iPod Reviews

Latest Apple ipod Reviews UK

Welcome to the site of iPod. You have the upper hand to decide the cheap and the best iPod deals and prices. We listed the categories of the iPod such as the Mini, Classic, Touch, Nano and Shuffle. We have written unbiased reviews of most of the best selling models. Our reviews encompass the details like the design, body, specific features like the video shooting, screen, controls, navigation, and many more. You can choose from the Nano size up to the palm sized touch screen. Even the certain generation of iPod have touch screen and gesture identification mode.

Our comparison table gives the buyer enough advice on picking the right model. We have compared the price ranges of Classic, Nano, Shuffle and Touch. Furthermore, the prices comparison amongst the various dealers likes Amazon, Comet, Your M&S; and PC World offers the picture to select the right product. You can also peek at the cheap iPod section, wherein we list the economical ones. Besides this, we update the site with the latest and the cheap MP3 players from various manufacturers like Sony, Creative Zen, Cowon and many more. For the lucky ones, we update the free iPod section wherein you can get the latest amazing combination of registering with mobile phone service providers.

Apple iPod Touch Third Generation Review

We are pretty sure that you do not want us to say you that the iPod Touch is awesome. Lot of people, lots of them, are darned enthused; about 25 million consumers just cannot be wrong. This is the third edition of the iPod Touch and it is actually not an easy task to review something that is ostensibly identical to another that we have looked at before, but that is pretty much what we are faced by the third generation Apple iPod Touch. There is no drastic change in the hardware in comparison to the second gen model and neither has its status changed as the world’s best portable player that is packed with features. The touch has developed with a lot of features beyond MP3 playback that we can no longer call it just as a music player. Some choose Touch for its wonderful mobile browser and email support, whereas others see it mainly as a handy gaming tool and only some flock towards the Touch for good old school video playback and music.

iPod Touch 3rd Generation

Design:

Virtually the same:
For good or bad, the first ever thing that you will notice after unpacking the iPod Touch packing is that, the design remains unchanged from the 2nd generation model. We bet that you will not be able to make out any difference between both the models in just a couple of looks. Apart from the very negligible distinctions in the print at the rear of the device, the second gen model and the latest one are just the same as the other. If you have a look inside the casing, you will find that there had been a place for camera, which despite the photographic evidence to the contrary never made it to the final product, mainly as the last minute technical problems. There is no change in shape and dimensions either, between both the models and it remains to be (H x W x D) 4.3” x 2.4” x 0.33”. The glass display on the front of the model is flat with a curved steel backing, which feels natural and comfortable in hands, but is wobbly when placed in a flat surface.

That being said, the Touch is truly a delight to be held, debatably better than the iPhone itself particularly with its lithe form and amazingly delicious weight. It just has the right size to slip into the pocket of your jeans and almost forget that it is even there; a breathtaking feat of engineering.

Display and ports:

Just as in the case of its phone sibling, Apple iPhone, iTouch also has a glass covered crisp, pixel dense 3.5″ touch sensitive display of resolution 480 x 320 pixels and 3:2 aspect. Though the device sports a touch interface, few physical controls are inevitable and they include the hold switch on top of the device, a thin volume rocker on the left edge and a home button just below the display. On the part of the ports, there is a 3.5mm headphone jack as in the case of the previous models and also a universal dock port piercing through the otherwise seamless stretch of chrome steel that surrounds the rear and edges of the device.

Apple iPod Touch 3rd Gen Black

Features:

The feature list of the iPod Touch goes on forever, and at the end of it, you will be confused if you are looking at a media player or a pocket PC. The feature list includes an awesome media player, video support that includes iTunes rentals and You Tube player, podcast support, a safari web browser, an integrated iTunes store for music and video downloads, an email reader that is attuned with Outlook, MobileMe, Exchange, Yahoo, Gmail, AOL or any of the POP e-mail services, an email reader and a swarm of miscellaneous applications which include clock, contacts, calculator, calendar, weather, maps, notes, stocks and voice memos. If you become efficient with the keyboard on the device, you will chuck out your pocket pc, if you own any.

Heart of the Touch:
Coming to the heart of the device, the CPU and the RAM have been designed to be on par with the iPhone 3GS, which is exactly why it packs a 833MHz ARM-Cortex 8 Processor that is under-clocked to 600MHz, in an effort to enhance the battery life.

A landmark in the Touch interface:
The touch screen interfaces are really a big challenge for the visually impaired consumers. But Apple has been kind enough to find a way out of this for these differently able personalities. By digging deep into the menus of the Touch, the users will be able to enable some special features like white and black reversal, home button triple click, screen zooming and mono audio together with the automatic text reader, which reads just about everything right from mails to a whole webpage. Let us not forget the voice over feature, which provides spoken feedback relating to menus or for that matter any item selected by touch with apps getting launched with a double click while in this mode. This is a great move forward on part of Apple and for the users who feel kind of left out of the apps and Touch experience. But the bad news here is that, the above discussed set of features is available only in the 32GB and 64GB versions of the Touch.

Capacities are all not the same:
The Apple iPod Touch 3rd generation is available in three capacities of 8GB, 32GB and 64GB. But all the members of this family are not treated equally as the 8GB model still runs on the 2nd  generation hardware and has a slower processor than what is employed in the 32GB and 64GB models. In addition to this, the 8GB model also lacks support for some of the new features introduced for the 3rd gen models like, Voice Control, OpenGL graphics support and even the advanced accessibility features. This is going to be a major disappointment for those who are planning on investing on an 8GB model of the iPod Touch owing to the fact that as already witnessed with the 1st Gen Touch any future updates in the firmware brings about features that is only supported by the latest hardware. The budget price tags of the 8GB model makes the device attractive to the prospective consumers, but keep in mind that the lower cost comes at the cost of performance and some attractive features. The common features in all the models are akin to the iPhone 3.1 features namely Genius mixes, Bluetooth audio and Voice memo recording.

