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Release Date: August 05, 2009
Genre: Games
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iTunes New Music Releases

Release Date: September 29, 2009
Genre: Rock
Release Date: September 20, 2009
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Genre: Rock
Release Date: August 25, 2009

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Discover New Music

  • How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb

    • 6 out of 10
    • U2
    • U2's latest entry is a mostly underwhelming collection of songs that does very little to sound any different from its equally pedestrian predecessor, 2000's "All That You Can't Leave Behind." While

  • The Dresden Dolls

    • 10 out of 10
    • The Dresden Dolls
    • The energetic duet of Amanda Palmer and Brian Viglione that make up the Dresden Dolls have created a wonderfully haunting sound in their self-titled album. They have been able to construct an imme

  • With Teeth

    • 4 out of 10
    • Nine Inch Nails
    • In the sprawling post-A&R rock and roll world, there are two camps: the Beatles and the Stones. The Beatles are the artists that like to explore, evolve, and change styles. The Stones are the artis

  • One Word Extinguisher

    • 8 out of 10
    • Prefuse 73
    • It's an album about a breakup, done with beats instead of mopey lyrics. But the beats are raw, and the emotions are there, even if there aren't many words on top of it. While possibly not Scott Herren
  • Trouble

    • 8 out of 10
    • Ray LaMontagne
    • At first, Ray LaMontagne might strike you as just another breathy-voiced knockoff of folk/rock guitarists like John Mayer and Jack Johnson. But he's actually got a better voice than either, he tell

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In-Depth Review

iPod nano (with Photos)

iPod nano (US$199 - Apple Store) is a miracle of miniaturization. Stacked up against Apple's original efforts at putting 1,000 songs in your pocket, the nano's "Impossibly small." tag-line seems insufficient. Even the svelte and now surceased iPod mini seems like a jumbo Crayola crayon next to a black cabochon Cartier fountain pen.

If you feel smaller is better--and I realize not everyone does--then there's a lot to love about the new iPod nano: It's equally as unnoticeable in your pocket as the iPod shuffle and the razor-sharp screen is the smallest yet on an iPod, but it manages to display one more item in menus than the iPod mini's larger screen. It can also fits artist, album, and track name information for the playing song, plus artwork.

To accommodate the iPod nano's narrow body, Apple shrank not only the screen but also the ClickWheel. The donut pad is 3/8-inch wide, down from about 5/8-inch on the iPod and iPod mini. The center button remains the same size. The diminutive click wheels takes a bit of getting used to, requiring more precise thumb movements than other iPods.

Apple shaved more than just size with the iPod mini's successor, mind you, reducing capacity (by 2GB) and battery life (by about 4 hours). Like a magician that distracts the audience with one hand while the other prepares the next trick, Apple is hoping that consumers will be dazzled by the tiny form factor and color screen and not notice these changes. Or simply not care.

Most probably won't, but folks who compare the price per ounce of different sized boxes of the same breakfast cereal have even more incentive now to go for the higher-end iPod nano than they did with the iPod mini: the 4GB nano's 25 percent price premium over the 2GB model buys you twice as much room for music or photos.

Not that photo functionality is a very compelling reason to buy an iPod nano. Unlike the full-size iPod, the iPod nano can't hook up to a TV to display your photos and doesn't support Apple's camera connector for downloading photos on the fly. That leaves you with a mobile photo viewer that sports a screen likely smaller than your digital camera or cell phone. Couple that with the multi-megabyte size today's digital photos are and storing any quantity on the iPod nano significantly cuts down on space for songs.

Still, I find myself nitpicking to find any problems with the iPod nano. It's a device like none other out there and once again sets Apple far ahead of the competition. The biggest shortcoming I ran into with the iPod nano is its lack of FireWire support. You can still charge the nano over FireWire, but connecting it to your computer is strictly a USB affair, despite its standard iPod dock connector. Mac owners with iBooks or iMacs more than a couple years old that can't add USB 2.0 to their systems will find this especially annoying since transferring songs over USB 1.1 is a bit of an experience in patience, especially when that high-speed FireWire port is sitting idle.

We've witnessed the music player market becoming increasingly competitive since the first iPod debuted nearly four years ago. As others vie to keep up with or outpace Apple, packing features like color screens months or years ahead of Apple, the iPod nano demonstrates that not only does Apple still have it to be the market leader, it's probably not going to lose it any time soon.

Apple simply gets that the value of a product is best not measured in gigabytes or bells and whistles but in the joy that using it brings to its owner. In that respect, iPod nano is the best to date.

For iPod nano, Apple gets back in black

Included dock adapter is for a future (as yet unreleased) iPod dock

Minimal documentation

As thick (or thin) as five credit cards

The usual suspects

The usual suspects...lying down

Just The Facts

iPod nano from Apple Computer

Street Price: US$199 - From

Pros:Tiny, fun, and perfectly functional; quick start-up, sharp screen

Cons:No FireWire syncing, still super prone to scratches and scuffs

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