Thursday, January 05, 2006

iPod nano

I'm happy with my nano. The packaging and box were beautiful. Everything in that box was well thought out and designed. One good examples are the plastic covers for the USB cable. Both end of the cable has a cover to protect them. That's pretty common but on this particular USB cover, there was two additional "tooth" on the cover. This tooth was used to catch on the cables so, basically, it's a nice way to get the cables together.

The CD looked really nice. The cables and headphones and CDs are packaged in this suede-like paper plastic, unlike the usual clear plastic we get with our PC and this made the product felt more classy. Buying an Apple is not like buying any other products. The consumer experience was different because of all the thought put into the packaging - the looks, the design and the feel.

The nano was wrapped in a hard, see-through package that was designed to protect the nano. It sits inside the box and the plastic has a sort of ribbon coming out of it so I could just grabbed the ribbon and pulled the nano out of the box instead of turning the box upside down and hope that it will fall out. It's a nice thought.

The nano was really "impossibly small". And it's so nice to touch. I plugged it into my ThinkPad and iTunes automatically launched. I noticed that Windows recognizes the iPod as a hard disk drive too (you know how the balloon will pop up from the system tray?) Anyway, a wizard was launched after iTunes started. The wizard asked me for my iPod's name. Then it asked me if I wanted to add photos and if I did, which subdirectory from My Pictures I wanted to include (it was a check box dialog). Then it asked if I wanted to automatically include all music which I said No. I was presented with a list of my current Smart Playlist or Playlist which I could choose to sync. I chose my "Rated" Smart Playlist. There are 1.5GB in there so once I clicked Finish, the music was transferred. Transferring was fast. I believe it took 10 minutes or so. It's USB 2.0 so it's the same transfer speed of a typical USB 2.0. I didn't keep track.

Anyway, after transferring I could not play it yet because it was charging at that time. The first charge needed 3 hours, according to the manual. In the iPod, I see a "Do not disconnect". I asked AR and he said he didn't get this. He could play while he was charging. I suspected that that was because he has a Dock since he bought an iPod. The nano did not come with a Dock. It's just a cable. And if I use the cable, I cannot play songs. Grr..

Anyway, I am considering the Dock. The Dock would be more useful to me because there was a line out from the Dock to the stereo and of course a power point so I could dock the nano in my room and listen to all my collection from my Sony stereo.

3 hours later and it's charged! I clicked eject in iTunes. iPod is ejected and I took it out. I plugged in the white ear buds... and the first thing I did was click on Shuffle cause I wanted to see what's the first song that the nano chose to play.

It played Hallehujah by Rufus Wainwright. This song is from the Shrek OST album. Is it an appropriate title? I don't know.. anyway... the sound quality was amazing! It was really good. Listening to the few songs after that while sipping tea in the room brought back memories of the old time when I was playing my favourite cassette using the Sony Walkman. There's something strange about being able to bring YOUR music on the go. This is one feeling I never expected when I thought about buying the nano.

I don't have to say much about the usability of the nano. That's well know. It's so simple and it's so easy that it really amazes you why no other company could think of it except Apple.

Overall.. very nice experience, from opening the box to listening to the first tune by Rufus Wainwright voice.

Oh, BTW, the nano shows song names in Chinese character too ;)

Oh.. there are some mini games in the nano. One of the coolest, imo, is the Music Quiz game. When you played that game, it will randomly choose a song, played it somewhere in between and give you 5 choices. You have to quickly click on the right song name. That will give you score. That's a refreshing game!

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