Applications:
The Stocks application is just a starting point of the loads of applications that the Touch can offer you with version 3.1 of Apple’s iPhone and iPod Touch software. The iTunes App store that is accessible from either your system or the device itself allows you to install and download heaps of applications with games, social networking tools, internet video players and voice recorders. If you feel that you need some extras than what the Touch already has, its capabilities can be enhanced using the third party iPod hardware frills such as the AV docks, speaker system and exterior battery packs.

iTunes:
If you own an Apple iPod or iPhone of any type, you must be well aware of the iTunes and its features. You will be able to preview, browse, purchase and download stuff from the new iTunes WiFi store and to take advantage of these facilities; you have to step on to an available WiFi internet connection. The store allows you to search by songs, albums or artists in iTunes music catalogue. Along with music, you also get TV shows, movies, music videos, audio books, iTunes U edifying content and podcasts. In order to do store purchases, you have to enter the password as a safety measure. As soon as the download is done, the content will be immediately available for your use and will get transferred to your system the next time you sync. The feature works without the slightest kinks and even episodic downloads comes back into action once the WiFi connection is re-established.

Genius playlist:
The Genius playlist is a feature that Apple first bought about in the second gen Touch; and this is the feature allows you to create an instant playlist of 25 songs that have their base on the musical features of one song. The Genius feature is available in this 3rd gen model too, entertaining you with a very simple and interesting manner of generating playlist if you have a good collection of songs to make fascinating connections. The Genius playlists can be created and saved in the Touch itself and this can also be done by regular syncing enabled in iTunes and just relocate them to your PC. So, you might be wondering if there were any improvements made with this feature, considering that it is in the latest model too. Well, yes! Apple has widened the capacity of the Genius selections by including App Store suggestions and comprehensive genre based playlists called as Genius mixes.

iPod Touch 3rd Generation Multiple Views

Genius in App store:
The Genius Apps will be available separately in the Genius tab of the App store and it has recommendations that are based on the earlier app purchases that you had made. The Genius mixes have a very intuitive location in the lower sub menu strip of the bottom of the iPod’s music menu, along with the selections for artists, songs, playlists, videos and more. If you like the shuffle feature of the Apple iPod and use it often, then you are going to like the Genius feature too and would enjoy the way the Genius Mixes feature a more surprising and genre specific selection of tunes with minimal effort. But if you are more intentional about the mood you are in and the kind of music that you would like to listen too, then there is always the “More” option where you can pick the menu items like podcasts, audio items and lots more.

However, an odd fact about the Genius and Mixes feature is that, it would refuse to work if the feature is not enabled in the iTunes software in the system. If you feel that this feature is too demanding of the resources of your system or even that it is too insidious of your privacy.

Voice Commands:
As if the touchscreen control of the iPod Touch is not futuristic enough, Apple has also included the ability to control playback with voice instructions. Activating this feature is easy with a simple press and hold of the headphone remote control button which pops out a voice control screen. Use the incorporated microphone from the included ear buds if you want to call out an album, song, playlist or artist and watch the iPod wonderfully interpreting your commands and play the track. The playback features like Shuffle, play, skip and pause can also be inhibited using voice commands. But we feel that this feature is simply unnecessary and just a gimmick. The earbud remote control is always available for you to perform these operations and performing these functions with voice control would make you look like a crazy person. However, one cool feature that we did love about the voice control is that, you will be able to steer in the Genius feature by calling out “Play more songs like this”, imagine the reaction of the person sitting next to you, who has no idea about the feature!

Voice command performance:
As far as the performance of the voice control, it was surprisingly precise when it comes to the basic commands like “Play”, “Shuffle”, “Next song” and so on. But as you must have expected, you will not get the same response when you try to call out artists names with funky spellings, for instance, you will never be able to call out P!NK to hear her smash hit “So what, I m still a rock star”. Overall, the Voice Control is just a fun feature to have around and a great one to show off to your friends. This feature could have been a great hit if Apple had devised it in such a way that it can be controlled while it is plugged into a car stereo aux input. Who knows? You might find it in the fourth generation Touch.

Nike + iPod:
Despite the changes that the 5th Gen iPod Nano which had included an integrated pedometer that calculates the users footsteps together with supporting the Nike + accessory named the Heart Rate Monitor (that was an as-yet-unannounced accessory), the new iPod Touch is devoid of both these features. All it can do is to link to Nike+ Sensor that tracks users movement as they run and the gadget can also be used together with Nike’s wireless remote control watches to aide with music playback control. Though it is not clear if the Heart Rate Monitor support would appear in the software update of Apple, it is certainly a very likely possibility. Additionally, looks like the iPod Touch offers support for various fitness apps (non-Nike) that offers more out of the box stuff in comparison to what the Nano had on offer.

Performance:

The interface:
Let us move on to the performance factors. When it comes to touch screen performance and menu stability, there are very few devices that can even think of competing with the iPhone and iPod Touch. In fact when we reviewed the first couple of models of the Touch, there were literally none to compete, however, now we do have some potential competitors with the design of the interface and speed of the touchscreen and they include Microsoft, Samsung and Sony.  And in order to preserve its dominance in the feature, Apple has made some serious efforts to push the speed fence.

Speed:
The third generation Touch is equipped with a new OpenGL graphics processing system with about fifty percent increase in processor power, load time and even the responsiveness of the games on this third gen Touch has been given a dramatic makeover. The 3rd gen Touch is only the second Apple pocket device to include hardware support for the OpenGL ES 2.0 which is the latest graphics technology that debuted in the iPhone 3GS. TThis hardware endows developers with the ability to make use of shaders that are programmable in an attempt to create far-reaching realistic and impressive visual effects than its predecessors or for that matter what even the first few iPhone models failed to generate. For instance, a game of Spore that took about fourteen seconds to load in the 2nd gen Touch took just 8 seconds in the latest model. If you love gaming, then the improvised speed and graphics will certainly please you; but as we had mentioned earlier, these enhancements are enjoyed only by the 32GB and 64GB versions of the Touch.

