it is the same long rectangular shape, though (read my 2nd Gen review) vastly improved.
So this Nano I am reviewing is an 8GB version which means round about 2000 songs, with a 24 hour battery life if playing music.
Gotta give it 10/10 for looks, several colours to choose from;
* Black (though it looks like dark grey to me)
* Red (with some funds going to HIV/Aids charities)
* Yellow (gold!)
* Blue (Teal)
* Green (my old colour)
* Purple (my new one)
All the colours are distinctive, and if ordering online, your iPod can be engraved, I did this for my partner for a crimbo present, bought the iPod too, not just got it engraved, lol.
The shape, as said is still rectangular but with one or two major differences:
Difference one; It is thinner and sleeker, instead of being flat it curves in at the edges and is incredibly thin. I cannot find any 'specs' on how thin it is so I will give you the dimensions, as measured by me:
Depth (thinness) = 5mm at it's biggest
Height = 9cm
Width = 4 cm
Weight = 1.3 oz
The other major difference is the screen size which measures just over 4cm x just under 3.5 cm. This is great for viewing album covers, or music videos or even game playing, more of that later.
All the features of other Nano models are here, I am not going to give you a huge rundown, suffice to say it is all you would expect from a portable MP3 or similar player. I do like the fact that you can change font size, adjust brightness and even have voiced menus if you are visually impaired, well done Apple.
The games that come as standard are pretty poor, though more games can be bought via iTunes.
There are also a couple of new features which are extra to the older versions of Nano;
The ability to view horizontally or vertically by simply tilting the iPod is pretty cool, the screen picture moves to accommodate this, and then we get 'cover flow' which is a way of scanning through the items, similar to that used on the iTunes site.
Another nifty feature is the 'shuffle' option by simply shaking the iPod, you get another song...more of a novelty than something I will use on a regular basis, but great for previous iPod 'shuffle' users. It can (and has been) turned off in 'settings'.
Finally there is a 'genius' feature, as on the iTunes site, where you can get the iPod to suggest playlists from your songs when selected, again I have turned this feature off.
~~~In the Box~~~
We have the small instruction book (quick guide) in various languages, for a more comprehensive set of instructions you will need to visit the website.
There is a small stand (naff), the connection (USB) cable and the obligatory apple earphones (which I do not use). There is also a couple of Apple stickers, like, why?
As I have said it is bigger than 2nd Gen' and it is really quite crisp in terms of colours and display. For those that are 'tech' minded, 320 x 240 pixels. Photo's and videos look great as does the album artwork, just love that.
I have yet to download a decent game but I reckon it will look good.
~~~Ease of use~~~
I cannot overstate how easy the iPod is to use, both on it's own and with iTunes. There are various menu's on the iPod (again I am not going to list them all) that are clear to understand and use. Many of the menu's, most people will never use such as 'notes'.
Once you open the iPod box you will find that there is about a half life of charge (12 hours) already on it, plenty to set; language, time, equaliser preferences etc.
Then simply attach the iPod to the PC or Mac that you have your iTunes on, if you do not have iTunes you will need to download it, it's free.
iTunes automatically recognises the iPod and you simply have to 'name it' and then download any software updates. This is a slight issue for me as for some reason iTunes will not recognise that I am connected to the Internet to download the update, though does allow me to download tunes, this is a minor fault that Apple are working on I understand. The latest update is not needed anyway; it is simply an enhancement of 'coverflow'.
That is it, you are away. If you already have some tunes, photo's music videos. Email contacts etc. simply transfer them to you player, if not, start buying!!
iPod's have always had good sound capability in my opinion and there are various features on this gen' to 'tweak' the sound so I have no complaints there.
I would always advise people to invest in some decent headphones or 'in ear' earphones however as the Apple ones that ship with iPod are not that good; though that being said, these earphones that came with this iPod do seem a little better, although I could not discern from any website if Apple have actually improved or changed them, maybe they have..
If you are an occasional music listener then I am sure the earphones are fine, it is just that if you listen with a 'good' set of earphones or headphones, you will notice a significant difference.
Apart from the aforementioned issues with downloading the updates, there are two 'issues' (I would not call them problems) that are apparent with this iPod.
1. Like all generations of iPods, the format that iTunes downloads to iPod makes it difficult to transfer the music to other players, this is to protect copyright, but hey, I've bought the damn tracks. This is overcome in two ways, either pay the extra for an iTunes + tunes which means you can convert and transfer tunes, or, make a CD from your tunes as you get them and simply use this to load up to other formats.....more time consuming.
2. This generation of iPod does not 'charge' in my in car, Belkin adapter, bummer.
It is a hard balance in a review of the iPod to get enough information over to let people know about how good it is, yet not so much that it sounds like a tech report. So I would like to finish by just highlighting the reasons why I chose to buy the iPod over any of the other MP3 players or portable music players out there.
The looks - Ultra cool, great colours
iTunes - by far the biggest selection of any online music
Support - Better support (and a one year warranty) than any other music player manufacturer, in my opinion, I have had to use Apple support on a number of occasions previously and they always came up trumps.
The Screen - just love the colours, love the album artwork.
Brand Loyalty - I have now owned 3 iPod's, my wife has owned two and my son two, not a major problem with any one of them, minor problems, but all easily (sometimes with Apple support) fixable.
Thoroughly recommended as the best portable digital player on the market in my opinion and a vast improvement on Gen' 3.
Summary: IPod Nano 4th Gen.
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