Somebody asked me the other day why I didn’t just trade my first generation nano in for a 7th generation with a touchscreen, 16GB storage, video playback capabilities and a thinner and lighter design. I begged to differ:
Touchscreen vs Clickwheel
The clickwheel was the basis of the first generation iPod, a way to scroll through your music library easily and quickly however also being accurate at the same time. You cannot do this with pointer arrows; as other companies had been doing at the time. The clickwheel for me is essentially a designer addition, only iPods have clickwheels whereas many devices have touchscreens. How simple and intuitive the clickwheel is to me shows how simplicity really can be the ultimate sophistication.
To put it bluntly, I have a 32GB iPad Mini and a 32GB iPhone 4 which contain all my music. If I want to listen to a track, I just beam it down from the cloud and be done with it. The 1GB on my iPod Nano allows me around 100 songs at 320Kb/s and that is all I really need. All the songs on there I like a lot and so shuffle allows me to listen to all my songs and I rarely skip them. I would never dream of putting my iPhone or iPad on shuffle, there I just shove on whole albums and I don’t like half of what is on there. The nano made me choose and this is what makes it better for my listening pleasure.
the new nano doesn’t even have a large screen, why would I want to watch videos on that? I have an iPhone for that!
Thinner and lighter design
As will all Apple products, I like the design of the 7th Generation nano however to me it still isn’t what Steve Jobs would have done. It seems a rushed product with limited features and a very thin design. The first generation nano is still super thin, thinner even than my iPad mini. Why would I want an even thinner product? They weigh virtually the same and the new nano gets rid of maybe 1mm so why?? It may be nicer to hold ergonomically but I prefer the rounded corners and harsh edges on the classic nano.
The 7th generation nano was unveiled along with other products and was not in the limelight, only stealing a little airtime whilst the 5th Generation touch stole the iPod anticipation. The 1st generation nano was unveiled before the iPhone or iPod touch so gained the full stage, taking one of the slots reserved for the unveiling of a large new product. Product designers would have been very concentrated on the product, spending a lot of spare time on it and crafting it until it was perfect. The7th generation nano would have got a lot less of this IMHO as iPod sales were a lot smaller than that of the iPhone and even if they did concentrate on it, more time would have been spent on the Touch as this was the flagship product. To demonstrate this, look at the shuffle and the classic, not gaining updates in the past years and the 6th Gen nano lasting two years. I’m not begging for an update, but it would be nice to know that they are still doing things behind the scenes. The 1st gen was a marvel in its age, the thinnest and lightest iPod with a screen, still carrying quite a lot of songs.
What does the 7th generation nano lack most of all? Games! I spend a lot of time on Parachute, Brick, Solitaire and even Music Quiz however I don’t think (and please correct me if I am wrong) that the 7th gen has any games at all, even with that touchscreen which had sparked so many games on the touch.
You can probably already detect te verdict I am going to give. The iPod nano 1st gen is here to stay. It still does as it is supposed to and functions perfectly well. Also did I mention that it contains a better audio chip than any of the other iPods that have came out? (Bar the iPod classic 5th gen). The iPod has changed greatly since Jobs left. I wish it could once again become something big. Anyway, if I wanted to touch my iPod (no… Don’t think of it like that….), I would have got a touch. It’s in the name anyway…
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