The undisclosed improvements:
Additionally, there are a handful of undisclosed hardware modifications in the new Apple  iPod Touch 3rd Generation that can or cannot be unlocked by the future software updates. But there is hearsay that the 802.11 Wi-Fi chip ticking inside the Touch is not just capable of the presently unlocked 802.11b and g wireless yardstick, but also the faster 802.11n standard. For consumers with the 802.11n only home networks would appreciate to stop maintain the much slower 802.11g friendly networks for the slower WiFi devices like Touch and for now, the ability of Touch to use the 802.11n networks has been locked. Yet another capability that has been kept locked by the hardware is FM radio’s capabilities of transmitting and receiving, meaning that Touch could plausibly be used as an FM radio receiver too akin to 5th Gen iPod Nano along with its capacity to wirelessly broadcast its own content to other FM radios or the car stereos radios. As we had mentioned, unfortunately, both the 802.11n and the FM transmitting and receiving features are not supported by the current iPod Touch system software (3.1.1). So, they will start working if and only Apple releases a software update for its Touch.

Audio quality:
Unfortunately Apple has failed to step up the game of the audio quality of the player and has left it simply standstill. You would find an armoury of sound improvement settings filled into MP3 players of some of the leading manufacturers like Samsung, Cowon and Sony; while Apple leaves the audio quality unchanged with just a marginally useful EQ presets list that has been included. Having said that, the audio quality of Touch cannot be said as bad though and the balanced and smooth nature of the device will be certainly liked by a lot of listeners. The disappointment will be stuck only to those who like fiddling with the audio controls.

Formats supported:
As in the case of all the other Apple iPods, the Touch offers playback support for AAC, MP3, with the inclusion of protected files, Audible, AIFF, WAV and Apple Lossless. Nevertheless, it is unfortunate that apple still doesn’t support WMA files, but then there is always the option of converting the WMA tracks to MP3 that is within ithe Tunes software of Apple.

Bluetooth A2DP audio streaming:
One of the most long awaited features of the iPod was the stereo Bluetooth A2DP streaming feature, which has been included in the OS3.0 upgrade. With the help of this, pairing up of the iPod with the Bluetooth accessories like speaker systems, stereo headsets or the car stereo is pretty simple and the iPod also maintains a record of the earlier paired devices in the Settings menu. Not only do the music files get transmitted with ease via the Bluetooth, the audio from the Video and apps are also done with a great deal of ease.  It is just a little bit disappointing that Apple has not fully implemented the Bluetooth AVRCP control standard that allows to control remotely audio playback via other devices that is AVRCP compatible. Something really curios about the feature is that Apple has offered support for controls of Play and Pause over the AVRCP but the other vital controls like skip and volume have not been included. You will not be able to play with this feature all day because keeping the Bluetooth on is going to put a strain on the battery life of the device.

Video quality:
The iPod Touch is a great device to take with you if you are ever considering about video on the go. The Touch can be loaded loads of video podcasts, TV shows, iTunes movie rentals and the best part is that, you will be able to watch unlimited videos using the incorporated You Tube widget or even the other third party video apps. We have to point out the fact that the viewing angles were not as good as they were on the second gen model; however, there is a significant improvement to the colour balance and contrast. Hence, we can say that it has been made up. The colour balance seemed to be much cooler and natural and also looked less washed out at the higher ends of brightness settings.

Battery performance:

The battery performance of the Apple iPod Touch Third Gen has reduced from what was the case in the second generation Touch. And the reason for this is quite obvious; it is mainly since there is an amplified demand for a faster processor and even the addition of some of the latest technologies like Bluetooth. The music playback has come down from 36 hours to thirty hours and the video playback is steady at ix hours.

iPod Touch 3rd Gen with Charger

One strange, but great pleasure of all the Apple iPods is that, they arrive charged and ready to go. We have to admit that nothing can be compared to the frustration of having to wait 8 long hours before you can turn it on the gadget, let alone operate; the device that you bought with all that enthusiasm.

Inside the box:

The accessories that come along with the 8GB iPod Touch includes an Apple universal dock connector USB cable, one pair white ear plugs with an incorporated microphone and remote control together with a molded universal dock insert that comes in handy with charging or be used with any speaker accessories. So the difference is that, the earphones with “Remote and Mic” is new and is similar to the one that is packed along with the iPhone 3GS. Also included is a headphone plug shell made of hard plastic, which is kind of slippery and thin in contrast to its predecessors that came with a thick, soft, rubbery coating. Otherwise, there is no much change as they look, sound and work the same way providing 2 volume buttons, a multi function play, pause and track skip central button.

Warranty:

Apple offers its third generation iPod Touch one year standard manufacturer’s warranty.

Verdict:

The iPod Touch Second generation was one of the finest iPods that has been ever made and the only thing that was holding us back was that this model had weak storage capacity for the dollar. Apple has certainly fixed this with the reduction in prices and if you are asking us if you can should upgrade to the 3rd gen model, then our answer will be no, unless you are really looking for some performance upgrades, voice controls and the convenience features of the 64GB and 32GB models are very persuasive. But if you do not have any of those touch sensitive models of Apple, then you have to get one of these. You must also be conscious of the fact that if you are upgrading your MP3 player to iPod Touch from an older Mp3 player that has only the basic capabilities; you might be in a technological overkill. If you have simple needs and complex features like internet, email, and games all appear to be like overload, the iPod Nano will be a better choice.

The lack of a camera on Apple’s third-generation iPod touch is disappointing and will rightly make many people wait until the next update before splashing out their cash. But, for those who do not want or need an on-board camera, this version’s much faster processor helps make sure that it remains far and away the best portable media player currently on the market.

