comments

Does anyone else think that the 2 gig nano is a stopgap until prices for flash memory fall to allow a reprisal of the 4 and 6 gig price levels?

I get the feeling Apple doesn't think that is going to happen before Christmas.

Posted by Popjunkie on September 12, 2005 at 1:20 AM (PDT) Comment 1

Style over substance? The Nano is better than the Mini for several reasons:

-No delicate internal hard drive, its flash memory like the shuffle which means it will sustain a significant drop even without aluminum. Far more durable for sports, gym, etc.
-Wafer thin and shorter to fit in a pocket next to that wallet full of business cards. Who would wear that lame-### band aid armband anyway . . . well maybe if it was black.
-Ah the novelty of a color screen. . .
-No annoying easter egg color scheme! Black is back.

The fact that there is less capacity doesn't bother me. I have a 40 GB with 4900 songs (32 GB) and really only listen to around 500-600 anyway. I'd rather look at a color screen with album art or wacky photos, and walk the streets without an armored brick in my pocket. My only potential gripes are the strange headphone jack location and lack of firewire support, but USB 2.0 transfers almost just as fast.

Posted by mightypixel on September 12, 2005 at 1:49 AM (PDT) Comment 2

Yes, I agree with the previous poster - you're way too hard on this fabulous product. Have you just bought a load of iPod Minis? I would not have been seen dead with a gaudy, cheap-looking iPod Mini but this is pure class.

Oh, and flash is the way forward, clearly. The hard disk will die out in music players in a couple of years.

Posted by andrewthomas10 on September 12, 2005 at 3:52 AM (PDT) Comment 4

Sure, the Nano is thin, but is it *too* thin?!

http://mashable.com/2005/09/12/is-the-ipod-nano-too-thin/

Posted by Pete Cashmore on September 12, 2005 at 6:01 AM (PDT) Comment 5

I also agree with mightypixels... I bought the Nano the next day because it is exactly what I need the gym and travelling. I have a 60G iPod photo and it is small enough but still too big for my pocket. I have loads of operas and long pieces saved on it. It is now permanently docked on my iHome clock smile.
The iPod photo is just not small enough for the gym for me, so iPod Nano is a godsent device for me.
My "Photo" is white... My "Nano" is black.. how cool is that LOL.
I like Black... if people wants colour they can always accessorize it LOL.
I LOVE MY iPod Photo and Nano.. Mr Jobs' gamble has certainly won my heart:)

p.s. a special Ferari Red Nano will be Kool!

Posted by floridante2k on September 12, 2005 at 7:03 AM (PDT) Comment 6

As we said, for second-time iPod buyers, this device is an A-. Not preferable to owning a full-sized iPod, but a close second. Your comments confirm the accuracy of this statement.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on September 12, 2005 at 8:48 AM (PDT) Comment 7

I thought the review was excellent. Hopefully Apple will expand the Nano's line to include more colors (I agree, Ferrari Red would be great) and larger capacity flash drives before Christmas.

Posted by mightypixel on September 12, 2005 at 12:07 PM (PDT) Comment 8

Jeremy,

Have you done any tests on speed of transferring songs to the nano with USB 1.(whatever)? And I'm surprised you haven't made more of the fact of Apple dropping support for firewire syncing. Is this a trend? Will future full-sized iPods also drop this feature? Am I the only iPod worshiper that is completely peeved at this change?

Posted by alexarch on September 12, 2005 at 1:30 PM (PDT) Comment 9

like everyone else, I love it too, but at the moment I'm starting to look for something else to help manage my music from my ipod and other devices, so I found a couple of new music servers, one is the phillips wacs 700, http://www.streamium.com/index.cfm , the other is the olive symphony , http://www.olive.us, and I was wondering if you guys have some feedback on these?

Posted by [email protected] on September 12, 2005 at 1:48 PM (PDT) Comment 10

Word on the street, well a guy at the apple store, is that you can put that universal adapter on any dock and have it function with the nano?

Posted by M Bargo on September 12, 2005 at 2:27 PM (PDT) Comment 11

I'm pleased to see the Nano offered in black, and yes a red does sound quite sharp too, but I'm sad to see the Mini go. I'll miss that solid lump of bored-out aluminum, cool to the touch, and so very reassuring. I wasn't a personal fan of the Mini colors, but many were, and they are beautiful in their own right. However with the move to flash-based memory, and after surviving (for the most part) the thrashing Ars Technica put it through, and of course a color screen, I feel Apple has designed a rugged product with a great overall look and user-friendly feel to it.
I expect a bump to 6 gigs some time in February or so, do you agree?

Posted by pleasurepaul on September 12, 2005 at 3:30 PM (PDT) Comment 12

By the way, I've experienced similiar, but not the same issues many have had with iTunes 5 causing havoc with the iTunes Library and playlists. I keep getting a message "Importing iTunes Playlist" (or close to that) followed by a notice my iTunes library seems to be damaged, and will save it and mark it as such. I've been adamant about backing up my iTunes Library often so I've saved myself some major headaches.I look forward to Apple issuing a fix soon. And hopefully a software upgrade to allow a code lock, stopwatch, and multi clocks for the full-sized iPods like they have with the Nano.

