The new fifth generation iPod nano is an electronics marvel! It packs so many powerful things is such an incredibly small and slick body that it is unbelievable.
All these years I shied away from acquiring an iPod for the simple reason that it may take up so much of my time that my writing and other interests may suffer for want of time. But when I read that the new iPod nano could record and play video clips besides recording voice and music, I sort of began looking at it more inquisitively. I began to read its specifications and its features. When I found that it had world clock which could show me the time in 4 cities around the Globe at the same time, stopwatch, alarms, calendar, memo notes, contacts and games it perked up my ears. But the final feature which broke my resistance was that it worked as a pedometer as well! That did it! I fell for it and bought it promptly.
But it was my first iPod and first Apple device at that. I had no clue how to work it. I read the skimpy instruction booklet which was made for persons well acquainted with Apple devices and not for a first timer like me. When I switched on the device, I could not run up and down the menu as I tried in vain to press the arrow keys which I was used to on TV remote. I was frustrated beyond words. After an hour or so I discovered the secret of scrolling up and down the menu just by an accident. You have to brush your finger in a circular motion around the wheel! Clockwise to go down and anticlockwise to go up the menu! Eureka! I felt elated. The button at the top of the iPod which I presumed was the ON-OFF button did no such thing. It was a sliding switch to reset the iPod in the unlikely event when it did hang and stopped working. Soon I became an expert. Press menu to go back one screen at a time, and draw ring with the thumb on the wheel to select the menu and press the central button to move to the next screen.
I downloaded and installed iTunes on my computer. The program pulled out the music on my hard disc and converted it for the iPod. I connected the iPod and it soon finished synching with the iTunes. Although iTunes did pick up 2 .mov movie clips from my desk and put them on the iTunes screen they did not synch with the iPod and a msg showed up that it was not a format which could be played on the iPod nano. Similarly I found that movies which I had shot using my Panasonic camera could not be synched onto the iPod. You need to convert movies to MP4 format to load on to the iPod. Later I searched the net and downloaded the software to convert movies for iPod. You can find it at www(.)e-zsoft(.)com. However the movies which I shot with the iPod could be downloaded on my computer and they did play well. The iPod camera is pretty good at taking movie clips, though the position of the lens is something one has to get used to.
I was not expecting the iPod to play the music without plugging in the earphones, and was pleasantly surprised when it did. The sound is good quality but the volume is barely audible through my shirt pocket. But you could hold the back of the iPod to your ear and enjoy the music properly without the earphones. The feature is welcome when listening to voice notes. With the earphones, the quality of the sound is excellent.
I was pleased to see that the audio out socket is a full sized one (3.5 mm) and not a mini. I could plug in my music system in and play the iPod music. It sounded great! However I did not get any success playing the video clip through the AV cable which I bought separately. It did not show up on my Panasonic home theatre projector. I took it back to the shop who tried it and said that although its black carton says iPod nano, it doesn’t seem to work on the newest version. He would give it me as and when he received the new AV cable compatible with the new nano. But this is undoubtedly a blotch on Apple Inc. Why do they not make the accessaries common to all? It just adds to inventory, makes the older accessaries obsolete and adds to the costs.
I switched on the iPod pedometer put it in my right-side trouser pocket and walked in my garden and began counting the steps. I stopped after a couple of rounds when I had counted 485 steps and looked at the iPod. It had recorded 487 steps! The pedometer actually works. I then held it in my hand trying to keep it as steady as possible as I walked watching the screen. The iPod faithfully recorded my every step. I wonder how Apple did this gimmick as I do not know of any pedometer which can do that.
I plugged in the iPod in my inMotion im5 Altech speaker dock and it played some wonderful music. But the radio did not work on the dock. I put in the earphones and the radio worked. It probably uses the earphone wires as some kind of an aerial. I then tried it out plugging the iPod in the speaker through the aux. input with a cord which could serve as an aerial, but the radio still did not work.
I then plugged in my iTrip FM transmitter onto the iPod and set the frequency at 100 MH. This worked well when my radio was switched on to the same frequency. I switched on the FM radio in my car and played from the iPod Louis Armstrong’s ‘When the Saints go Marching By’ as a salute to Apple Inc. for the iPod marvel.
On the whole I am happy that I bought the iPod nano. It will be my companion in my pocket wherever I go. I have shed my fear and the little aversion I had for the Apple product. Kudos to Apple Inc. for coming up with a fantastic practical and useful product for beyond the music-lover consumers!