Apple iPod Touch 3rd Gen - Technical Specification Table

Manufacturer Apple
Model Name iPod Touch Third generation
Device type Portable media player
Dimensions (H x W x D) 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.33 inches
Weight 4.05 oz
Colour Black
Display 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
Display resolution 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 pixels per inch
Capacities available 8GB, 32GB and 64GB
Supported audio formats AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store),
MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4),
Apple Lossless,AIFF, and WAV
Supported video formats H.264, MPEG-4
Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Nike + iPod support built in
Maps location-based service7
Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR
TV Support for 480p and 576p component TV out
Input and output Dock connector
3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
Battery Music playback time: Up to 30 hours when fully charged
Video playback time: Up to 6 hours when fully charged
Battery charge time Fast-charge time: about 2 hours (charges up to 80% of battery capacity)
Full-charge time: about 4 hours
iTunes version iTunes 9 or later
System Requirements Mac : Mac computer with USB 2.0 port, Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later
Windows: PC with USB 2.0 port, Windows Vista or
Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
Box contents iPod touch

Apple Earphones with Remote and Mic – (only for 32GB and 64GB models)
Dock Connector to USB Cable
Quick Start guide

Warranty One year

Apple iPod Nano 5th Generation with Video Recorder

Apple came out with a stunning MP3 player called iPod Nano in the year 2005, which was then the thinnest music player in the world and from then on, it has spent the subsequent years in improving the device’s quality in some minute and mammoth means. The latest fifth generation Nano that has been released in the holiday season of this year (2009) is obviously the most capable of them all, with a wider display, video camera, microphone speaker, FM radio, speaker and pedometer. All these new features are stuffed in to the, again, “Thinnest iPod ever“. Though some significant changes have been made to the colour options and texture of the casing of the player, the main body of the player looks very similar to that of its predecessor.

Having listed the array of new features that has been added to the latest 5th Generation iPod Nano, most of you out there would think that it is all enough for getting the new version, without any further elaboration. But you cannot actually leave it here; you will have to understand on how to use the model. Though the improvements in the casing, display and battery is not going to affect your knowledge about the player, you will have to know the details of the other new features of 5th Gen iPod Nano that has been added to the player to take full advantage of them.

In the following review, we will discuss the nano fifth generation as a whole and also about what has been changed with respect to its predecessor. At the end, we would like to make sure that our visitor can make a very well informed purchase or have a wait if they feel the performance is not worth an upgrade.

Apple ipod Nano 5G Green

The cosmetic changes:

Apple iPod Nano fifth gen with Video Camera cannot be said to have got a complete cosmetic retread from the fifth generation, but is half true. In the past three years we have seen the nano models have dramatic changes in their design, but there is not a big change this time. The dimensions of the nano 5G is exactly the same as Nano 4G, measuring (H x W x D) 3.6” x 1.5” x 0.24” and weighs 1.28 ounces which is 0.2 ounces lesser than its predecessor’s weight. We get to see the same lifeless knife-like sides akin to its predecessor, although this time it is a bit smoother. This model comes in a variety of nine colours that includes the whole rainbow span along with black and silver.

Wider, Brighter and a Better Display:

We will be able to point out about five major changes that apple has done to the fifth generation nano model. The first one being the change in display, while the previous model had a 2” 320×240-resolution color LCD with LED backlighting, the 5G nano has a 2.2-inch, 376×240-resolution TFT display. This means a larger display, higher resolution and overall, a better quality of screen. The extra bit of screen extends further down to the nano’s face and adds the 56 pixels to the bottom. This extension can be handy for some additional lines of text, a wider presentation of video and for the black bars on the sides of some of the games.

The new display is much brighter than the prior one but is having a very slight pink tint when it is not at its peak. This makes it seem like the videos and games are rendered with dithering, which is a technique that is used to approximate the colours that cannot be naturally produced by a limited colour display. Hence, the video in the new model looks better than the ones in the previous versions. Some subtle shading has been improved especially in the darker scenes, it seems to be better than even the iPhone 3GS, but when it is viewed up close, the videos and games look grainier than the 4G nano.

Click Wheel’s Size Reduced:

Coming to the navigational click wheel, it is a step down from the fourth gen nano. Apple has been really playing with the size of the wheel for years now, by decreasing its diameter twice, and then increased and it has decreased in this model. This iPod Nano fifth Generation with Video Recording Model has the wheel size of the third generation model and as a result, it has got very less touchable area, posing difficulty for users with big fingers. They would tend to slip more often while scrolling or playing games. Though you might think that it is a very small change to worry about, some of the users will find it to be really annoying. Another thing to worry about is that, we hear that several Nanos come with fairly significant gaps off to the sides of the click wheel, most notably the yellow version. We do not know the exact reason for this, but there are greater than permissible gap tolerances in the latest model than its predecessor. Hence, be careful while purchasing one because, if you wind up with the wrong one, then you will have to fight with the dust and dirt that will be trying to get inside the iPod. The overall built quality is simply excellent.

Addition of Camera and Microphone:

The third major change is the addition of a chrome and glass video camera and a microphone plate on the iPod’s rear. We will see in detail about its performance later, but from a cosmetic point of view, with the addition of this tiny pill shaped plate to the bottom left of the casing, the user would need to learn an how the device should be held and used as a video and audio recorder. This learning process is in order to make sure that your fingers do not fall into the natural resting position on top of the panel. Here, Apple has not done an optimal job in positioning it and this is one of the things that Apple will have to change in the sixth generation model. A bit higher and a central position will surely solve the issue of fingers.

The ports swapped:

The next change is regarding the ports. The position of the dock connector and headphone, which it had been having for couple of years now, has been reversed. The headphone port is now on the bottom left of the device and the dock connector is on the bottom right. The only practical impact of this change is that, the users will have to have a look at the instruction manual to know how to seat the new model in its docks.

iPod Nano 5th Generation colours

Changes in Texture and Tones:

The last, but one of the most significant changes are the colours and textures of the Nano 5G. All nine colours of the nano chrome are retained, but have been given a glossy finish and a slightly different metallic tone. The new body material is called as anodised aluminium which looks like a coat of automotive grade paint with a shiny texture. The rear engraving, top, bottom and click wheel, still have the matte finish. And unlike all the other glossy finished productions of Apple, this time it is come up with something that is really scratch resistant. Most of them got scratched with just a little force from your finger nail, but the new Nano fights back well and it feels as though some film has been applied on its surface.

As we had mentioned earlier, with the new glossy finish, there is a slight difference with the tones too. The tones of yellow, silver and black colours remain unchanged except for the glossy finish. The purple is very different, the new tone possesses a darker and is more of a bluish purple. The new blue is little bit stronger. The green has been completely changed, the then green colour is now having a pine tone. The orange colour tone looks more like a copper penny. The red is also a bit darker than the previous version. The pink too, like the green has been changed completely. The hot pink has been replaced by a rosy reddish tone. Guess that is all with the colours folks!

