Nano mano y mano

Jim Dalrymple likes the iPod nano and does the best (and maybe only) sales job for the device the Macalope’s seen from someone who doesn’t work for Apple.

The brown and furry one hasn’t laid a hoof on the new nano yet, but he’s only slightly more amenable to the device he called a “red-headed stepchild” in his column last week after reading Dalrymple’s paean.

The place where Dalyrmple and the equally hirsute one agree the most is probably what category it fills. The Macalope said it’s “less of a multitouch nano than it is a multitouch shuffle” and Dalrymple’s piece seems to back that up.

The difference is, Dalrymple thinks that’s a good thing while the Macalope thinks multitouch alone doesn’t warrant the $100 price difference. The 8 GB iPod touch is just $80 more than the 8 GB nano. Now think about the difference in utility between the nano and the touch that you get for $80 versus the difference in utility between the shuffle and nano that you get for $100.

Personally he thinks the old nano provided more utility, but reasonable people can disagree.

  • Adams Immersive:

    I agree, for most users. But there are some for whom music in a tiny, clippable size IS the most important utility. And then the new Nano serves better than the old Nano or the Touch, without the downsides of the clippable Shuffle. (Why even have a Shuffle at all, then? Just because it’s really cheap I suppose.)

    I do think the Nano’s market just shrank, while the Touch’s grew. Both very cool devices, but the Touch is the future for most purposes. The Nano remains to fill an important niche, but it’s no longer the mainstream iPod in my view.

  • Spyro:

    “More utility” indeed. My definition of a good MP3 player is:
    – small (fits in your hand in your pocket)
    – screen to choose tracks and playlists
    – buttons to manipulate it in the pocket (play/pause to listen to outside sounds, next track when shuffling)
    Amazingly Apple no longer sells such a device. The touch is a nice PDA but fails in 2 out of 3 as a MP3 player. It even has shortcomings in displaying playlists: they are not in the same order as in itunes or on a nano, and there is no icon to identify folders (I use it a lot to listen to podcasts and books, neatly classified in folders) – but that at least is coherent with the now-impossible-to-differentiate itunes 10 icons…

    By the way, does the new nano display the playlists as badly as the touch ?

  • Eple:

    That was the argument when the iPod Mini debuted. “For only $…”. The Mini did allright at the time.

    And the Nano might still be interesting for people with non-iPhone phones who do not want the extra size the Touch have.

  • And, Jim’s had the benefit of having used one. The Macalope’s reviewing something he hasn’t used! On the Internet! Won’t someone think of the children?!

  • Beard vs. Horns! Throwdown!

  • Sigivald:

    Spyro: People using an iPod in their pockets tend to use the remote controls on the headphone line. Apple’s shipped those for, what, a few years now?

    Since the Touch does fit in a pocket or hand, it seems to fulfill 2/3 of your requirements without the remote-on-headphones, and 3/3 with them.

    (And “folders”? What’s a “folder” in iTunes or in an iPod? I’ve never seen one, since when I got my 1st-generation iPod and the first version of iTunes.

    A quick web search doesn’t suggest some feature I’ve never found, either.)

    If the Touch displays playlists “badly” it’s significantly different than my iPhone… where playlists are in the same order as in iTunes; at least the ones I told it to sync.

    That is, both sets are alphabetical, because that’s how iTunes and the iPod app on the iPhone both sort playlists.

    Am I missing something in this complaint?

  • UnLaoised:

    “The 8 GB iPod touch is just $80 more than the 8 GB nano.”

    And a 32GB touch is just $70 more than an 8GB model.

    Aw shoot, let’s just get an iPhone 4… 🙂

  • Nathan:

    Nano 2010 should have been priced at $89 or $99, then I think it would be appealing. Add an app to remotely control apple tv, and it’d be irresistible.

  • Spyro:


    Let me explain better. Like many people I wander around with hands in my pockets. My jacket’s pockets (more accurately my hoodie’s pockets these days), and listen to music or audio books, podcasts, etc.

    I happen to like listening to random playlists, and skip a lot depending on the music and my current mood (doesn’t everyone do that ?) So, when you are walking around with hands in your pocket, you don’t want to get your hands out every minute to skip or do something like that (especially in the cold rain in the north of France – something probably hard to imagine in Cupertino).

    What are the solutions ?
    – The old nano ! It is just a perfect fit.
    – The new nano / a touch with a remote control on cord. BUT the remote control is high on the cable, and therefore outside of the pocket (or is it ?). Or then you have a mess of cords in your pocket. Besides I use my own earbuds, so I would an additional adapter with buttons on it: even more cord knots in the pocket.

    So there are solutions, but they are just workarounds and neither elegant nor comfortable.

    > Since the Touch does fit in a pocket or hand, it seems to fulfill 2/3 of your requirements without the remote-on-headphones, and 3/3 with them.

    Depends on what you call fit. I can’t wrap my fingers around the touch, and in the pocket it’s bulky and unpractical, not to mention a bit heavy as a MP3 player (as a game device or PDA however it’s ok). Now I also think an iPhone is too large to fit my definition of a mobile phone, so maybe I’m a lost cause !

    >That is, both sets are alphabetical, because that’s how
    >iTunes and the iPod app on the iPhone both sort playlists.

    No they don’t: contrary to iOS, iTunes and nano sort folders first, THEN smart playlists (I use them a lot), THEN normal playlists (have many too). I would prefer them to be universally alphabetically ordered, but they are NOT.

    > A quick web search doesn’t suggest some feature I’ve never found

    Then do a slow web search ?
    Here is an exerpt of my folders:

    In itunes 9 (actually 10 with 9’s more readable playlist icons)
    On the touch 2G iOS 4.1 (one folder indistinguishable from playlists around it)
    On the nano (neat color icons !)

    > Am I missing something in this complaint?

    You clearly missed the folders, but it is not as much a complaint as a personal point of view, from someone who is attached to quality and details, and will probably not replace his aging nano this year… 🙁

  • Pustoolio:

    In Dalyrmple VS Macalope I have to side with Dalyrmple. Sorry Macalope. I carry around two iPods, an iPod Touch and a previous gen Nano. I use the Touch as a handheld internet/productivity/games device. I use the nano strictly as a music player. So the new nano fits the bill even better for my purposes.

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