There are more features than ever to choose from with the new line of iPods, and the form factors are getting more appealing with every refresh of this incredibly popular line of MP3 players.
The iPod Shuffle is new from the ground up this year. It’s gorgeous brushed aluminum in several very cool colors. It has special button, the VoiceOver, to let you quickly hear the current song title, the name of the current playlist, and the status of your battery. Like the old shuffle, the control buttons are big and easy to use. The Shuffle now does playlists, including the Genius feature, a very welcome addition, indeed. The VoiceOver button lets you easily navigate through your music and playlists
And wow, it is tiny! The Shuffle is just a little over an inch (almost) square, and just over a third of an inch thick, including the clip! It weighs less than half an ounce. Even in this tiny package, Apple rates playback time at about 15 hours on a single charge of the battery, a major improvement over the 2009 model. The shuffle has a 2GB flash memory storage system, which accounts for its small size and weight.
That is a lot of power and features to pack into a $49 package. Yes, it is probably too small for most grown-ups to use as their main MP3 player, but even for adults there are times when this combination of tiny size and convenience could come in handy. It might be good for you at the gym or even as a backup player when yours go missing. And with these looks, it certainly is a conversation starter! If you’re in the market for a small, inexpensive iPod for you or your kids, this one is definitely worth a long hard look.
The iPod Nano has also been totally redesigned. Like the Shuffle, it is truly tiny, coming in at about 1.5 inches (almost) square and 1/3 of an inch thick, with an incredible weight of only ¾ of an ounce. Into that tiny package, Apple has packed the Nano with a 1.5 inch 240×240 pixel touch-screen display, great sound specs, a built-in FM radio, a multi-language voiceover capability, and an extremely long list of features.
The new Nano has all of the music features that you have become used to and some that you haven’t. Easy scrolling through your music, a built-in clip for convenience, 24 full hours of battery life, playlists and Genius playlists, music from the FM radio band, and built in fitness features to keep you slim and trim. The tap-to-play touchscreen technology alone is worth the price of admission. It has everything but a camera. It’s hard to imagine taking pictures with something this small, anyway.
The new iPod Nano is another winner. Everything about it screams “Buy me!” If you do, the 8GB model will set you back $149, with the 16GB model available for $179. It’s hard to imagine getting much more for your iPod money than this totally redesigned Nano model. If you need to be the first kid on the block with the best new toy, this one is for you.
The iPod Classic did not change for 2010, which is pretty much what being a classic is all about. This is the iPod that gave Apple the lead in the music device business, and even though it is getting a bit long in the tooth, it still deserves a place in the lineup. Still, it’s clear that this one is on the way out, and at $249 seems a bit pricey. It does, though, offer 160GB of capacity, ten times the largest of the Nano line, and that counts for a lot with some people. The ability to carry 40,000 songs in your pocket is still just as nifty as it ever was, even if it does weigh almost five ounces. Still, alongside the other iPods, this one looks positively stodgy and appliance-like.
If you need something more than an iPod, but something less than an iPhone, the new iPod Touch may be for you. The new Touch brings all of the best features of the iPhone 4 to the iPod line, including the new iOS4 operating system, except (of course) the phone part. But that is not a problem as long as you’re within reach of WiFi. You can even make FaceTime calls using the iPod Touch over WiFi, as well as regular voice calls using Skype or some similar VOIP service.
The new Touch has pretty much everything the iPhone has, including those two cameras and the ability to record HD video. And that’s not to mention what may be the real draw, which is all of those apps available from the App Store and all of those cool games! The Touch is significantly skinnier than the iPhone, though just about the same size otherwise. It weighs in at only a little over 3.5 ounces with a 3.5 inch touch screen, comprising 960×640 pixels.
The touch comes in 3 configurations: 8GB, 32GB, and 64GB, priced at $229, $299, and $399, respectively. If you need the world’s best toy, or a multi threat-music device that thinks it’s a computer, you can’t go wrong with the Touch. When I needed a new MP3 player, I was also in the market for a cell phone, so I purchased an iPhone and got the best of both worlds. If your current need is for an MP3 player, and you don’t mind spending the money, the iPod Touch is sitting right on top of the hill.