Capacities of the iPod Nano 5G:

The fifth generation Nano comes in 8GB/16GB capacities akin to its predecessors. Though the capacities remain to be the same, the latest nano carries the positive trend that we sensed in the fourth generation Nano. Synching with iTunes looks to be fairly rapid. But nothing seems to come anywhere near the transfer speeds of the  160GB iPod classic.

Interface Tweaks:

Coming to the interface, the Nano 5G Video Player and Recorder has retained the interface of its predecessor, with just a handful of changes. They look exactly the same, but then you get to see the extra bit with the display. One of the screens that had got a key change is the “Now Playing” screen that appears whenever you play music, audio podcasts or audio books. The album title, artist name and the song title has been moved from below the album art to a gradated black bar beneath the display. And this screen also has the current time displayed on it header. The font is also bolder, brighter and more legible. In the latest Nano 5G 8GB and 16GB, the album art is large and more prominent with the addition of an accelerometer that automatically takes the shape of a cover flow mode that is horizontal and scrolling whenever the device is turned onto its side. With the additional bit of screen you will be now able to view nine album covers at once rather than seven and twelve lines instead of ten. On most of the other screens, the extra space is either left empty or is filled by a continuation of the background. Though the tweaks made with the design of the interface are very minor, they have a good impact on an overall basis.

No changes with the three games collection:

As far as the games are concerned, you get the same three games that were designed for the third and fourth generation Nano. The games include Klondike, Maze and Vortex and they are all of the same version that was released previously.

The Radio feature in Nano 5G:

Not so long before Apple had been selling an accessory called the “iPod Radio Remote” together with an FM tuner with some of the Apple iPod models. But this 5th Gen Nano comes with an in-built radio tuner. This new software has got a better new background and the bottom of the screen has controls that are quite intuitive. You will find a “Live-Pause bar” representing a 15-min recording time. As long as you are in the same station, the Nano caches its contents so that you will be able to pause rewind and fast forward through the contents. The recording is erased once you change the stations. This is a very neat feature. Though it is not as well implemented as the True Radio recording accessory that was developed by Griffin for the older iPods, the one in Nano also does a good job and it is mainly to encourage you to more stuff via iTunes.

The integrated FM radio tuner works very well to tune in the local radio stations, which entirely depends on the pair of headphones that serve as an antenna. Though the static preset is low, the tuner is very easy to use and you will be allowed to mark your favourite stations. Once you disconnect the headphones, the radio application closes by itself. Apple has provided five radio regions that include America, Asia, Australia, Europe and Japan and you will be able to make a selection via the settings menu.

The major inclusions in depth:

As you must be clear by now, the inclusion of a 640×480 video camera, a speaker and microphone are the three major additional features of the fifth generation Nano. And these features together allow the device to be a standalone audio player without headphones. This dignity previously belonged only to the iPod Touch and the iPhone.

The video camera:

The camera functionality is very basic. Just hit on the central action button to start recording and press it again to stop. You can capture vertically or horizontally depending on the position of the Nano. On holding down the button, you get a list of display aided special effects that can be slowly scrolled though the click wheel. You are not provided with any focusing mechanism or zooming capability. This is totally unfair on part of Apple.

The lens, microphone and sensor that are used in Nano are the same as the ones that are in iPod Touch and iPhone 3G, but these features allow the Nano 5G to do most of the other iPods and iPhones were unable to do. That is, to create audio video recordings those are of good quality. Nano also boasts to be having a feature that even the iPhone 3GS does not have, that is, Apple has included about 16 different special effects that have the ability to create real time recordings with natural colours and some geometric distortions similar to Apple’s iChat and the Photo Booth Software. The special effects list along with Normal includes, Black and White, Thermal, X-Ray, Cyborg, Sepia, Kaleido, Security Cam, Mirror, Film Grain, Blur, Bulge, Motion, Dent, Twist, Light Tunnel, Twirl and Stretch.

In the normal recording mode, the recordings made are just good, but not excellent. The recordings are in unchangeable H.264 video format with stereo ACC format audio a 30fps. The nano will be able to record between 1.5 hours to 2 hours on a full battery charge and consumes just over one 1GB memory for every hour of recording. The special effects do not have a negative impact over the recording time. Here, nano poses a direct competition to devices such as the Flip camera. Though these dedicated cameras have a better quality of video, they are nowhere near as far as the special effects are concerned.

One of the main features related to video that has not been added to the nano is the ability to edit the video clip and you will not be able to change the settings of special effects in the middle of a recording. The iPod’s inability to take still pictures will certainly be a very bothering issue for most of the users. Overall, Nano 5G’s camera is not bad at all keeping in mind the size of the device.

The voice memo application in Nano 5G:

The voice memo application that was previously available in the Nano 4G has been carried over to the Nano 5th gen 8GB/16GB with a cosmetic overhaul by using the image of a mic of the olden days. The process of recording is just the same. All that you have to do is, press the central action button to start or add chapter markers and then just over the menu button to stop. The recordings can be labelled once they are done. Well, there is no keypad to type, but then you are given the following headings to choose from: lecture, podcast, idea, interview, memo and meeting. The recordings take the form of 128kbps stereo AAC files at 44.1Hkz requiring a recording space of maybe about a Megabyte per minute. The microphone offered is surprisingly good. They seem to be clearer than the one in iPhone. Hence, you need not get any of those inexpensive add-ons that were available with the Nano 4G.

Apple takes the Genius playlist experience a step further with the introduction of a novel feature called the Genius Mixes, which offers extended music playlists categorized around one common genre. In contrast to the Genius playlists, Mixes are seamless to create simply appearing on your iPod as an element of iTunes default syncing process. Then again, you might want be aware of the fact that if you choose to have iTunes set up to manually manage your iPod or prefer to set off the Genius feature of iTunes, you may forget Genius Mixes appearing on your Nano.

Video & Audio features of Apple iPod Nano Fifth Generation:

Apple has not done much when it comes to tweaking the video and audio features for several years. This time around, there were a lot of speculations that Apple will be bringing in a major change by way of support for hi-def video storage.

