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).