Daily Archives: 21 February 2006

Nano Notes

Some random notes on my new 1GB iPod nano. These may
change over time as I get more familiar with the nano. What
ever happens, don’t get all bent out of shape if you don’t
like my comments. If you don’t want to hear them, skip what I
have to say. It’s a big world out there, so why waste your
time here. YMMV. Insert disclaimer here.

  • The box includes just the nano, a USB cable,
    headphones, and a small vinyl case (not counting a short
    getting started page and CD with software and longer
    “Features Guide” user manual). Missing is an AC
    adapter, dock, or real case. All three of these are
    expensive accessories. Buying just these three will set
    you back around $100 USD. No wonder Apple is profiting
    more from the iPod series than their PCs.

  • The nano is very thin. So thin that you wonder how
    strong it is and whether it can survive in the pocket of
    your favorite pair of jeans. I do not recommend you find
    out. Still, part of the coolness factor of the nano is
    how thin it is.

  • The 1GB model I got holds about 150 to 200 songs
    (depending on the length of each song). For me, this is
    more than enough as it would take about 10 hours to
    listen to all these songs. When I get tired of these
    songs, I can delete some and add others. While this is
    not as convenient as having every single song that I own
    always available, it’s good enough for me.

  • The instructions are kind of vague on using the Click
    Wheel. The instructions say to “Move your thumb lightly
    around the click Wheel to select a menu item.” What this
    means is you move your finger in a circular motion around
    the circumference of the wheel. This is not intuitive.
    When most people see a click wheel you think of the four
    compass points and that’s all. No where in my experience
    have I seen something where I glide my finger in a
    circular motion along the circumference of the wheel to
    move the cursor.

    In any case, going in a clockwise direction causes the
    cursor to move down. Reversing direction
    (counter-clockwise, or anti-clockwise to some people
    across the pond) causes the cursor to move upwards.
    Likewise, when you are playing a song and you want to
    change the volume, which you will unless all your songs
    have had their volumes normalized, just glide your finger
    in a counter-clockwise direction to lower the volume.

  • To turn off the nano, press and hold the play/pause
    button for a few seconds.

  • I wish the nano would overlap songs so that as one was
    ending it would fade out and automatically fade into the
    next song. As it is, there are sometimes long pauses
    between songs. It may be just me, but I find that

  • To remove the USB cable from the nano, press the two
    buttons; one on each side of the cable connector.
    Do not just yank on the cable
    as this may cause serious damage to the nano, your hand,
    or whatever the cable is connected to.

  • Since Apple doesn’t include an AC adapter, you have to
    use the USB cable to charge the battery. This, of course,
    involves attaching the other end to a USB 2.x compliant
    PC. This is not very convenient unless you are using it
    at work and therefore your PC is on, which it has to be
    to provide the current for a charge, for extended periods
    and you don’t mind leaving the nano attached for the
    three hours it takes to fully charge the battery. Then
    there’s the problem of not being able to change the
    battery yourself. I don’t know when I’ll have to do that
    nor how much it will cost, but I wonder if it won’t be
    cheaper to buy a new iPod when that happens (which may be
    the whole point of the exercise).

  • I bought the leather case and overlay protector from
    Martin Fields. The case is thicker than I thought it
    would be. However, its very thickness probably does a
    good job of protecting the nano from scratches. Although,
    I don’t think it would help that much if you dropped the
    nano on to a concrete floor. The thickness of the case
    also, to a small extent, makes it more difficult to use
    the Click Wheel. It’s not that hard to reach the wheel
    but I was kind of surprised that Martin Fields didn’t
    provide a wider cutout to reach the wheel.

    The case also interferes with using the Dock. If you
    slide the case up five or ten millimeters you can insert
    the nano into the Dock. Otherwise, the case is too
    wide/thick to fit. However, the case is so tight that
    sliding the case is easier said than done.

  • The overly plus protector works as advertised and I
    have no problems with it (other than I had heck of a time
    peeling the backing paper away from the protector). If
    you have smaller fingers than I (or sharper finger nails)
    you may not have as much of a problem as I did.

  • The headphones are the in-the-ear bud type that looks
    like the kind that you can buy at the drug store for
    $5.00. Hence, you can’t expect much from them. They
    produce sound and that’s about all I can say. On the
    downside, the two buds get tangled up very easily because
    the wires are of such a narrow gauge. I also fear that
    the wire will, eventually, pull out of the connector that
    goes into the nano. The ear buds are, to me, also
    uncomfortable to use for long periods. I can use them
    when I go walking for exercise but if I’m at work, I
    switch to regular headphones rather than ear buds.

As you can probably tell, I’m impressed with the nano’s
thin size and its ability to hold enough songs to keep me
happy. I am not so happy with accessories that should come
with the nano but aren’t included and the non-intuitive Click
Wheel operation. Still, I don’t regret getting the nano and
hope it lasts a long time (or until cell phones can store at
least as many songs so I can use it instead).