Video:
The HD video feature is an overdue feature for the Apple family, but this time too, Apple has spoiled the party by taking no efforts. Hence, this 5th Gen model too supports only two video file formats, the MPEG 4 and H.264. The videos are capped at a top resolution of 640×480 pixels. The lack of a wider range of format and resolution support remains to be one of the major drawbacks of the iPods. The video seen in the latest nano is much brighter than the one seen on its predecessor.

Audio:
Sonically, the Nano 5G comes out with flying colours. Apple has managed to completely eliminate the minor hissing sound coming from the amplifiers and hence creating a much cleaner audio that is as close to the audiophile quality as any other iPod. The Nano 5G sounds legitimately wonderful and so, we have no complaints. As you start listening to it, we are very certain that you will get lost in its music. Said that, the nano has got a number of advantages over the iPod Classic, for instance, the inclusion of an interesting setting that is optional named the Audio Crossfade, which enables tracks from various albums to merge into one another as against beginning and ending abruptly. Apple has also made it a point to include the spoken menus and voice over technologies. With the 5th Gen Media Player supporting audio formats like AAC, MP3, AIFF and Apple Lossless, the media transfer via the iTune software is just amazingly seamless.

iPod Nano Fifth Generation Silver Colour

Speaker:

The speaker is not that good. It is good enough for watching movies, but not for listening to music. The sound produced is louder than iPod Touch, but is more distorted and has lesser sound than the iPhones. The fullness in sound is completely missing. Being a free addition to the nano 5G, the speaker is just acceptable, but if you are really looking to enjoy music, then it is better to use a headphone or an external speaker.

Photo playback:

Apple has been making very minor tweaks to the photo playback in each of its models and the Nano 5G is not an exception. It has got one new feature called, the “Ken Burns Effect”. This effects pan and zoom in on the images in a very gentle manner as and when they are being displayed. It also reverts to a Cube effect transitioning from one image to another with a kind of 3D side-shifting cube appearance together with a Flip effect, even as it preserves the Push and Dissolve effects from its previous model. On the side of what has been removed from the model are, Slide, Fade Through Black, and Zoom. However, the ability to randomise the transitions has been retained. The pictures can be displayed both horizontally and vertically depending on the iPod’s accelerometer orientation.

Nike + iPod functionality:

The nano 5G video player  has got some substantial changes made on its Nike + iPod functionality. Being found under the new title called fitness, the new model has got anintegrated Pedometer that is capable of making an approximate count of the number of steps that you have taken, which is entirely based on your weight and motions that are observed during your movement. The feature also keeps track of the calories burnt and time consumed. Though it lacks the Nike+ voice prompting feature, it does allow you to listen to tracks as you walk along with keeping track of walking results along with coordinating with Nike’s server. You have to note that the pedometer is not accurate and its count was off by a handful of steps. You need not get any additional accessory for this feature. A little shoe icon appears next to the battery to let you know that it is working.

Miscellaneous extras:

Nothing has changed drastically in terms of additional Extras in the 5Th Gen Nano in terms of stopwatch, calendar, several integrated alarms, sleep timer, world clocks, contact synchronization, Screen lock feature and a app called Notes for text file display. Well there is this inclusion of 30 different languages translated for the menus by Apple, which includes right to left languages, majority of which are supported through VoiceOver.

What is inside the transparent case:

The latest Apple ipod nano 5Gcomes in the same clear plastic box, the only addition to the casing is an updated reference to iTunes 9 on its rear. The other accessories that come along with the player include the charging and synchronising USB cable, earphones and a dock adaptor. All the supplied accessories are same as that of the previous year except for some of the very minor upgrades. For instance, the case of the headphone plug is now thinner and made out of hard plastic rather than the soft one. The new number 18 dock adaptor is having a dock connector hole on its left side and the instruction booklet is obviously new, depicting the new features such as FM radio and video camera. For the TV output for video again, you have to buy a costly apple or third party video cables.

Impressive battery life:

The battery life of the battery certainly depends on a number of factors, but for the purpose of testing, we will keep a standard. With about 50% brightness and fifty percent volume through the headphones, the nano has an average video life of five hours and fifteen minutes. This is about 20 minutes higher than the last year’s model. In terms of playback life for non-speaker audio playback, it exceeds the 24-hour estimate promised by Apple considerably. With volume on 50% and very minimal interaction, the nano 4G runs for 31 hrs and 5G managed to given an extra 90 minutes. The FM radio application with the live pause turned on, it affects the battery life considerably. But overall, the battery life of Nano 5G has been very impressive.

Warranty:

Apple offers iPod Nano 5G one year limited warranty for parts and labour.

A Happy price tag:

Apple has done a great job by reducing the price of the Nano 5G considerably. The latest version boasts of the same capabilities akin to the Nano 4G with a pricing that is considerably less in comparison to its predecessor. And the price tag on it keeps it as one of the best selling iPods in the market.

Verdict:

The Apple iPod Nano fifth generation has been packed to the grills with great features like a very slim form factor, audio- video features, FM radio, Genius Mix, a better display and a built in speaker.

It is very hard not to be carried away by all the new features of Nano especially its video camera. If you possess some older iPods and just waiting for an upgrade, the Nano 5G is simply the best deal. But you must also keep in mind that there is very little cost difference between the Nano and Touch and this will put you in a deep dilemma. Here we are, to make things simple for you. All that you have to do is, decide between Nano’s slim design, FM radio, pedometer, and video camera and the Touch’s touch screen, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and its App capabilities. In our words, Apple iPod Nano 5G is the “Most Attractive IPod Ever”.

