Review: iPod Nano 5th Generation

I have been playing with the iPod Nano Video or 5th generation for a couple of weeks now. It has to be one of the best iPods I have used besides the Touch. With its $149 starting price, it’s hard to beat with what it has to offer. I don’t want to focus on the music/video playing capabilities since not much has changed since the previous version. I do want to touch on a few new features: the video camera, pedometer and FM radio.

Video Camera:
Adding the video camera to the iPod Nano was a great idea. It makes it great for spur of the moment video recordings. The problem I have is the placement of the camera, it’s in the wrong spot. Watch the iPod Nano commercial and you can see where their hand placement is.

The way they were holding it in the commercial would cover the camera. The camera is at the bottom right side when you’re looking at the screen. I’m sure placement was to due to the smaller size and they needed a place to put it. While it is annoying at first after a few minutes you figure out where your hands need to be to film with ease. I posted about the quality of the camera before but after seeing it first hand I will add a few more comments. The video isn’t bad. Most people don’t have a Zi8 or a Flip Mino laying around to compare video to. The video would be used for spur of the moment recordings and uploaded to YouTube and for that it is fine. The built-in editing utilities just a nice touch. One thing I wish they would add is the ability to just take a picture. I would get more use out of that than video.

The pedometer is something I have fallen in love with over the last couple of weeks. It is surprisingly accurate in the number of steps. You can set the pedometer to always keep track or just turn it on when you go for a run. For me I would put the Nano into my pocket in the morning and sync with my computer in the evening. My entire days worth of steps would be calculated. The other nice and bad part about it is it syncs with Nike plus. The Nike Plus website that you get for the Nano isn’t the same as with the Nike Plus kit.

With the Nano Nike Plus site you still get a way to track your steps and it shows milestones for the more steps you go. For example it shows that 7,000 steps would be like walking up a 160 story building. The problem that I have is I can’t set goals or compete with other Nano users. The site is still in beta so some of these features might still come.

FM Radio:
Other companies have been offering FM tuners in their MP3 players for some time now. I never really cared if my iPod had it or not. Now that I have it I wish I would have had it sooner. I still listen to a lot of radio, commercials included, while I’m in the car and a little at work. With the iPod Nano you have to have the earphones plugged into since that is the antenna. One thing I learned is that if you hook up a male 1/8th inch jack to your car AUX input you can have HD radio in your car. The cable, mine was 6 foot, acts as the antenna. I’m glad Apple didn’t somehow disable you from using any audio cable as a antenna since having HD radio in my car is the best part of it. Another nice feature is that you can pause, rewind and fast forward live radio.

Overall the iPod Nano Video is a great buy. It’s light weight, bigger screen, pedometer, fm radio, video camera and all the other iPod features you can’t go wrong. Let me know if you have questions about it.

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