The iPod Nano Review

What manner of treachery is this? Ryan has purchased an iPod? Yes, it’s true, I did decide to drop mad stacks of cash on an Apple iPod nano. I’ve always said that I’m the last person that should be allowed to have money, and this is a perfect example of why. See, I didn’t really need one, but I decided that since owning one would increase my cool points by like a jillion (not that I need cool points either…), it was a good idea. And you know, aside from the monumental cost, it was. Read on to find out why.

For one, let’s go over my plethora of excuses for buying the damn thing in the first place. First of all, it’s a totally cool and trendy little gadget, and we all know that I’m was voted most likely in my school of friends to jump on any bandwagon that passes by. Come on, all the cool kids have one. Get with it. Steve from The Sneeze has an iPod, so why shouldn’t I? Secondly, it’s so much more practical than my discman. I hate carrying shit around, and I take my discman nearly everywhere I go. The iPod is so much tinier and lighter than that big hunk of plastic that I barely even know it’s there. Plus it’s got a pretty screen and tons of storage space (~1.9 gigabytes), so I’m not constricted to only being able to have one CD at any given time. Lastly, I just had a huge wad of money to blow, so why not get something nice for a change? Better than a bunch of video games I don’t really want (seriously, there were no games I deemed worthy to own at the time). I’ve never been one to save money when I don’t need to, so I sent it off to line the pockets of the man. I love the man, don’t you? Wait… that didn’t sound right. I’m not gay. Really, I’m not. I like girls. And apparently, they like me too. Probably because of the iPod. I hear they like men with money.

Now that I’ve justified the purchase with flimsy-at-best arguments and half-lies, it’s time to get down to business. But where to start? Well, I guess the first thing you experience about something is the visual, so let’s start there.

The iPod is a pretty slick creature by nature, and the nano does it one better. Not only is it all professionally dressed up in white (or black, if you prefer) plastic, it’s got a sexy plastic coating over top to make it even shinier and slicker-looking. The back has got a nice metal sheen, which suits it quite well. I like the dual-tone idea more than just white the whole way ’round like with the original. It’s a beautiful piece of technology, yet people want to cover it up? Why would they want to do that? Sadly, the metal and plastic coating are pretty scratch prone, and the worst part is that those scratches are going to show up. If you’re careful, you should be okay, but slack off for just a little while and your sexy iPod will be a less-than-sexy iScratched. The click wheel is of the seamless variety featured on the newer generations of the original iPod, not like those old ones with the fugly buttons and all.

Even the iPod nano’s box is brilliantly designed. Like all things Apple, it takes the minimalist route, and features a very plain, but very attractive box cover that slides off revealing a smaller “booklet” style box. The nano is wedged into one side, while the other opens and contains all the extra junk (headphones, install disc, instructions, etc) that comes with it.

The compact size of the nano is clearly it’s selling point. The machine is the exact same as it’s larger, fatter counterpart. But the size is just mind-blowing in and of itself. Engineered to fit into even those useless tiny pockets-inside-the-pocket, the nano is so tiny that you’re not going to have to worry where you’ll be putting it. Hell, it’s so small they don’t even capitalize the N in nano. As the size is more or less relative to the weight, the thing weighs almost nothing. As I said earlier, when I’ve got it in my pocket, I could forget it was even there, unlike the bulky discman that I used to carry around. The plastic coating makes the unit remarkably smooth and pleasant to the touch, while the click wheel has a slightly more coarse texture, which I couldn’t possibly compare to anything, because I’ll go on record and say that nothing else in the world has that texture.

The nano’s screen may be tiny, but it’s as sharp as that huge HDTV down at the Best Buy that you only wish you could have. Just as with the GameBoy Micro (actually, you can draw a lot of parallels between the nano and the Micro), the small screen size doesn’t hamper your visibility in the least. I mean, the iPod doesn’t exactly have as much detail to display as the GameBoy does, but the idea’s somewhere on the same train of thought.

Speaking of trains of thought, I seem to have lost mine. Let’s think for a second, shall we? Oh yeah, one thing I should mention is that I positively farking hate earbuds. They’re uncomfortable and they fall out all the time. The only only reason I make an exception for the iPod’s buds is because it just feels wrong to hook up my regular headphones to the thing. It’s like burying a model in the forest when she ODs and dies in your jacuzzi instead of just leaving here there and pretending everything’s alright: it’s probably the better choice, but it just doesn’t feel right. Also, the music seems a little “blurrier” through the buds.

One thing you might not expect if you’ve lived a PC life and tried a Mac once or twice is that it’s really simple and easy to use. Once you’ve installed the iPod software and iTunes (sadly, it’s a necessary evil) on your PC, getting stuff on your iPod is as easy as hooking it up to a USB port, importing your music to iTunes and dragging the files to the iPod. It doesn’t take any time at all (assuming you’re using USB 2.0), and the iPod itself is just as easy to use. One time I tried to use a store demo, and got confused and frustrated. Now that I’ve read the instructions (which are like a 3 pages of pictures and callouts), I realize how damned simple the thing is to navigate, and not only that, but it makes finding what you want really easy. Selecting stuff with the click wheel does take longer than say, with a computer that has the benefit of a mouse, but the iPod lets you search through a good variety of categories, like albums, artists, songs, and composers (provided you’ve properly tagged your files) so you can get to what you’re looking for quickly. Also, there’s the shuffle option which just does it all for you with the tradeoff of your music being selected randomly.

Overall, while it’s an expensive package, I’d say that I’m very impressed by the little thing. It’s got both form and function, and based on the few times I’ve taken it on the bus, it really turns heads too. The ladies’ heads, that is. All right. I really have to recommend the iPod nano to anyone who likes music and is on the go a lot. If the price tag is too much for you, it does come in a slightly cheaper, 1GB variety. Or, you know, you could get an MP3 player for a reasonable price, but how lame is that? I sure wouldn’t let you in my club. And what a club it is! Very exclusive. As in “models and hot actresses only” exclusive.


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