Posted by pleasurepaul on September 12, 2005 at 3:38 PM (PDT) Comment 13

If you're worried about the nano's durability, don't be. Ars Technica sat on it, dropped it from waist height, from moving bikes and cars, *drove over it twice*, and only managed to kill it once and for all by tossing it 40 feet in the air and letting it drop onto solid concrete--after all the other punishment. Even getting dropped out the window of a car going 50 mph didn't faze it, and the display only started crapping out after the first 10 foot drop onto concrete. Yeah, it might get some scrapes and fingerprints on it in normal use, but it looks like it will keep working.

Posted by penmachine on September 12, 2005 at 4:18 PM (PDT) Comment 14

i just dont get you guys approach to your reviews. it always feels as though you force your cons out to seem like you are giving an unbiased review. it would seem that, according to your cons, you wish that this player was compatable with all of the older accesories on the market. it appears to me that apple has openly admited to taking a bold new step with this design and it would seem that it was for the better. i see this as a challenge for the accesories market and i am exited to see what various comanies come up with. the older accesories are not left to waste simply because of the huge huge amount of players and users out there with full sized ipods or ipod minis and that market will continue to hold steady for a good while.

at any rate, do you know what i mean about the whole positive negative thing? why is it that it always feels as though you dont really weigh in all to logically on various aspects of the negative points of your reviews?

Posted by t_sun on September 12, 2005 at 6:29 PM (PDT) Comment 15

There are two approaches we could take with product reviews - generally subjective ("go buy this thing now, we say you need it") or objective ("here are the facts about this product, and our opinions; we trust you to form your own"). We are frankly put off by reviews that try to tell us what we do and do not need - they're generally motivated by a desire to sell something, and we are not salesmen - we're journalists. Our goal is to make available the best possible information about iPods and accessories for a large, very diverse, and (ahem) demanding base of readers, so that they can make smart choices for themselves.

Our approach has consequences. A complete disclosure of the pros and cons of any product takes more time than a sales pitch that focuses only on the reasons you should buy something. And the process necessarily involves mentioning factors of various levels of importance. We trust that our readers are intelligent enough to assign their own weights to the factors we've pointed out. But of course, we offer our own opinions in the complete review.

Regarding accessory compatibility specifically, we went over this issue in "iPod nano: What's Inside?" and specifically said that we didn't like the change, and why. If you're looking for us to make a more definitive positive statement such as, "even though they got rid of all of those accessories, someone will surely make more," there's a reason we're not doing that: it hasn't happened, or been promised by anyone yet.

The number of third-party replacement top-mounting accessories that have specifically been announced to date is zero. Because of Apple's choice to go with a smaller battery and enclosure, there are still major unresolved issues as to how some of these devices will mount and be powered. Similarly, the company's apparently deliberate decision not to permit some of them to work at all regardless of re-engineering (voice recorders, for instance) can't be viewed as a net positive under any circumstances, unless the decision is reversed. The iPod nano is already one of the only 4GB music players not to include voice or other recording capabilities out of the box (say nothing of FM radio), so reducing support for existing, excellent devices strikes us as a disadvantage.

Some people care about these things, and our reviews point the issues out for them. Some people don't, and they can always skip to the next sentence, paragraph, or article.

Posted by Jeremy Horwitz on September 12, 2005 at 7:35 PM (PDT) Comment 16

This is what I have been waiting for. I have a 20 gig that I bought back in June and it has been great around campus or in my car but I have been scared to take it to the gym for fear of messing up the hard drive. I thought about a shuffel but the lack of a screen kept me from doing buying one. The nano looks to be perfect for anyone who wants an ipod at the gym or on the trail.

Posted by riverrat314 on September 12, 2005 at 10:10 PM (PDT) Comment 17

No, you can't use the dock adapter in old docks... but you don't have to: the nano sits in old docks WITHOUT an adapter.

The adapter is for FUTURE 3rd-party products. Expect ALL iPods to come with adapters in future. Then 3rd-party accessory makers can easily make universal products that fit all iPods perfectly.

The Ars review counted the dock adapter as a "con"... why? It's not useful yet, but it's a great idea in the long run.

Posted by Nagromme on September 12, 2005 at 11:23 PM (PDT) Comment 18

i'd go for an 8 gig one- any idea when that might happen?

Posted by qsack on September 13, 2005 at 12:00 AM (PDT) Comment 19

Regarding the "smaller capacity for the same money" gripes: the 6GB mini was not selling hardly at all - the 4GB model was the popular one. Clearly, no one needed 6GB. They either spent a bit more and went for 20, or just got a 4GB mini. Therefore, a 4 and 6GB nano would mean the 6GB model would not sell, and be a waste to make. Given that the nano is more expensive to make for the same capacity, they went with 2 and 4GB to give the same price range. However, some of the 4GB mini sales were probably due to it being below $200 rather than people not needing 6GB, so the 2GB nano might be the bigger seller in the long term unless most really need more than 2GB.

