Friday, October 10, 2008

5 Great Reasons to Pass on the New Nano.

The Apple iPod Nano 4th generation may have your attention. Let it go!

1. It is not the best value for the money.
2. iTunes.
3. No Radio.
4. Not available in White or Black.
5. Non expandable Memory

Value. Simple math. What features do you get for your money? What is each feature worth? One place to compare is between the new Nano and the Zune. Each sells for $149.99 in an 8gb version. The players are nearly the same size. For that money the Zune includes wifi and an FM radio with RDS. The Nano's only unique function is the accelerometer, which has some owners wishing it could be disabled. The Samsung T10 also has a Radio, and adds Bluetooth wireless headphone(s), Phone pairing, File sharing, and gameplay between players.

iTunes. Ok, iTunes itself isn't that bad. I have it. I like some of the features. What is bad is that it is my only choice with the Nano. My Samsung P2 or T10 can use their equivalent Emodio software, or Windows Media Player, or Media Monkey, etc. I can simply drag and drop media onto either within Windows Explorer. iTunes needs to pay attention to the competition. Have you seen the new ZUNE software? It is quickly becoming my favorite with MixView and the optional music subscription plan.

Radio. Apple seems to be afraid of putting a radio receiver in their iPods. Yet EVERY OTHER player I own has one built-in. With the Zune you can "Buy from FM". With my Samsung players I can record songs from the radio. A Radio in your pocket media player will keep you connected to the outside world. Those white ipod earbuds lock you in, shut you out.

Colors. This year's Nano comes in 9 colors. No white. No true black. Not a bad choice, but there's the trouble. Those nine colors are so great looking it becomes hard to pick just one. That is Apple's evil plan. You're SUPPOSED to want more than one, turning them into fashion accessories. Buy one to match each outfit or mood. Coordinate with your shoes. Buy MORE. The Zune comes in a few colors, but they are such that you're lucky if you like one of them. There is always the safe black though, except in a Nano. "Wait!", You proclaim. "The Nano comes in Black!" I thought so too until I bought one. The Nano's black is a pretender, easily spotted in lighter contrast to the truly black click-wheel.

Memory expansion. This is only a minor infraction given the new lower price of the 8gb and 16gb Nanos. Yet with an SDHC slot my 8gb Insignia Pilot has been expanded to 24gb. That 16gb SDHC card cost me $40.99, and with the $99 price of the Pilot leaves me with an amazing 24gb player for less than $150. The Pilot also has FM radio with recording, a microphone with voice recording, Bluetooth for wireless headphones, and more.

Sure, all your friends will have an iPod. What is also true is that they spent more money than they needed to for the few features they got.

Style, you say? Yes. Apple goes out of the way to make their players sexy and desirable. The new candy colors even appeal to your taste buds. They have to, since on a feature-by-feature comparison they don't compete well. The Samsung T10 oozes with style, and you can customize the interface to be unique to you.
You get the same size screen as the Nano, with an optional and entertaining animated interface. The controls are touch sensitive and disappear into the sleek smooth face of the T10. Even the 8gb Zune has some sex appeal. The touchpad is more efficient than the Nano's click wheel. The brushed aluminum back is a nice contrast to the conservative front. The Zune's 1.8" screen is a little smaller than the Nano's, but the Zune interface is easier to read (IMO).

My Point? More than eighty percent of the people who buy MP3 players buy an Apple product. I'm sure most never considered an alternative. We can't all be swayed by style over substance. Be a smarter shopper. Get your money's worth. Do NOT buy an iPod Nano.



  1. Wow. This post was really good. I really wanted an iPod Nano 4th for Christmas, but I was presented with a Samsung YP-T10. At first I was a bit disappointed, but now I absolutely love it and I'm glad I DON'T have something everyone has.

    BTW, your blog is awesome. You write really good reviews~ It'll be very helpful if I ever need a change of mp3 players.

  2. Thanks. As I search for the perfect media player, I come across many that surpass what Apple sells. You've got a gem, and if you pick up some bluetooth headphones your buddies will die of envy. You'll be able to control the T10 (play/pause/fwd/back) from the headphones. Enjoy!