Eleven Things You Didn’t Know About the 2008 iPods | iLounge Article


Eleven Things You Didn’t Know About the 2008 iPods

As we ready our reviews of the 2008 iPod nano, classic, and touch, we wanted to provide a little bit of early information on surprising updates to features found in prior versions of these devices. There will be a number of others—including changes in the way certain iPods charge—but here’s an early list of things that you might find interesting.

11. Radio. The fourth-generation iPod nano works with the prior iPod Radio Remote accessory, and now includes a feature called Tagged Songs, which can tag songs you hear on the radio for later purchase through iTunes. FM radio tagging has recently been touted as a new built-in feature in Microsoft’s Zune; Apple previously supported HD Radio tagging, which uses a less popular form of digital radio tuner and has required dock-like radio hardware. The 120GB iPod classic has not gained this feature, and the second-generation iPod touch brings up an unsupported accessory message when it’s connected.


10. Games. Surprise! The fourth-generation iPod nano plays Click Wheel iPod Games—the same ones sold last year by Apple after the release of the 2007 iPods. Since these games display in the nano’s widescreen video format, a new screen comes up to explain that the buttons have been remapped to correspond to the vertical orientation of the device, which may be a little confusing for some people.


9. Genius. The 120GB iPod classic includes Genius, a feature that creates automatic playlists of similar songs, just like the iPod nano and iPod touch. It’s still unclear whether Apple will get around to adding the feature to the original iPod classic.


8. Fonts and Accessibility. The new iPod nano has the ability to increase its font size from “Standard” to “Large.” Large makes the text roughly as big as the iPod classic’s, or nine lines of text versus the standard ten. To aid those with visual disabilities, Apple has also created a series of audio prompts for the nano’s menus, which can be turned on using iTunes 8. When you select Enable spoken menus for accessibility, iTunes 8 creates a collection of spoken menus for your device, then synchronizes them to the nano, a process that takes a few minutes. So far, it appears that this feature only works in English. Notably, Apple also includes a new English (UK) option as an alternative to English (US).


7. Crossfade. The iPod nano now has an Audio Crossfade feature to blend songs smoothly into one another; the iPod classic has not gained this feature.


6. Video-Out. Apple’s worst decision of 2007 lives on in the 2008 iPod family: video-out is still locked, requiring an overpriced authentication chip-based video cable (or similarly expensive docking device) to function.


5. Nike + iPod. We’ve been able to successfully pair an older Nike + iPod Sensor to both the iPod nano and the iPod touch. Connecting the iPod classic to the Nike+ Receiver brings up an unsupported accessory screen. Nike + iPod is its own optional icon on the iPod touch, featuring the ability to pair with a sensor, record your performance, and play back audio during workouts in the same manner as the iPod nano version. Audio feedback is still provided. The iPod nano version is very similar to its prior incarnation, except you can now rotate the screen on your preferred orientation during the workout.


4. Screen rotation and Accelerometer. The iPod nano allows for a surprising amount of screen rotation within its features—not just music, but also Nike + iPod, which can be set to your preferred display orientation in a settings menu. You can also do the same with Nike + iPod on the iPod touch, rotating the screen if you’re so inclined. This likely will facilitate better workout solutions, and potentially a new generation of accelerometer-based iPod games that work solely on the new nano. Apple has also included “Shake,” which lets you shake the nano to activate shuffle mode; this can be turned off.


3. Maze Versus iQuiz. The iPod classic still ships with iQuiz, Apple’s music and video trivia game, but the fourth-generation iPod nano replaces it with Maze, an accelerometer-based game that tracks the progress of a ball moving through on-screen mazes. You tilt the nano to move the ball through the maze to the finish point.


2. Audio Recording. The iPod nano 4G and iPod classic 120GB continue to include Voice Memos, a feature originally introduced in third-generation iPods back in 2003 and then carried on to every successive hard drive-based iPod, as well as the iPod nanos starting with the second generation. Now Voice Memos on both devices works with both Dock Connector recording accessories and headphone port-based microphones such as the one included with the iPhone and iPhone 3G. On the iPod nano, another new feature lets you press the central Action button to insert chapter markers; the iPod classic has not gained this new feature.


1. Software Versions. The 2008 iPod shuffle ships with Software Version 1.0.4. iPod nano (fourth-generation) ships with Software Version 1.0. iPod classic (120GB) ships with Software Version 2.0. iPod touch (second-generation) ships with Software Version 2.1.1 (5F138).

We’ll have much more on all the new iPods soon.

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“The iPod classic has not gained this new feature.”

Each time I read that, I cringed.

The new features that the classic hasn’t gained aren’t exactly crucial to me, but what is Apple playing at by not including them?

I should hope they have them coming in a firmware update…

Posted by jeremyjk1221 on September 10, 2008 at 6:38 PM (CDT)


what about voise recording with iphone touch?

Posted by luka on September 10, 2008 at 6:50 PM (CDT)


Any idea when apple will come out with a ipod touch with more memory?

Posted by tony on September 10, 2008 at 7:25 PM (CDT)



Probably around jan. after christmas like the 32GB ver.

