My Opinions on the New 6th Gen iPod Nano

on September 13th, 2010 by Matt | No Comments »

Hi guys.

To begin, I’m going remind everyone that I still despise Apple, and the only reason why I bought the new Nano is because no other MP3 Player has the features that I’m looking for (as in, very small and has a multi-touch screen. Been looking for over 2 years!).

Now onto the tasty personal review. I got the 6th Gen Nano yesterday (Sunday 13th September, 11:44am GMT+10 according to the emailed Apple Store receipt) and have loved every moment of using it. I have never had an MP3 Player that sorts my music correctly, and this seems to be no exception (you read correctly, it doesn’t sort my songs correctly).

MY LIST OF CONS (Note: these can get a little boring, so if you want to skim through these the best way is to read the first sentence of each paragraph)

The first problem I noticed with the new Nano was when I synced my songs over: it doesn’t sort the music by Artists exactly like on iTunes. For example, I have many Basshunter songs, but I also have quite a few remixes of his songs, and then both Artists are in the ‘Contributing Artists’ category. iTunes understands this and sorts all the songs into one ‘Artists’ folder, while the iPod decides to separate these Artists, which means I can’t listen to all of Basshunter’s songs at once. This is the same for a few other Artists, so I’d recommend the iPod should sort the music correctly, via Artists, and not incorrectly (as it current does, via Contributing Artists).

My second problem with the new Nano is that it doesn’t have an actual power button. Yes, many have seen a ‘power button’ on the photos of the Nano, but it turns out it’s simply a ‘Sleep/Wake’ button. This means that the Nano works for specifically 12 hours straight, and must be recharged once a day (especially if your music is paused). The same goes for the non-existent lock button. Alright, fine, it might be built into the sleep button (when the iPod is in sleep, touching the screen does nothing) but this also means that the screen is turned off. You read correctly, this cannot actually be used as a watch replacement seeing as you can’t have the screen on while the iPod is locked.

Another thing I don’t like is the inability to hide icons from the menu. In my case, Genres, Composers, Podcasts and Photos, seeing as I know I won’t be using them at all. Yeah, you’re probably thinking ‘oh, who cares’ but I tend to get annoyed with the little things as well as the larger problems.

Alright, here’s a problem most of you probably won’t see the point in, so if you want you can skip this paragraph, but I have to say this: why is there no large digital clock to go with the nice large analogue clock? I’m not gonna lie, when I look at the time on a digital clock I tend to go through a mental image of an analogue clock anyway, but I just think we should have some choice. Same goes for customizing the clock. You’re able to change it to a black or white background, but I’d prefer to actually have smaller numbers between the main 4 hours (meaning more than just 12, 3, 6 and 9).

Next I have a complaint about the choice in wallpapers. Firstly, you’re extremely limited to 9 very dull Apple-made default choices, and only the first (the one that you see on the iPhone 4, with the water droplets) being the only one worthy of being used as a wallpaper for longer than 2 minutes. This also means you can’t set any of your personal photos as a wallpaper. Personally, I’d much prefer a Windows 7 Harmony wallpaper without the logo, but that’s just me.

Another minor thing that is worth mentioning: when you want to listen to an Artist, you have to go Artists –> !artistname! –> All Songs –> Shuffle. HELLO?!?! I’m quite sure I went into Artists so I could listen to the whole Artist, not have to click again just because of the choice to listen to one of the Artist’s Album(s). I had to stick that sentence in italics because it’s just such a worthless extra click. When you want to listen to music, you don’t want to have to click a hundred times to simply listen to the Artist. In iTunes, Apple did this correctly, because if you sort your music by Artist in the Album grid, you simply hover over the Artist and hit ‘Play Artist’ instead of double-clicking again to open up the Artist before you randomly hit a song. Ok, I said minor problem but I seem to have written more than I expected.

And another little problem, I wish it could show the battery as a percentage as well (I know it can, I heard it on VoiceOver).

Here’s more of a bug than anything else. If you hit ‘Next Track’ while in the middle of a song, before the next song starts it actually raises the volume of the current song for about half a second. This can get annoying if you’re constantly hitting next to find a song you like.

Lastly I’d like to mention something that should have come built-in to the Nano: a calculator. Everyone has heard of calculator watches, and all the iPods Touches and iPhones have them, and if I’m correct the previous Nanos also have them, so why not on the new Nano?

So yeah, that’s my little list of problems with the new Nano, and seeing as most of them are mainly software issues, I don’t see why Apple wouldn’t be able to send out an update to us.


Now onto the part you’ve all been waiting for. There are many things I’d like to mention about the new Nano that have been advertised in videos and on other blogs, so that’s what I’m going to say here.

My major point would have to be that it’s just so small. In my opinion, this is a huge plus. The built in clip just seems to be an added bonus. As soon as I got home yesterday I went through my brother’s drawer and found an unused watch-strap. All I had to do was clip it on, add a few tiny rolls of sticky tape to keep it in place (no, I didn’t use the sticky part. Basically I rolled it up, and shoved it into gaps in the clip) and put it on. Early this morning I also had a chance to play around with different areas in my school uniform, and successfully got the cable running up my sleeve (under my school shirt, but above my undershirt), through the gap between the button holes on the front of my school shirt, and up to my head. This is also useful because I wear both a jumper and a vest (for those that don’t know, they are both the same except the latter has no arms) and I can simply clip the headphones onto the collar of my jumper when not in use (added bonus: my vest collar is a little higher than my jumper collar so when I have the headphones clipped on they are invisible, except for the two little lumps they make).

Next would have to be the speed and simplicity of the operating system and menus. No having to wait for the next screen to show up, and everything is well organised. Some things are sometimes a little jumpy but that’s just because I’m kind of using my left hand when controlling it. My favourite screen would have to be ‘Now Playing.’ Not only are the Next, Play and Previous buttons large, but you can swipe between them and the progress bar. That way, you can’t accidentally skip half the song when you try to pause it when talking to someone.

I also like the position of the volume buttons. That sounds lame, doesn’t it? Well the reason is I keep it around my right wrist, so when I want to change something I use my left hand, and seeing as the buttons are on the top left I can turn the music down easily when a louder song comes on without having to uncover the entire iPod.

Well, that’s my little rant.

The only little other thing I think the new Nano should have is a ‘Mini App Store’ so people can make their own custom features for this device.

Features: 4/6 | Value: 3.5/6 (a bit expensive) | Performance: 6/6 | Overall: 4.5/6

Oh, and here are some pics of my Nano with a watch strap: