Apple iPod nano (5th generation)

Apple's revamped Nano has video recording, FM radio and an integrated speaker

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Apple iPod nano (5th generation)
  • Apple iPod nano (5th generation)
  • Apple iPod nano (5th generation)
  • Apple iPod nano (5th generation)
  • Expert Rating

    4.50 / 5

Pros

  • Integrated speaker, video recording, FM radio with Live Pause, aluminium finish, in-line remote control support

Cons

  • Recorded videos have odd aspect ratios, videos aren't automatically synced, iTunes Tagging isn't available in Australia

Bottom Line

Though retailing at the same price point as the previous generation, the fifth-generation iPod Nano offers a swag of new features, including video recording and an FM radio.

Would you buy this?

Apple has also added an FM receiver to the iPod Nano; it's a feature many users have been asking for. Since the iPod Nano uses headphone wiring as an antenna, you won't be able to use the integrated speaker. Quality isn't fantastic, even for FM radio. We experienced several pauses and breaks in reception during use. This could be improved by using better quality headphones.

One interesting feature is Live Pause, which allows you to pause or rewind a radio broadcast to any point in the last 15 minutes. The iPod Nano begins buffering radio as soon as you tune into a station and will delete the buffer if you change to another station or turn the radio off. A second unconventional feature, iTunes Tagging, theoretically allows you to tag any song played on the radio so you don't forget. However, this feature is currently only available in the US due to technical requirements on the station's end.

WiMAX

Video using the "Film Grain" filter.

Other hardware improvements include an integrated pedometer which can be used to track your fitness using the Nike + iPod Sports Kit. The fifth generation iPod Nano supports Apple's proprietary in-line remote control, which can be used to control music playback and volume. It can also initiate the Nano's newly gained VoiceOver feature, which speaks the name of the song playing through the headphones. Unfortunately, Apple only bundles standard iPod earphones with the iPod Nano; the in-line remote control must be purchased separately.

The iPod Nano's user interface will be familiar to anyone who has owned or used a previous generation Nano or iPod Classic. Syncing is a familiar experience, though the options have been expanded to separate iTunes U (university lectures and podcasts) from other podcasts, and you can sync contacts and calendars with iTunes and supported external applications. iTunes won't sync videos recorded on the iPod Nano, however; these must be exported by navigating to the Nano's "DCIM" folder on the computer.

iTunes' Genius recommendations feature has been ported to the iPod Nano in the form of Genius Mixes. The feature automatically creates a playlist of songs based on similar genres and musical styles. This can be initiated from the iPod Nano itself or you can drag existing Genius playlists from iTunes to the iPod. You must first send your music library information to Apple servers (anonymously), but provided you aren't concerned about potential privacy issues Genius is a great way to mix up your listening experience.

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