TELECOM Digest OnLine - Sorted: iPod Nano Combines Beauty, Function

iPod Nano Combines Beauty, Function

Monty Solomon (
Fri, 9 Sep 2005 04:34:20 -0400

By Walter S. Mossberg

Grab a standard American business card. Now, get a pair of scissors
and trim the long side of the card by 20%. That's all the space you
need to hold over 1,000 songs, plus audio books, podcasts and photos
if you buy Apple Computer's newest iPod model, the gorgeous and sleek
iPod nano.

This latest iPod was publicly revealed yesterday at a razzle-dazzle
marketing event orchestrated by Apple CEO Steve Jobs. But I have been
testing a nano for the past few days, and I am smitten. It's not only
beautiful and incredibly thin, but I found it exceeds Apple's
performance claims.

In fact, the nano has the best combination of beauty and functionality
of any music player I've tested -- including the iconic original white
iPod. And it sounds great. I plan to buy one for myself this weekend,
when it is due to reach stores in the U.S., Europe and Asia.

Available in classic iPod white, or a lustrous black (my favorite),
the nano is not only small, it's stunningly skinny -- about the
thickness of five credit cards stacked on top of one another. That
means it can be carried easily in even the snuggest of clothing and
the smallest of purses, and worn comfortably during exercise. You
could even carry it in a wallet, if you were sure you wouldn't sit on

Yet the nano, which starts at $199 in the middle of the iPod range,
contains key features previously available only on the largest,
costliest iPods. These include a sharp color screen, the ability to
display the album covers for the songs it's playing, and the ability
to store a user's photos and display them in slide shows accompanied
by music.

Also, despite its small size, the nano holds plenty of songs and can
play them for a long time. The base $199 model has two gigabytes of
storage, which Apple says can hold 500 songs. A second model, at $249,
has four gigabytes of storage and can hold 1,000 songs, Apple
claims. The company says this slip of a player somehow packs in a
large enough battery to play continuously for 14 hours.

In my tests, I found that the nano's battery lasted a bit longer than
Apple claims -- 14 hours and 18 minutes. And I was easily able to pack
around 1,200 songs, plus a couple dozen photos, into the $249 model,
because most older pop and rock tunes tend to be shorter than the
notional song Apple uses to calculate capacity.

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