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CNET First Look
iPod Nano 4GApple's fourth-generation iPod Nano returns to its slender form and offers new features such as Genius playlists, voice recording, and shake shuffle.
[ Background Music ] >> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for digital audio and MP3. And today we're taking a more in-depth look at the 4th generation Apple iPod Nano. Apple probably got sick of all the jokes people made about these shorter squadron nano that came out last year, because the 4th Generation Nano has returned a long and skinny design that made the original household name. It also dress-up in a ton of colors, 9 in total, but for some reason I like the silver and black one best. Apple has got the same 149 and 199 price points for the nano but double the capacity of the 8 gigabytes and 16 gigabytes respectively. To distinguish the 4th Generation Nano from the previous models, Apple has given a very pronounced rounded enclosure that from the side it looks a little bit like a cross section of an airplane wing. The curve case through on the scroll wheel and on the select button and even the screen which is covered in a piece of curve glass that should be more scratch resistant than the plastic screens found on the previous models of iPods. Beneath the Nano's rounded glass is the same bright and crisp 2-inch color display found on last year's model, only it's been turned on its side. Holding the Nano sideways to watch videos is a little awkward since the controls are turned sideways too, but you get used to it and it's a small sacrifice to make for much more attractive design. Apple's also added a tilt sensor to the 4th gen Nano that flips videos and photos around depending on how you're holding it. Tilting the Nano sideways in the main menu takes you to a cover flow view of your music collection and a new shake to shuffle feature will play a random song from your collection whenever you give the player a good shake. But if you're concern about shuffling your music by accident, you can turn on the whole switch or deactivate the shake feature under the Nano settings. All of the features of the previous Nano are here in the 4th generation, including music playback, audio and video podcast, photos, videos, games, and support for iTunes movie rentals. Also little extras, there's this clocks, contacts, and calendars are here, as well as EQ presets. We're happy to see that Apple has added some nice accessibility features for vision impaired users, such as a larger font mode and a unique spoken menus features which reads back many even selection information [background sound] -- Videos -- Photos, with a synthesized voice. This feature only works for the Nano so far. It has to be enabled through iTunes in order to work. Another new addition to the iPod Nano is a feature called Genius which automatically generates 25 song playlist based on the musical similarities of songs in your collection. The feature is fun to use but sometimes it gets stomped by obscure artist or lack of similar artist in your collection. Finally, Apple's added a voice recording feature to the Nano, however, you'll have to buy compatible Apple approved headset in order to activate it. Battery wise, you're gonna expect around 24 hours of music and 4 hours of video from the Nano which is pretty incredible given how thin and light it is. I'm Donald Bell, and that was a first look at the 4th Generation of the Apple iPod Nano. [ Music ]