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Using the nano

The nano’s navigation menu is very similar to that on the mini. Contents can be organized by playlists, artists, albums, songs, genres, composers, podcasts and audiobooks. Other features include shuffle, repeat and a 22-option equalizer. Synchronization is easily done through the USB port with a single click on iTunes. The player also stores images, which can be displayed in slideshows with background music. Users are allowed to adjust time per slide and transition effects.

Two small novelties among the extras are the presence of multiple clocks (with dark background at night) and a new stopwatch, potentially useful to those who intend to exercise carrying the iPod. Other features include calendar, contacts, notes and games. The nano also brings a new security tool called Screen Lock – activated by a four-digit password – in which it is possible only to play and pause songs. In case the user forgets the password, it is necessary to reconnect the player to the PC.

All navigation is done with the Click Wheel. As anyone who has ever played with an iPod knows, the interface is simple to use and intuitive. Basically, the wheel is used to scroll through the options, which are then selected with the button in the middle. The upper Menu button will always take the user back to the previous menu. It should be noted that the iPod has no “off” button: it turns off automatically or through the Sleep option. Users can also set the backlight to turn off in preset lapses or simply stay always on or off.

iPod nano
Figure 4: nano’s backlight on.

Finally, it should be repeated that the nano is based on flash memory, which makes it a bit different from HD-based models. Acess times are reduced and mechanical failures are less likely, another characteristic that appeals to athletes. The main disadvantage, in theory, would be pricing. Apple, however, buys flash chips with a reported 40% discount from Samsung and, thus, is capable of offering high capacities at reasonable price levels. Even so, a 30 GB HD-iPod, now also supporting video, costs USD 299, not much more than the 4 GB nano (USD 249).

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Graduated in Journalism with a master's degree in linguistics, Rodrigo worked on some big newspaper in his home town, sunny Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. He also used to be our News Editor.