Apple iPod Nano 5G (8GB/16GB) - Technical Specifications, Features

Manufacturer Apple
Model Name iPod Nano fifth generation with video recording
Generation Fifth
Dimensions (H x W x D) 90.7 x 38.7 x 6.2 mm
Weight 36.4 grams
Display size 2.2″ diagonal
Display type TFT
Display resolution 240 x 376 pixel resolution at 204 pixels per inch
Capacities available 8GB, 16GB
Holding capacity 8GB: 2000 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format
7000 iPod viewable images
8 hours of video

16GB: 4000 songs in 128-Kbps AAC format
14000 iPod viewable images
16 hours of video

Storage type USB flash drive
Interactivity Spoken menus allow listeners to hear many of the
names of menus, song titles and artists without
viewing the screen
Legibility of the menus An alternative large font can make menus easier to read
Display adjustments Contrast and backlight settings
Caption feature Yes
Voice Over Kit 20 languages
Audio formats supported AAC, Protected AAC, HE-AAC, MP3, MP3 VBR, Audible,
Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV
Audio special feature User-configurable maximum volume limit
Video camera H.264 VGA video with AAC audio
Video resolution 640 by 480 pixels
Fps rate 30 frames per second
Navigation Click wheel
Mac system requirements Mac computer with USB 2.0 port
Mac OS X v10.4.11 or later
iTunes 9 or later
iPhoto 6.0.6 or later
Windows system requirements PC with USB 2.0 port
Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional
with Service Pack 3 or later
iTunes 9 or later
Headphone jack Standard 3.5mm stereo headphone jack
Battery Built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery
Battery life Music playback time: Up to 24 hours
Video playback time: Up to 5 hours
Charge time Fast-charge time: about 1.5 hours
Full-charge time: about 3 hours
Box contents iPod nano
Earphones
USB 2.0 cable
Dock adapter
Quick Start guide
Warranty One year standard warranty for parts and labour

iPod Touch 16GB Review

iPod Touch 16GB Second Generation

In the year 2007, Apple released a model of the three categories, the Classic, Nano and Touch. The first generation Touch was nothing but an iPhone without the phone capability. The Apple iPod touch 16GB second generation was released in the year 2008 with the inclusion of a lot of new features and also has boosted the capacity and accordingly the price tags too. In the following review, we cover all the key changes that had been made to the model and all the other details that you would ever need to know about iPod Touch 16GB second generation.

Reason for the downfall of the 1st generation Touch and the emergence of the 2nd generation Touch:

The first generation gadget was a landmark in itself that it brought about the 802.11b/g wireless antenna, browsing with the safari web browser, audio as well as video compatibility, and even purchase music from the iTunes store. However this fell short due to cost and lack of storage capacity, besides inadequate battery life and display glitches.  All these led to only an average success to the phone as the users of iPhones and high capacity iPods ditched it. The fact that is even more surprising is that, even the CEO, Steve Jobs of Apple described the first gen Touch as the “Training wheels of the iPhone” just after a few days after its release.

Apparently, understanding the fact that the Touch did not meet the initial sales expectations, Apple started giving out software upgrades that were left out from the iPhone for a cost. Again this created some controversy as the new phones that were shipped had the upgraded features in it for no extra cost. However, having the new upgrades pre-installed, had more customers flowing in for Apple. Even though software updates had been made, it seemed to be not enough and overpriced when compared with that of the iPhone which came with more features and double the capacity for the same cost. All these led to the emergence of the second generation iPod Touch with some substantial amount of changes, of course on the better side. The second generation iPod Touch comes in three capacities 8GB, 16GB and 32GB.

Apple iPod Touch 16GB

Design tweaks made:

Coming to the design, the second generation’s iPod Touch looks slimmer and lighter than that of the first generation Touch. You will witness a few design changes that affects the device only in a positive manner. It has a chrome front bezel and also sports an internal speaker as well as a black left mounted volume control as in the case of the iPhone. In the other cases, you get the same 3.5″ display with a resolution of 480×320 pixels. The viewing angle of the iPod has been improved a lot. The physical controls include the home button in the front, sleep or wake button on the top of the device, dock connector and the headphone port in the bottom. All of the physical controls can be found virtually in the same places where they were in the original touch. Apple has added another feature for which it definitely receives the praise for, the inclusion of an external microphone.

Same smudge prone metal polish:

Something that we had expecting to change but has not changed is the back side of the iPod which still sports the scratch attractive polished metal. We had mentioned earlier that the new iPod look slimmer, as that is true, it just looks slimmer, it is actually not thin. The design just creates an illusion that it is thin as, in fact, it is half a millimeter thicker than the original, having its dimensions as, 2.4 in x 0.3 in x 4.3 in (W X D X H) inches. It has soft edges that wraps around the chrome bezel, which is a design that makes the device feel better in your hands.

Antenna and speaker:

The manner in which Apple has managed to integrate the speaker is the one that has to be discussed. Unlike the iPhone which as special perforations for all its speakers, the Touch has no vents at all. You might have guessed that the speaker breaths through the bottom dock connector or the headphone ports. If you had thought so, then you are wrong as, even when they are blocked, then can still be heard. The speaker performs like a NXT flat panel design that radiates through the device’s metal back surface and the bottom parts too. One thing that we did not like about the design that had been carried over from its predecessor is the WiFi antenna cover which is still made of black plastic, making it look a bit odd from the rear.

Multi-touch capability:

Getting to the best part of the Touch, the most prominent feature – its multi-touch capability. You cannot help but get excited about how intuitively it has been conceived. There is yet a player to match this multi touch capability of the 2nd Generation Touch. There is a lot of eye for detail along with amazing reaction time. But yes, we will have to agree that some of the web based applications may take some time to react. With all of the icons being aptly labeled, it makes it a cakewalk for a most novice user. Mobile safari seems to be a fab. Cover flow aides in browsing through the album arts. Both YouTube and the BBC iPlayer are far better viewable in comparison to the rival players in the market.

Install iTunes 8 or latter:

As in the case of the iPods that are sold for over a couple of years, you need to have the iTunes software to start using the device. This software, as most of must be aware of, does not come with the iPod. You will have to download it from the Apple’s website for free. iTunes 8 or later is the media synchronisation software that is required by the 2nd Gen Touch 16GB.

Genius software:

Genius software is a new feature that creates a play list of 25 songs having the characteristics of the song that you have currently selected. This software is real fun and you can enjoy to your best if your collection has enough songs. But this software will work only if you enable Genius in your computer’s iTunes software.

