Looking Out from the Inside

Wednesday, November 16

Product Guide: iPod shuffle, iPod nano, iPod

The iPod is obviously a different beast than any of the other major hardware from Apple. It's incredibly fast moving compared to the computer market and as such a general outline is relatively impossible. I had considered breaking the Product Guides up into the individual models but since they are all, at their core, music players I think it'll best serve to have them all in the same place. Therefore before each family I'll include a short intro outlining that player's abilities and shortcomings compared to it's brethren.

iPod shuffle
Introduced on January 11th, the iPod shuffle is the epitome of zen-like simplicity. The controls consist of a mode switch on the back and a compass like array of control buttons: play/pause, volume up and down, track forward and backward. This design makes it rather a one-trick pony, but it does that trick better than anything else on the market. Since the shuffle has no screen trying to find one song is akin to picking names out of a hat. The answer to that is to embrace the random nature of shuffle. You load it with all your favorite music and don't worry about when a particular song is going to come up. You like it all, and it'll all come up eventually. This lassez faire philosophy of music collection combined with the diminutive size and durable form factor makes it idea for high impact activity.
The shuffle connects to the computer via a USB plug on the player itself, no cord required. The shuffle comes in white only.


Storage: 512 MB
Song Capacity: 120
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
Cost: $99


Storage: 1 GB
Song Capacity: 240
Battery Life: Up to 12 hours
Cost: $129

iPod nano
Unveiled September 7th, the iPod nano replaced the then best selling player, the iPod mini. Shifting storage medium from a tiny, spinning hard disk to the more impact resistant flash memory meant a dramatic reduction in size and but at the cost of a reduction in raw storage. Not that this matters to most consumers, 2 GB is enough for most anyone's favorites list but if you're looking to carry your entire library with you at all times this player is unlikely to suit your needs.
The nano connects to the computer via USB, firewire syncing is no longer supported. The screen, while slightly smaller than the mini, is now full color and higher resolution for greater visibility. With this color screen, photo storage has now been enabled. Unlike the full iPod, however, photos are viewable on the nano's screen alone, outputting to a TV is no enabled. Syncing contacts and calendars to Outlook on Windows machines is now supported in addition to the Mac support that's always been there. The nano comes in both black and white.


Storage: 2 GB
Song Capacity: 500
Photo Storage: 25,000
Battery Life: Up to 14 hours (music playback)
Cost: $199


Storage: 4 GB
Song Capacity: 1,000
Photo Storage: 25,000
Battery Life: Up to 14 hours (music playback)
Cost: $249


iPod
Apple refreshed it's line of full size iPods on October 12th, about a month after the nano. Coming in the same footprint as the former iPod the new version featured a much larger screen with higher resolution while simultaneously reducing the thickness by almost half as much. The big news about this update, however, is the video capability. Videos display at 320x240 on the screen and can be output to a TV just as photos could on the previous version. The iPod connects to the computer via USB, firewire syncing is no longer supported. Syncing contacts and calendars to Outlook on Windows machines is now supported in addition to the Mac support that's always been there. The iPod comes in both black and white.


Storage: 30 GB
Song Capacity: 7,500
Photo Storage: 25,000
Video Storage: 75 hours
Battery Life: Up to 14 hours
Cost: $299


Storage: 60 GB
Song Capacity: 15,000
Photo Storage: 25,000
Photo Storage: 150 hours
Battery Life: Up to 20 hours
Cost: $399


Heading image Courtesy of Apple

0 Comments:

Post a Comment

<< Home