This feature works well – although you need to scroll through menus relatively slowly or the voice will develop a bit of a stutter – and will certainly be useful for people with visual difficulties. However, it could also come in handy if you’re simply lounging on a sun-bed and feeling too lazy to lift your head to look at the iPod’s menu screen, or if you want to try and control it without taking it out of your pocket.
Oddly, the Spoken Word Menus option is only available on the new iPod Nano, and not on the iPod Classic or Touch. That might be because they have larger screens, although we wouldn’t have thought that the size of the screen alone was the most important issue for visually impaired people.
I can sing a rainbow, sing a raaaiinnnn-er-booow...
There’s also a new voice-recording option, although in order to use this you need to buy one of Apple’s new earphone headsets, which include a remote control and microphone. There are actually two of these coming out: a basic set priced at £19 and a more expensive version with higher quality earphones for £55.
We can’t find much to fault about the new iPod Nano, which is just as well for Apple as there’s a lot riding on this particular product. The iPod Touch is currently still too expensive to really spearhead Apple’s sales efforts, which means that the iPod Nano goes into Christmas as the new flagship of the iPod range.
The one potential weakness of the new Nano is that it’s still more expensive than rivals from companies such as Creative Labs and Archos, which both have similar slimline players on offer for less than £100. However, the iPod Nano scores with its superior design and, more importantly, backs up its good looks with advanced features such as the accelerometer, which make it more versatile than its rivals. It may have taken four attempts, but this around it looks like the Nano could be a real winner.
Apple 4G iPod Nano
Nice gadget but 2 things...
One, I've got a 3 year old 20GB iRiver that came with Sennheiser earphones which still has better sound quality and cost about 300 quid (I think, was a while ago) at time of purchase and I can see it for $140. It looks good, although it doesn't have a colour screen or many of the features, but hey, I'm very happy with it.
Two, could you accidentally turn on shuffle while jogging?
I would like to confirm that the new nano and the new touch suffer the same poor sound quality inherent to the change of DAC as the Classic (6G)?
I tried the new touch in Apple Store this weekend, but even with my own (proper) pair of earphones and my 5G, the settings doesn't really allow a proper test:
- No similar file on both device
- Noisy environment (even if the Shure SE530 took a good care of that)
- Probably more important: the Touch battery was nearly dead (hey another great side-effect of putting the earphones jacks at the bottom.... and it's hard to charge it upside down)
So the sound sounds very metallic, a bit of distortion and frankly quite unpleasant. I'm not sure if it's (only) linked to the discharged battery or the cheap DAC.
So, of course it's a flashy gadget, with a great browser (the Touch) but it's still supposed to be a music player.... so sound quality is still for me a important factor!
Do you think....
That given the older generation of iPod tocuhs and iPhones have acclerometers that they'll do a firmware upgrade to filter these features down to the old models?
Re: Decisions, decisions ...
"Correction: An extra £20 buys you an 8 Gb Touch. The 16Gb Touch is a hefty £70 more than the 16 Gb Nano."
Oops ... my bad. <slaps forehead>
For some reason, I thought the 8Gb Touch had been canned. Storage capacity aside (I've got a 1Gb shuffle which is rarely more than 75% full but I still have adequate tunage for when I'm out and about) I think the 8Gb Touch may be a better buy, for me at least. Roll on payday :-D
Paris, 'cos she'd have got it right ...
@ sir toxteth of gravy
my only comment is that the apple standard headphones may be good enough for you, as the intended listener (i won't go into details, but you are wrong - you get what you pay for in the low end, i.e. sub £100, audio area, headphones are no exception) but they sure piss off the people in your locality - they are horrendously audistically leaky - you can hear a very bad tinny redition of the latest and not so greatest pop tunes from any white earlobed applite.