Nike + iPod Sport Kit:

The support for the Nike + iPod Sport Kit is an surprising addition. It is a miniature speaker that allows the users to enjoy music, games and videos without the need for a headphone and a support of a microphone. All these three features are extremely thrilling and is of great use for the users. They have very minimal caveats though. Apple has included a special chip which is usually used for Bluetooth functionality, that has been customized especially for establishing communication directly and only to the shoe mounted Nike + iPod sensor. The apparent support for the wireless remote controls like the Amp + watch is absent. These controls aid in pausing, adjusting the volume and even in changing of the controls as and when you run. The omission of these controls means that you will have to make use of the physical controls of the iPod Touch MP3 Video Player directly to access these changes, creating some kind of inconvenience. Apple also enables you to hit the Home button in the middle of a workout to use other applications, placing a “Touch to Return to Workout” bar near the top of the screen which has a number that indicates your workout’s progress.

Difference in interface:

This feature is available in the iPod Nano also, but here, the interface is a bit different. The main screen has tabs in the bottom of the screen that indicates your past workouts and history. The icons displayed are, time, distance, calorie and calibration options. There is also a separate settings screen that can be seen beneath the settings that allows you to manipulate the Nike icon. Using those settings, you can select a power song, pair the sensor and even lock the on-screen displays into horizontal or vertical, whichever you prefer. A plus symbol can be seen between the play and the battery icons available in the upper right corner of the screen which will indicate your connection with the Nike + sensor. Having said all these, this interface seems to be better than that of the interface of the fourth generation Nano, yet, we would have loved to see the streamlined design and the remote compatibility with some more of flashier graphics.

External speaker:

With the external speaker offered, you cannot expect an audiophile quality. It is always better if you carry your headphones along with you for listening to music. Though the quality of the speaker is not even up to the level of that of the original iPhone if not the iPhone 3G, you have to remember that this is the first ever iPod to include a speaker for music as well as video. With the external speaker, that uses a system similar to that of the NXT flat panel audio system, very slight vibration can be felt when the volume is kept at the maximum, but at the lower volumes, the vibration is not evident at all. The overall volume is just half of that of the iPhone 3G and having a less bass body, you cannot expect for a phenomenal listening experience. If you have any idea of using the Touch as an WiFi speaker phone, Forget it! This new iPod Touch 16GB Media Player has the ability to work with external microphones.

iPod Touch 16GB 2nd Generation Black

Compatibility:

The audio in iPod Touch is very clear. It has the support for the following audio types, AAC, AIFF, MP3, Audible, WAV, and Apple Lossless.  But, even now apple has not included support for WMA music files, yet the WMA tracks can be converted to MP3 formats within Apple’s iTunes software. The video formats supported include H.264 video, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio; H.264 video, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0; Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio, MPEG-4 video.

It was disappointing to note that the Touch still does not support the flash audio or video content via its safari browser. There is a lot of attention paid to even very small details. You can use your finger to scroll through the playlists, songs, artists etc. When you flip the iPod touch on its side, a scrolling Cover Flow view of your library is shown with large album covers.

Video performance:

The display performance is pretty good, being vibrant, bright and colourful with an impressive onscreen keyboard too. Touch sure does know how to astonish users with its amazing ability to determine always the letter that you jab for.

Packaging:

Some changes can also seen with the packaging of the Touch. Unlike the first gen touch which had a deluxe cardboard packaging, the second gent touch has the transparent plastic case packing as in the case of the Nano and the Touch. But, one thing that is interesting about the new plastic casing is that, though it is translucent, it has a sticker in front of it, that shows you how the device’s screen will look like once it is turned on. The package contents of the new touch is almost the same as that of the old one, but there is a slight downfall with the quantity and quality. It has the usual pair of Apple headphones, USB to dock connector cable, a new version 16 Universal Dock Adaptor and a thinner and cheaper feeling cleaning cloth. One thing that Apple has omitted in the package is the small plastic stand that holds the touch at a recline angle for viewing video. The package would have been much solid if Apple had included the stand. The documents included in the package are, a safety and warranty booklet, a colour quick start pamphlet and you also get two Apple Logo stickers.

Battery life:

Akin to its predecessors this second Gen iPod Touch also has the lithium ion battery ticking inside. Looks like Apple has decided to do a slight upgrading of battery life from its previous 22hours of music and 5hours of video playback to 36 hours of audio and six hours of video. Though this is the number that is provided in the specification table, when tested in real time, the touch gave a couple of hours more than what is actually specified. This playback capacity will vary based on the brightness of the screen and the Wi-Fi usage.

Warranty:

This 2nd generation iPod Touch 16GB comes with one year manufacturers warranty.

Verdict:

Apple iPod Touch second generation 16GB Portable Media Player is one of the best iPods in the current market. If you are planning to buy one, then this would be a great choice for you. But if you already own the first generation touch or an iPhone, then this may not impress you much with only upgrades in display and battery life. This Black Colour second gen Touch has retained the storage capacity of the iPod while decreasing the price substantially. Boasting of almost everything that would be required like video, podcasts, audio, Nike+ iPod, mailing, games, browsing, Wi-Fi track downloads and the App store, putting the features and cost together, it sure seem reasonable along with being attractive.

check other latest reviews of Apple iPods in our website.

You can find iPhone Reviews, Specification Details, Cheap iPhone Deals at www.iphonereviews.org.uk.

Apple iPod Touch 2G Black - Specifications, Features

Manufacturer Apple
Model Name Apple iPod Touch Second generation 16GB
Device type Portable media player
Dimensions( HxWxD) 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.3 inches
Weight 4.1 oz
Colour Black
Display 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
Display resolution 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 pixels per inch
Capacity 16GB
Supported audio formats AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store),
MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR,
Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless,
AIFF, and WAV
Supported video formats H.264, MPEG-4
Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Nike + iPod support built in
Maps location-based service7
TV Support for 480p and 576p component TV out
Input and output Dock connector
3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
Battery Built-in lithium ion battery
Battery life Music playback time: Up to 36 hours when fully charged
Video playback time: Up to 6 hours when fully charged
Battery charge time Fast-charge time: about 2 hours (charges
up to 80% of battery capacity)
Full-charge time: about 4 hours
iTunes version iTunes 8 or later
Box contents iPod touch
Earphones
USB 2.0 cable
Dock adapter
Polishing cloth
Quick Start guide
Warranty One year