iPod Nano

By Richard Menta 9/7/05

For a while I have felt that if the term "iPod Killer" was to have any shot at coming to fruition it would be by someone beating Apple at its own game. Not by loading their player with dozens of extras unavailable in an iPod, but by doing the primary thing that made the iPod what it is today. That is that the iPod was the first portable to provide high song capacity in a low profile, low weight player.

So when Apple released their first flash player in the 512MB and 1GB iPod Shuffle last January my thought was that some competitor should release a 4GB flash unit. A unit lighter that the hard drive-laden iPod Mini and its array of like-sized competitors and offering the smallest portables in the multi-GB end of the market. Had Sony or Creative done it first, such a player would have earned them considerable ink and probably a larger share of the market.

The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon

In the end it is Apple who beats everyone to the punch and I am not surprised, though I am not sure if it all because Apple is so prescient than that facy that the competition is still playing catch up in DAP conceptual thought.

Today Apple announced the iPod Phone to great fanfare, but it is the undercard to today's floor show that I find more interesting. Today was also the introduction of the iPod Nano, a replacement for the popular iPod Mini that sheds the microdrive for small and light high capacity flash memory, 2GB and 4GB versions to be exact.

The iPod Nano is small and thin, a wafer of an MP3 player that comes in at a svelt 3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches. The iPod Nano is thinner than the iPod Shuffle! The iPod Nano also possesses a 1.5-inch diagonal color LCD dieplay with LED backlight, an upgrade to the iPod Mini's black and white screen. The Nano displays photos on that screen just like the full-blown iPod does now (the iPod Photo name has been retired). The battery offers 14 hours of life with fast charge capable of reaching 80% capacity in 1.5 hours.

Personally, I love the small size. It shows how far we have come from the first 4GB MP3 portables, particularly the 4GB Creative Nomad Jukebox I reviewed back in 2000, which weighed nearly a pound.

The iPod Nano offers the right ingredients to sustain Apple's dominant lead in market share. I say that because several iPod Mini clones have been announced over the last several weeks, units that copy a now discontinued player. Players that are obsolete before they are released. I gues we will have to wait a little while longer for that iPod Killer.


The 4GB iPod Nano is available on Amazon

Other MP3 stories:
SwiMP3 Review
The Net is the Independent Artist's Radio


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