Admittedly, I’m not much of a technological kind of gal. Programming a VCR or defragging a hard drive are my two greatest achievements in regards to the world of wires and waves. In fact, I’m more like a trained chimp who knows how to press the “fast forward” button when something displeases me. So, when it came to the recently released fourth generation iPod Nano, my (clich?) question was, “If it’s not broken, why fix it?”
In regards to the barebones, technological issues with the previous iPod Nano, it doesn’t seem that Apple’s done a whole lot. Sure, they’ve added a 16 gigabyte hard drive and added an accelerometer — the feature which allows the iPod to “know” when it’s been turned on its side, which allows for new-to-Nano features like cover flow and “shake to shuffle.” Although these features are attractive selling points, they’re ultimately unnecessary.
But aside from these features, boy is the new Nano pretty. Colors range from jewel tones to the standard silver and black. And the screen is also a welcome change from the third generation, which couldn’t do adequate justice to the album art that can now be displayed on the new, 2-inch wide screen — when the iPod is on its side, of course. However, this is yet another fashion over function feature.
Perhaps the most striking addition to the new Nano, though, is Genius, a kind of Pandora for your iPod. After activating Genius in your iTunes, all you have to do is select a song, and the software will create 25-track long playlists based on the genre of the selected song. These playlists may also be created in iTunes and uploaded to the iPod, and this can also be applied to iPod’s predating the iPod Touch, iPhone, 120 GB iPod classic and the new Nano, but only these former models will support and create lists directly on the device.
But amidst most of the new features, Apple forgot to update a major part of the product: the headphones. Sure, headphones are relatively cheap, but it certainly wouldn’t hurt for the company to provide a more comfortable pair. Honestly, it hurts too much without a different style. A common complaint of these headphones has been that, after extended use, they cause a great amount of discomfort.
So, has Apple really fixed anything with its newest generation of the iPod Nano? Well, truth be told, there wasn’t a whole lot to fix. Some of the new features are interesting, but 100 percent unnecessary. Only the extended amount of disc space and Genius are a step up from the past generation, but these are still available or usable on other models of the iPod. For those new to the iPod, of course the fourth generation iPod Nano is a smart buy — why wouldn’t you buy the most up to date iPod you can get your hands on — but for those choosing to update their old music player, avert your gaze from the pretty colors and glossy screen, and go straight to the brand new 120 GB model.