Apple launches fifth-generation iPod nano: New model features: vibrant colors, larger screen, video camera, FM radio, pedometer

Apple released the fifth generation of its iPod nano in September. The new nano has many additions, including a built-in video camera, the largest color screen yet, and a built-in FM radio. All of these additions make this nano more versatile than its predecessors. But, this nano still has some improvements that could make it even more user-friendly.

The nano is wrapped in a smooth and polished aluminum finish and comes in nine crisp colors. The nano’s frame is complemented with silver, white, and black accents that yield a clean, fresh appearance. The 2.2-inch diagonal color display is the largest yet and permits users to see more than previous generations have. Putting the larger screen in combination with the tilt sensor and cover flow allows users to sift through their music library with ease. While using the nano for the last few weeks without a case, I found that the screen is quite resistant to scratching, making it ideal for taking to the gym.

The iPod nano now features the ability to capture memories with a built-in 30 frames per second video camera. The camera can capture video in either portrait or landscape positions, and also records sound. The video could be of a better quality, and the position of the camera and microphone is awkward for trying to capture footage. From my perspective, it would make more sense to place the camera at the top of the nano rather than at the bottom.

The nano makes a nice iPod for working out with its built-in pedometer and FM radio. While testing the pedometer, I found it to be an accurate and convenient addition to the iPod. The nano also supports the Nike + iPod Sport Kit, which allows you to place a Nike sensor in your shoes when you run to track variables such as your pace and distance. The Mueller Center has televisions that broadcast over specific FM stations; with the nano I was able to listen to the television on my iPod. A nice feature of the FM radio is the ability to pause, rewind, and fast forward with the Live Pause feature. The nano also has iTunes tagging, giving the user the ability to record songs they would like to remember to buy from the iTunes store. Although, one thing I found with the radio was that when riding on the shuttle around campus, the signal was unreliable; however, the radio was much more reliable with static use.

The nano also has a feature known as VoiceOver—when the Click Wheel is pressed the iPod tells you the name of the song and the artist—permitting sight-free recognition of a song. This feature seems rather beneficial, but it does not function as well as I had hoped. The American voice that is used is electronic and difficult to understand. However, in testing the language recognition, I was pleasantly surprised. The Spanish voice used was much more realistic and easily understood.

I recommend exploring the many members of the iPod family before selecting a specific device. I found that shifting from my iPod touch to this iPod nano was quite difficult: I kept touching the screen and found it to be frusrating having to return to using an iPod wheel. However, the iPod nano has some very interesting and convenient features. It’s worth a look and definitely keeps true to Apple form.