Posted by Ryan Gray on September 13, 2005 at 2:32 AM (PDT) Comment 20

Regarding the "oddly placed headphone jack" gripes some people have: I don't think it's oddly placed. Sure, it's such that many of the existing headphone jack accessories won't work, but many of those also required the remote jack, which is absent as well. However, my guess is that the remote capability is embedded in the 30 pin connector which is now right next to the jack. So, new accessories might just use a combo dock connector and headphone plug to do the same thing.

If you are just using headphones with it, then the cord doesn't have to go around the device when you hold it to look at the screen like the other iPods. This also makes it better than the shuffle when on a neck lanyard. This just means that belt cases and such will probably carry it upside-down so the headphone jack is then on top, and then the screen will be "right-side-up" when you look down at it as well. This is way better. I saw someone gripe because it meant you couldn't stand it up on its "bottom" and listen. The thing is 0.27 inches thin - you will not be able to keep it standing up with a headphone jacked in even if it was on top. This is designed to lay flat facing you with the cord coming at you and not snaking around the device. I also happen to like the little bit of asymmetry the headphone plugged into the bottom right edge gives.

Posted by Ryan Gray on September 13, 2005 at 3:26 AM (PDT) Comment 21

Despite all similarities, the nano is an entirely different direction for Apple. Samsung just announced developments in flash memory manufacturing that, among other things, utilize a 50nm manufacturing process, all of which will conceivably lead to flash memory modules of 16GB and 32GB in the very near future. Couple that with reports of Apple locking 70% of Samsung's manufacturing capacity of flash memory, and it's not hard to see that many more products from Apple will be foregoing hard drives. The nano is just an early example of this philosophy, utilizing the state of the art in flash mem modules as they are today. It wouldn't suprise me if by this time next year, Apple will have released 20GB and 30GB iPods (or units with similar capacities thereabouts) that are entirely hard drive-free.

Frankly, we've never in our experiences had any problems with the drive operations of our HD-based iPods. But I do admit I was somewhat put off by the direction the 4G 60GB Photo was heading down--i.e. thicker and heavier--and though 40GB isn't nearly enough for me anymore I wasn't sure that an 80GB (or more) 5G was going to be all that enjoyable to tote around given the FF that would be needed to house the drive. If Samsung and their competition are indeed ahead of schedule in going to manufacturing with large capacity flash mem modules, then we could easily see a 5G or 6G iPod sans hard drive in less than a year's time. Given the technology available now, a larger capacity flash mem model is sure to be in the works in nano or perhaps larger FF, though in nano form I'd tend to doubt such a device would show up before Christmas unless nano sales really slack off between now and then. I've noticed that Apple tends to ride their products for a while until there's just an inkling that they might be getting a bit long in the tooth, then they drop the other shoe and a new variant or product comes out to augment or replace. At this point the 4GB nano has only started its run, and I think it's got a long way to go before demand weakens on this design spec. Heck, Apple's already gotten us to buy two of the things, and I like to consider myself--right or wrong--as being somewhat hard to impress.

It'll be interesting to see how mini HD manufacturers like Hitachi and Toshiba answer the Samsung challenge. Even though Toshiba has a 80GB 1.8" drive on the market, will its physical dimensions be small enough to keep portable manufacturers like Apple happy? Already other manufacturers like Seagate and Western Digital are readying their high-cap 2.5" (laptop FF) drives for the 160GB+ market, just to try to keep ahead of the developments from the flash memory world. In the 1.8" world, those manufacturers are already on the verge of losing their market dominance will smaller storage capacity devices (bye-bye Mini, already...the 20GB iPod Photo next?); Samsung and other flash mem houses are apparently more than poised and positioned to take their places.

(Hmmm....a 160GB 2.5" inch drive in laptop FF...I wonder if I can get that to work in my old Nomad Zen...it might be fun trying...)

Posted by flatline response on September 13, 2005 at 3:41 AM (PDT) Comment 22

when i first saw the nano on tv, i was blown away! the physical size and design is the best selling point on this ipod. just impressive!

now i don't know about the flash used in the nano, but a programmer friend of mine said that the current flash memory cards are only rewritable up to 100,000 times. now, that's way more than the average user, but i wonder how many times a hard drive can be writable up to.

does this affect the nano's sellability?

i'd LOVE a nano...probably in a couple years after my 3g breaks or i don't don't have to buy diapers anymore!

~funkpod

Posted by funkpod on September 13, 2005 at 4:53 AM (PDT) Comment 23

How exactly is a 100,000 times write limit going to affect sellability? Considering an obsessive number of write times per day (say 10 times per day) such a flash chip would become defective in 27 years. Are YOU going to keep your iPod Nano for 27 years? hmmmm?

Posted by Just me on September 13, 2005 at 12:30 PM (PDT) Comment 24

You forget that the FAT table (or equivalent) on the device is written constantly as well as other areas of the memory just while it is in normal use. Flash memory will fail through use, but so will hard drives. One constant: Apple will replace it anyway in 12 months so whats the point.

Posted by gubbas on September 13, 2005 at 3:30 PM (PDT) Comment 25
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