About My New Fifth Generation iPod Nano

Holy cow!

Yesterday, my Fifth Generation iPod — approximately equal to what they’re now calling an iPod Classic — the first version to support video — died again. I have a tendency to let the battery drain completely and sit in my purse like that. Then, when I attempt to sync, my Mac doesn’t know what the heck it’s connected to and wants to restore it.

This is the fifth time this has happened and the third time it has happened in the past two months. When I left for an appointment yesterday, it was still connected to my Mac, trying to import about 25GB of podcasts and music and videos. It was taking a long time, so I left it.

Coincidentally, that appointment was at the Biltmore Apple Store, which is walking distance from our “Rear Window” apartment in Phoenix. I was bringing in my 12″ PowerBook, which had a dead hard disk. I wanted to know what it would cost to replace the disk. I learned a few things:

  • The 12″ PowerBook computer was first manufactured in early 2003.
  • I bought mine in July 2003.
  • On a 12″ PowerBook, you must remove 23 screws to get at and remove the hard disk. You then have to screw them all back in. In the right places.
  • Apple has absolutely no interest in repairing 6-year-old laptops.

I’ll blog more about my solution to this another time. Let me get back to my new Nano.

Of course, I hadn’t bought it yet. But I figured that since I was there, I may as well take a look.

iPod Nano

This isn’t my Nano, my thumb, or a video of anyone I know. But mine looks a lot like this one.

And I liked what I saw. So I bought a 16 GB red one. Yes, it’s (product)red, so a portion of the purchase price goes to fight AIDS in Africa. But that’s not why I picked red. I just like red. I’d like to help fight AIDS in Africa, but they’d get a lot less money from me if it was (product)turquoise.

Understand this: I bought a new iPod to replace one that simply wasn’t functioning reliably. The idea was to buy an iPod that would work with the iPod setup in my car and elsewhere. (The Shuffle won’t.)

I liked the idea of video, but since the video feature sucked battery power in my old iPod, I didn’t use it often. I didn’t expect to use it much on this iPod either.

All I wanted was something I could use to listen to podcasts and music while I drove or flew.

I got so much more.

This little sucker is absolutely packed with features.

  • It plays MP3s and other audio format files.
  • It plays movies.
  • It has an FM radio tuner built in. The FM tuner can identify songs so you can tag them and later sync them with your computer for easy shopping on the iTunes Store.
  • It has a video camera.
  • It has a pedometer. It can sync up with Nike’s Web site for some reason I’m not clear about and probably wouldn’t care about if I did.
  • It has games.
  • It can tell when you tilt it so it orients the screen properly. This tilt thing can also be used by games.
  • It can record voice memos.
  • It can store and display photos.
  • It can sync with Address Book and iCal on my Mac.
  • It can store notes.

It does a huge amount of stuff I didn’t expect. And every time I find something new, I get all giddy, like a kid.

Playing with one of these silly things for the first time — as an owner — is better than opening presents at Christmas.

Now I know what you’re saying. “Maria, you work with Apple products all the time. Didn’t you know that the Nano had all these features?”

No, I didn’t. I mean I knew about the movies and heard about the built-in video camera. But the tilt thing and games and pedometer and radio were all quite a shock.

Maybe you’re saying, “Maria, how could you spend nearly $200 and not know what you’re getting?”

Well, I thought that what I thought I was getting was worth $200. The Nano comes in a really sleek little package. Weighs next to nothing. Incredible quality video for such a tiny screen. I was satisfied.

Now I’m beyond that.

Do all MP3 players have this many bells and whistles? What have I been missing?

As you might imagine, I’m very happy with my new purchase. The only adjustment I’ll need is limiting the data I put on it to less than 16 GB. My old iPod has a 30 GB hard disk in it; this is quite a step down.

But I’ll deal with it.

2 thoughts on “About My New Fifth Generation iPod Nano

  1. Your are indeed right about Apple not interested in ‘old’ (6 years!) computers. My gorgeous 12″ PowerBook died recently too and the Apple store weren’t interested; something about it being an antique. Anyway, I like it so much I took it along to an Apple shop that repairs all sorts of Macs but unfortunately it wasn’t the HDD. Probably something much bigger..like the logic board :-( Of course I had to pay for the guys to undo and redo all those little screws and run their diagnostics. What to do next? Anyway, I hope it’s ‘just’ the HDD on your PowerBook.

    • Well, they didn’t use the word “antique” when talking about my PowerBook, but I suspect the “genius” was thinking it. He claimed he couldn’t order the parts he needed, then told me I could go to one of the Apple Consultants to get it fixed. This irked me for two reasons:

      1. When I belonged to the Apple Consultants program back in the early 1990s, Apple did nothing to steer business our way.

      2. How is it that a “consultant” can order parts for an Apple computer that Apple can’t order?

      The part in question is indeed my hard disk — at least the genius confirmed that. The consultant wanted $250 to replace it with a 160GB drive. When I balked, he said that if I bought the drive, they’d put it in for $100. (Talk about changing your tune, huh?) I can get a replacement drive for about $50. So that’s what I’m likely to do.

      My advice to you: if the computer is an important part of your computing life — like your only machine or your only travel computer — replace it. You need something to rely on — and you simply can’t rely on a 6-year-old laptop for mission-critical work.

      As for mine: when fixed it’ll likely become the kitchen laptop, for recipes, quick e-mail checks, and Web surfing while something’s on the stove.

What do you think?