Posted by Anon. on September 10, 2008 at 8:29 PM (CDT)


Any idea if the Nike Amp+ watch can sync with the new ipod touch?

Posted by Uri on September 10, 2008 at 8:49 PM (CDT)


I’ve been waiting for the crossfade feature for a long time.

So is the Nano the only iPod to have this? Not even the iTouch?

Posted by twofaceAL on September 10, 2008 at 9:47 PM (CDT)


Don’t quite understand why lots fo features are not included in ipod classic?

Is Apple going to cease this production line in the near future?

Posted by card on September 10, 2008 at 10:18 PM (CDT)


While the new Ipods are cool they are overall a big disappointment.  I’d say this is the least impressive upgrade they have ever released.    Why they couldn’t have a 64g Ipod Touch or a 5 inch screen with an Ipod touch or a bigger advancement with the Nano is hard to understand.    Are they so consumed with the Iphone that they do not focus on bigger improvements in the Ipod.  I have never read so much press that have basically implied the this crop of Ipods is a major letdown.  Apple is also letting the ZUNE, SONY, SANDISK and Archos catch up to them.
I just hope there is some kind of refresh before next year.    I was all ready to buy the 64g Itouch but will save my money since it wasn’t released.

Posted by Peter Martin on September 10, 2008 at 10:29 PM (CDT)


You say that the second gen iPod touch ships with software version 2.1 (5F138). The update that I downloaded for my first gen iPod touch is 2.1 (5F137). Why the difference?

Posted by Railrider on September 10, 2008 at 10:32 PM (CDT)


If Apple’s worst decision of 2007 was the decision to change iPod-to-TV connections to support component instead of S-video, then we are one lucky bunch of users :p

Posted by Nagromme on September 11, 2008 at 12:58 AM (CDT)


Is it possible to “shake” the iPod Touch to shuffle?

Posted by mark on September 11, 2008 at 2:21 AM (CDT)


Well I’m not surprised that the Classic doesn’t support the Nike+ kit.  You really don’t want to be running with a hard drive based player.

Posted by kdt on September 11, 2008 at 2:31 AM (CDT)


Gives a general impression indeed that iPod classic is being ‘left out’,” even just with upgrades that’s only firmware-based. The word “classic” in itself already connotes “old,” and other negative things. We hope Apple doesnt put their previous flagship down so much.

“This update is not included in the classic…” are all these intentional so the iPod Touch would increase its sales? No gratitude to this iconic model which already has so much history? No gratitude when it interferes with business strategy? Just for me, I wont consider iPod Touch until its flash-based memory breaks at least 60 GB and price gets below 300 USD. Will all the video podcasts available, 32 GB (at 400 USD at that!) is just not enough.

Posted by turmukoy on September 11, 2008 at 2:39 AM (CDT)


“While the new Ipods are cool they are overall a big disappointment.  I’d say this is the least impressive upgrade they have ever released.  Why they couldn’t have a 64g Ipod Touch or a 5 inch screen with an Ipod touch or a bigger advancement with the Nano is hard to understand.  Are they so consumed with the Iphone that they”

1. 64GB of Flash by itself goes for around $300.  Do you think 64GB player would have been affordable?

2. The bigger screen, the bigger the device and the more drain on battery.

3. This is the biggest disappointment?  Do you remember the 2006 update?  Apple introduced the 5.5G iPod which was nothing spectacular and the 2G Nanos and the shuffle.  2004 was nothing spectacular either

Posted by kdt on September 11, 2008 at 2:50 AM (CDT)


The only thing that Apple deserves to be criticized for is Point 6 - video out. That is ridiculous. Not necessarily evil but still wrong-headed.

Posted by Pikemann_Urge on September 11, 2008 at 3:35 AM (CDT)


Is it me or most updates/changes made affect only the nano? E.g. has the audio crossfade option been implemented in the 2nd gen touch? It’s a feature I’d been looking forward to, and I don’t really understand why it’s not present in their flagship player, too. Both players are flash drive based after all, so it’s not like a disk access speed issue or whatever anyway.

Posted by osaka on September 11, 2008 at 5:06 AM (CDT)


Pikemann_Urge: Definitely evil, no two ways about out; if MS had done the same thing the pitchfork-wielding mob would be out in force…

Posted by Adam on September 11, 2008 at 8:10 AM (CDT)


I just hope the 160GB classic I already have will be upgradeable to ver. 2.0, since it looks like there was no upgrade whatsoever to the hardware itself.

From there, it’s Apple’s call to include the crossfade, radio tagging, and chapters during voice recording features in a 2.1 update. I prefer to be optimistic =)

Posted by Arturo Lugo on September 11, 2008 at 1:12 PM (CDT)


As another 160gb classic owner, I am also dissapointed by what seems to be a movement away from capacity-oriented iPods.  I am out of space on my iPod, which I keep beautifully synced with my 160gb Apple TV, and assumed there would (at some point) be higher capacity coming up.  Instead they went lower, only offering 120Gb now. 

Perhaps those of us who need the space are in the minority?

