This Changes Everything… For Music Lovers

Creative Commons photo "green-my-apple-ipod" by Brianfit on Flickr.com.

Rachel Crane

Creative Commons photo "green-my-apple-ipod" by Brianfit on Flickr.com.
Creative Commons photo “green-my-apple-ipod” by Brianfit on Flickr.com.

Every September as the trees change their leaves, Steve Jobs changes his iPods. This year has proven to be no different, as new models of the iPod Touch, Shuffle, and Nano were released on September 8.

It seems that each year Apple daringly transforms one version of its iPods completely. Last year saw the change of the iPod Shuffle. This year, the iPod Nano got a complete makeover.

This year’s new iPod Nano has taken a different path by getting rid of the iconic click wheel. It now features a glass touch screen, much like the iPod Touch.

The Nano has shrunk down to about the size of a Wheat Thin. Though innovative, the new iPod Nano is far from impressive. As the size decreased, so did its capability. It now lacks the ability to play and take video. The Nano also lost the built-in speaker that its predecessor had.

The Nano still retains the ability to view pictures, a feature that Apple introduced into its iPods in 2004. However, due to its size, the pictures are too tiny to clearly see. Though you can zoom by double tapping, the picture size hardly changes.

The size, which is almost fifty percent smaller than the last generation, has proved to be very inconvenient. Only four icons can fit on the tiny touch screen. And when scrolling through songs, only four titles are shown. The constant scrolling can become tiresome to those of us who have over four thousand songs on their iPods.

Overall, this year’s version of the iPod Nano has not proved itself to be worth the $149 or $179 price tag.  Hopefully next September Apple will choose to change the Nano back to the click wheel that so many fans have come to adore.

The iPod Nano is not the first iPod to have lost its buttons. The Third Generation Shuffle (introduced last September) operated solely on voice control technology.  Jobs himself admitted at a press event, “People clearly missed the buttons.”

This year, the Shuffle returned to a model much like the Second Generation Shuffle, yet it is slightly smaller.  It has combined the new, exciting voice control technology with the dependable, convenient clickable control pad. This makes the iPod Shuffle better than it has ever been.

The most competitive part about the Shuffle is its price. Costing only $49, the Shuffle offers two Gigabytes of memory which means it holds close to five hundred songs. The Shuffle is also third of the price of the cheapest iPod Nano.

By far, the most tantalizing new iPod is the iPod Touch.

This year, the Touch has become even slimmer than it was before, and has an even smoother touch screen than the last iTouch.

The new iPod Touch welcomes a plethora of different features. It now has video enabled camera on both the back and front screen. The camera allows you to not only record video, but to edit and share your HD videos right on your iPod.

The iPod Touch also comes equipped with Facetime. Facetime allows the user to Video Chat with other iPod Touch or iPhone 4 users as long as they are connected to Wi-Fi. In addition to the aforementioned features, Apple has also added many more abilities to the iPod Touch.

But all of the added features do come at a price. The 8GB iPod Touch costs $229, the 32GB is $299, and the 64GB is a whopping $399 plus added tax.

Overall, each iPod suits a different need. The Nano may suit the technologically  savvy person who does not want to spend too much money, while the Shuffle will most likely suit those on a budget who still want to listen to their music freely. The iPod Touch is optimal for people who want their iPod to do more than just play music, and are willing to pay the price for it.

What do you think?