The journal of Paul M. Watson.

Friday, January 27, 2006

Nano sized bite of the forbidden fruit

2gb Apple iPod nano

Alright now, baby it's alright now...

Remind me not to "tag along" with friends when they visit computer shops.

Brian and Ulla went down to PC World to check out some MP3 players as a birthday present for a friend and I "tagged along." I thought I'd just check out some keyboards and mice for my office computer but not actually buy anything. They walked out with nothing and I ended up walking out of the shop with a 2gb black iPod nano.

A few hours later and I am wondering why I did not get onto the iPod bandwagon sooner. This is a superb device. It is small without being unusable and very nicely made. Setup and first-use was a breeze, a good software experience using iTunes.

I like how Apple does things. They don't just make a good piece of hardware with decent matching software. No, they put the Apple quality stamp on every aspect of the Apple experience. Take the packaging the nano comes in. Just holding the box in your hand is a pleasure. Opening it even more so. No cheap paper sleave for the CD and all the plastic-wrappings are good quality. The nano itself is set into the box like a gallery piece while the headphones and USB cable is sealed inside easy-to-open packets. Even the manual is slick. Plus they throw in two promotional Apple stickers which is a fun touch. My Windows laptop is now branded Apple.

And naturally the nano itself performs very well. I tried a click-wheel ages ago for a minute and didn't really get it. Within half-a-minute of using it on the nano though I was flying through the menus and playlists. I adore the way I can have the nano lying on a table and a gentle sweep of my pinky finger will adjust the volume.

No wonder Apple patented this input technique and no wonder everyone else wants to copy it.

Not everything has been perfect of course. Apple are mere mortals after all. Superior mortals to be sure but still, mortal.

The packaging came with a CD which had version 1.0 nano software on it. It loaded fine, connected to my nano and said all was up to date. I assumed it had connected to the net and checked there too. So I then went into iTunes and started it filling up the nano. A minute later and iTunes tells me my nano software is out of date. So I download the updated software, version 1.1, and install it after the songs have been copied across. Well, it wiped everything off the nano and reset some of the settings I had customised. Not a trainsmash but a bit frustrating as copying 2gb to the nano is not that fast (2gb over USB to any device isn't that fast.)

Another small frustration is that if you are listening to a song on it and you connect to your computer it pauses for a few seconds, interupting the music.

One feature I would like is a "Don't ever automatically copy this song to my nano again" command on the nano. iTunes did a decent job of automatically filling the nano but there are a few tracks I'd rather not have on it.

These are minor points though and I am being picky.

Excellent software, excellent device, excellent experience. Now all I need is that 12" MacBook Pro...


Blogger Mike said...

Congrats on the purchase. I'm waiting for the "Real" video iPod to come out before I upgrade.

Just a note on the iPod updater. Did you chose Restore or Upgrade? Restore will wipe out your songs, Upgrade won't. I've never lost songs when I upgraded my iPod. Just a thought.

12:55 AM

Blogger Paul Watson said...

I am pretty sure I clicked Update and not Restore but it was my first time so I might have made a mistake. Next time there is an update I'll see if it was the software or my finger slipping.

And what do you mean by the "Real" video iPod?

1:01 AM

Blogger Mike said...

Apple has to come out with an iPod where Video is a main function. Widescreen, maybe speakers, more storage etc. I'm guessing the next version of the iPod will be something that is more video capable and not just an "add-on".

1:56 AM

Anonymous Steve Crane said...

I hear what you're saying about the click wheel. One of the things I love about my 30GB iPod Photo is that I can adjust volume, play, pause, advance tracks, etc. through the fabric of my shirt pocket.

Regarding keeping certain songs off your Nano, this is quite easy to do. In iTunes you'll notice a checkbox to the left of each track. Uncheck any you never want on the Nano and then check the preferences. I forget exactly where but probably on the iPod tab is an option to only sync checked tracks. You can use Ctrl-click to have all checkboxes in the current window toggle along with the one you're clicking.

9:16 AM


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