iPod Nano redesign challenges Flip

September 10, 2009

nano- Will Findlater is deputy editor of Stuff magazine. The opinions expressed are his own. -

Apple’s “It’s Only Rock and Roll” launch held a few surprises. Most were expecting major updates to the whole line of iPods, but it was only really the iPod Nano that got a thorough going-over.

Still amazingly slim, it now sports a tiny lens towards the bottom of its rear, allowing it to record video footage. This can then be synced to your computer and sent to YouTube with a single button click. Nifty, and bad news for the likes of Flip who make pocket video cameras for a living.

The Nano also received a bigger (2.2 inch) screen, a pedometer, a microphone and speaker and an FM radio. It also comes in a variety of shiny (as opposed to matte) finishes, which are all rather fetching.

Elsewhere, Apple upped the maximum capacity of its iPod Touch (iPhone-minus-the-phone-bit) to 64GB and increased its processing power, allowing for a variety of impressive-looking new 3D games to be played. Audiophile favourite the Classic got a storage boost to 160GB. The tiny, screenless Shuffle received a few new colourways and a special edition polished stainless steel finish.

Apple’s content distribution platform, iTunes, also had an aesthetic refresh and a few features added. The biggest news is iTunes LP, which bundles artwork, liner notes and extra features with special edition albums purchased from the iTunes store. Other changes include the ability to share iTunes content across five home computers, while iPhone and iPod Touch users get better application management tools.

There was no mention of the availability of The Beatles’ catalogue on iTunes as was rumoured, but many remain convinced it’ll become available soon. Apple was also keen to highlight the iPod’s dominance. It owns 73.8 percent of the MP3 player market; Microsoft has just 1.1 percent.

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