Posted by DynaMix on September 11, 2008 at 2:30 PM (CDT)


I like my third-gen Nano’s better than the latest crop. The color/finish of the new Nano’s look dime store cheap. Having a voice/sound recorder option, and more flash memory are the good of the new. Gifts of Nano’s to family & friends will be the third generation models.

Posted by Ria Rhodes on September 11, 2008 at 4:01 PM (CDT)


I may not be correct, but I think people like DynaMix are in the minority.  I have a 32Gb touch that has about 5 GBs of music and less than a Gig of video.  Maybe people like me are in the minority, but unless a lot of people have 160GBs of music laying around then I can see why they would push the 32Gb touch. 

As far as the updats go I got everything I wanted.  I just wanted a touch with a built in speaker so I could watch youtube videos in bed.  Everything else is just gravy.

Posted by Bill Bob Hornybritches on September 11, 2008 at 4:26 PM (CDT)


If you turn the Nano (from upright) clockwise so that the click wheel is to the left, does it go into landscape mode? The ad on apple’s website shows that happening, but I haven’t seen this attempted in any of the real pics. This is important to me (and it seems to other left-handed people as well).


Posted by george on September 11, 2008 at 4:45 PM (CDT)


I have have a 2nd gen and a 3rd gen nano and when I saw that the 4th gen was out I just had to have it. My main thing was that it offered full screen album art. I know its crazy but I have been wanting this for a while. I have fun with it. Also that fact that you can flip the nano and the screen flips with you is fun. Overall to me it much better than all the prior nanos. It keeps getting better. I do have to say that I know apple has the capabilty to make more improvements at one time but I guess they figure they can make more money off people like me who will run out and buy the newest version just for a few new perks and not wait until one eventually has all the features I want. I still wish they had a radio. Watch that be on the next one in six months.

Posted by Diane on September 11, 2008 at 5:09 PM (CDT)


“If you turn the Nano (from upright) clockwise so that the click wheel is to the left, does it go into landscape mode? The ad on apple’s website shows that happening, but I haven’t seen this attempted in any of the real pics. This is important to me (and it seems to other left-handed people as well).”

Yes it does I just tried it on mine and it can go either way. It can be lefty or righty.

Posted by Shelly on September 11, 2008 at 5:13 PM (CDT)


Apple is falling out of touch. Not offering a larger drive than 120GB is moving backwards. For that reason alone, there is no way I will upgrade from my 160GB Classic. Also, when will they add a built in radio and wifi. Lastly, they should easily be able to let people choose what they want displayed when a song is playing. I for one want the year and genre. All other manufacturers should be able to gain some ground by offering a larger capacity player with these features. The only new feature worth noting is “Genuis” if it works well…

Posted by Mike on September 12, 2008 at 9:37 PM (CDT)


While I really like the new nanos, I LOVE my nano 3G 4GB, and will be buying a refurbished 8GB one from apple.com soon, since they have come down so much in price.

Posted by Beckie on September 12, 2008 at 11:01 PM (CDT)


It’s amazing to see that the new Nano has Crossfade Playback, something I have been waiting for in the iPods for ages!

It’s a shame to see the iPod classic not getting this feature.

Does anybody know if the iPod touch allows for Crossfade Playback?

Posted by Calum on September 12, 2008 at 11:38 PM (CDT)


When I showed the 4G Nano to my granddaughter (because I promised she would get a Nano for Xmas) she hated.  She said the 3G would fit better in her hands. So I immediately grabbed a Refurb 3G while it lasts.  But it made me wonder: small kids would probably like the size of a 3G better.

Posted by Veruska on September 13, 2008 at 1:01 PM (CDT)


Disappointed to see that they’ve downgraded the 160 to 120. Mines not full yet but bigger is better.
Also don’t like the new volume limitations, I like drowning out certain things with headphones.

Posted by Stazee on October 2, 2008 at 7:20 PM (CDT)


im really disappointed i Love the ipod classic and have had my 30G for a couple years. mines getting old and needs to retire and i want more memory, but im not going to get a new ipod like the nano (its too small for me)or the current classic. i want the classic to have the same features as the nano, especially if im going to be paying 229 dollars for the darn ipod. also why hasn’t apple made the classic colorful like the nano. for me to even consider buying a nano they MUST give it more memory, but i would rather have the classic. so Apple PLEASE update the classic, because i want to get a new ipod

Posted by katherine on November 27, 2008 at 1:49 AM (CST)


I have a purple 4GB ipod and i bought the Griffen itrip transmitter which is also supposidly suppose to charge it as well.  But when i plug it in i get an “unsupported accessory” message and it will not let me charge my ipod in my car like the box says it will do.  Does anyone know why??? HELPPPPP

Posted by amy scott on December 8, 2008 at 3:51 PM (CST)


I have one of the original Ipod Colour. Yes it’s quite brick-like these days and definitely not getting new firmware. However it’s 60G and as much as I want a new touch, I need a touch that is at least 45G as there’s otherwise no compelling reason to upgrade.

With >120G SSD’s out there, I fail to see why the touch can’t be at least 64G. I too feel that Applie is more focused on the iphone to the detriment of ipods.

Posted by AnonMonkey on April 2, 2009 at 6:40 AM (CDT)

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