Last week my shiny new iPod arrived in the post, an impossibly small MP3 player in an impossibly small box. Sleek, light and well-built, the 8GB black 2nd-generation iPod Nano is in a completely different league to the Tecknet V70 I purchased (and then returned) a couple of weeks back. But, I realised, that should be expected from a product that costs considerably more. The V70 cost under £50, the iPod Nano cost around £130, and you can tell the difference in every respect; you really do get what you pay for.
First impressions are always important, and despite a few hiccups the iPod Nano is looking impressive so far. It has a feel of quality about it, from the adonised aluminium casing to the touch-sensitive click wheel. But perhaps the most obvious improvement over the V70 is the software it runs. The iconic menu structure used on iPods is actually remarkably easy to use, easy on the eye, customisable, sensible, and blindingly fast. The colour LCD display is crystal clear and bright too, and shows anti-aliased fonts and animated whoosh effects when going between menu levels, which help to show clearly which direction you’re traversing.
Finding songs to play can be done in a variety of ways, each which with their own advantages. Searching by genre is a little unpredictable, mainly because of the variations in my MP3 collection – for instance, some are listed under Christian, others under Christian Rock, others under Gospel, all three essentially the same genre. Searching by album or artist is simple and quick, and you can even search for a particular track by entering characters via a text entry system similar to what you’d find on games consoles, scrolling through the alphabet to find characters. Sounds tricky, but it works.
The only problem I’ve encountered so far is updating the firmware. After plugging it into my computer iTunes told me that there was an update available for my iPod, but something wasn’t quite working right and the update was not successful. The file was downloaded, but despite getting to the end of the 21MB download it refused to accept that the transfer had been successful, and told me that there must be a problem with the server. I’ll try again another time, but for now everything seems to be working fine so I’ll leave it as it is.
So a good thumbs up for the iPod Nano. Stylish, functional, fun, desirable (i.e. more likely to be nicked), spacious, easy-to-use, long-lasting, black. Just got to figure out a good way of mounting it in the car and plugging it into my CD player…