Apple are somewhat of a curiosity in the tech world. Only six people actually use their computers, yet whenever they release a new product the entire world takes notice. The fact is that Macs are the utter embodiment of style in computing. They encompass droolingly good looks with fantastic build quality. Indeed, I love Apple design so much that I bought an iMac keyboard for this computer to replace the cheap hunk of melted-down tupperware containers Packard Bell shipped with it. Apple products have come to symbolise style in the tech world.
So here we go with yet another iteration of the iPod nano. First of all, I would like to be anything but the first person to point out that Apple’s design team have been getting lazy with the iPod line, as this looks exactly the same as the old one. None of that whatever-the-hell-they-did with that nano that suddenly became short and fat. As far as I can tell, they’ve shoehorned in some new features, but the only ones I’ve heard about seem pretty redundant;
- Built in voice recorder – You can tell that somebody at Apple has finally cracked over whatever was preventing them from putting one of these in in the first place. Which was nothing.
- FM Radio – You can tell that somebody at Apple has finally cracked over whatever was preventing them from putting one of these in in the first place. Which was nothing.
- A built in speaker – Why, Apple? Why must you do this to us? We do not need another gadget which enables dopy teenagers to play their f*ck-awful rap music through a hideous tinny speaker.
- And the piéce de resistance, A video camera. – This seems to me to be completely redundant. Anybody who is anybody these days has a mobile phone, and it’s damned hard these days to find a phone that doesn’t have a video camera built into it*. So why does the average Joe need two video recorders on their person at all times? I was thinking that maybe you could take it somewhere you wouldn’t want to take your phone in case of damage or something, but this is again a moot point when you consider that this costs as much as, if not considerably more than any mobile which isn’t a new release.
It’s pretty clear that both the microphone and speaker features stem from the video camera – as a microphone for recording sound and a speaker for playing back video without headphones. Why it even needs a microphone is a mystery to me, because every video I’ve ever shot on any of these compact integrated cameras has always had an identical people background of people talking indecipherably rising to a laugh when somebody has been kicked in the groin/fallen over/fallen over onto their groin.
I hear the FM radio has a neat feature where you can rewind up to 15 minutes – a bit like Sky+ – but remember just how crap these tiny radios are and that any interference that you encounter will doubtless be on the recording too.
Don’t see this as a review of the latest nano, because it ain’t. I don’t have one and I don’t intend to get one. But I think I speak for most people when I say that there really isn’t much more Apple can do with an MP3 player. I mean, look at the iPod touch. It was essentially an iPhone without the phone, making it a little strange to use if you’re used to your phone being the centre of your computing away from home, especially when you realise you can’t actually phone anyone. In short, there’s only so much you can do to a product before it becomes a completely different product altogether, and I think Apple seem to have lost the plot a little. Maybe they should just concentrate on making the iPod a really good music player instead of a more average jack of all trades.