“What would a miniature iPod Touch look like?”
Thanks to Apple’s new multitouch iPod Nano, now we know! It’s a square that’s roughly two inches across, with a clip on the back and a headphone jack (and standard 30-pin connector) on the bottom. But its biggest new feature is on the front — the multitouch screen.
A true multitouch music player
That’s the thing about the new iPod Nano: It doesn’t have all the features of the iPod Touch. There’s no app store and no Internet, and as far as I can tell there are no games for it. It just plays music, in about the smallest and most convenient package imaginable.
Of course, the new iPod Shuffle is what you’ll want to buy if you just want a music player, and don’t care about anything else. Like for driving or working out, or something. But besides playing your favorite tracks, the new iPod Nano also has the “Genius Mix” and FM radio features, from the last incarnation of the iPod Nano. Plus it can play podcasts and audiobooks, and show your pictures and things.
“But every music player can do that,” you ask. “Why would I want one of the new multitouch iPod Nanos?” Well, maybe you wouldn’t! Not everyone does. And if you still have a last-generation iPod Nano, you may want to hold on to it — last year’s model has a video camera. The new iPod Nano doesn’t; it’s been put in the iPod Touch instead.
The thing about Apple products, though, is that their design goes beyond just making things look shiny — and the new multitouch iPod Nano is very, very shiny, with a metallic case and everything. Apple design is about making things work well, and making them fun to use.
If I had to guess, I’d say that’s why the new iPod Nano has a multitouch screen instead of a clickwheel and buttons. Because I’ve owned devices that were coated in buttons and had poor user interfaces, and while they could technically play music I only ever listened to a handful of albums on them. It just wasn’t worth it to take the time to figure them out and organize things.
Look at the new multitouch iPod Nano at the store. Play with it. Don’t just see if it plays music; see if it plays music well. If the new multitouch interface makes it easier, to sort through your music and find things you want. And if the tiny new size and shape make it appealing.
Are they enough of a “feature” for you to get one? My guess is that they will be, for a lot of people.
Whatever you use to play music, good luck and have fun with it out there!