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Apple iPod nano 6th gen review: Apple iPod nano 6th gen

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Music quality is good, although as always, we'd recommend replacing the headphones. Album art looks pretty cool on the screen, although if you clip the nano somewhere easily visible to others, you might have to be careful with your music choice if you're worried about being outed as a Showaddywaddy fan.

The built-in FM radio is pretty reasonable for such a small player, if a little difficult to get to grips with initially. To tune in, you press the arrows on the screen to find the next strongest signal, or you can manually tune to a frequency by swiping a bar at the bottom of the screen. If you're not sure what you're after, the nano picks the strongest stations in your area, although it only displays the frequencies rather than station names. Once you're listening to a station, it'll display the name if the signal is good enough.

One cool feature is the ability to pause a radio station for up to 15 minutes and skip forwards and backwards through the recording. How an average user is supposed to find the menu to do that, we're not sure, but it's worth hunting down.

On the trot

There's a built-in pedometer which measures the number of steps you take and uploads the results to when you next sync the nano with iTunes. It also supports the Nike+ iPod Sport Kit (iTunes link), but the sensor for that is nearly as large as the nano itself, so we're not sure it's that useful -- really Apple should have built the sensor in. Incidentally, iTunes remains, as always, a hateful, teeth-grindingly slow piece of software.

You can copy your photos to show off, although as the nano has a smaller screen than many digital cameras, we're not sure why you'd want to. Apple was very proud of the clock on the nano at the launch we attended, and can confirm that it is, indeed, a clock. You could make your own wrist-strap and wear the nano as a proper watch if you're mad, or buy a strap accessory if you're a frightening Apple fanatic.

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With such a lovely clock, it would be a shame not to strap it to your wrist.

Battery life is good at 24 hours of audio, which is nine more hours than you get from the shuffle, according to Apple's figures.


Ultimately the sixth-generation nano, or iPod run, is a great product for a very specific niche -- those who want more control over their MP3 player in the gym, or those who just want something new to flash about when exercising. For everyone else, it's too expensive for what it is. Go for either the iPod shuffle or touch.

Edited by Nick Hide

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