Damaged Gears

Evolve your Gears

iPod Nano 4G vs. Other DAPs

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Well, the rumors of his Steveness death was, indeed, greatly exaggerated.  What wasn’t exaggerated, was, the greatness of the 4G Nano.  On the surface, the 4G Nano is bee’s knees (and just as sharp as one).  On the surface, the Nano is set to be one of the most powerful and feature rich DAP to grace the world.

Not. So. Fast. My. Friends (to borrow the parlance of one sportscaster).

The Zune made some noise the day before, and other DAPs has been making noise as well.  Sadly, since they do not bear the beloved fruity logo, those features for the most part went unnoticed.  Let’s review the new features one by one and see where the New Nano stacks up.

1) Accelerometer.  Allows for use of Coverflow.  For the most part, I have no qualms against Coverflow.  However, it has two weaknesses, both of which I noticed on my Touch and on other’s 3G Nanos:

  • Album Art and Tagging.  Let’s face it, it’s heavily reliant upon the coverart being properly tagged along with other tags for it to be a compelling feature.  Without it, it becomes an exercise in fuility when fumbling over to find the right album.
  • Clickwheel.  On the Touch, the Coverflow is very neat with the touch screen interface.  I didn’t find the experience to be nearly the same with Clickwheel.  Optimized software may change this.

The 2D interface used by the Zune and the Sony Network Walkman makes navigation a breese using the D-Pad.  Even on a bloated Zune 30 (80 as well), using the D-Pad, one can easily find the album, song, or artist.  The 4G Nano’s new navigational interface (Browse Album/Artist while playing) now puts it on the level field against other DAPS.  It’s about time.

2)  Genius.  Also known as SensME (Sony’s new generation Walkman), Rhapsody Channel, or Zune’s newfangled Social Community/Personal Picks.  All of these are designed to sell songs over the internet.  Genius can be very compelling with a subscription plan.  If there ever was one for iTunes.  All of these “features” (read gimmick) remains to be seen, though the Zune’s Social is probably the most compelling out of the three.

3)  Shake Shake Shake.  Sansa Shake for kids grown up.

4)  Vertical Base.  Goes back to the well tested and well loved format.

The Nano is a solid DAP to be sure, but it lacks the WiFi of the Zune, the Bluetoothiness of the Sonys, and finally catches up with both of them in features and navigation.  Welcome to 2007.  We hardly missed ye.

And if you are reading this, that means you’ve just survived the Large Freaking Hadron Collider.  Congrats.  The world goes on and on and…


Written by Damage

09/9/08 at 8:51 pm

Posted in Soapbox

Tagged with , , , , , , ,

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