Apple Announces New iPod Nano, Cheaper Shuffles

Written by rob on February 7, 2006 – 8:15 pm -

Today Apple quietly released a new iPod Nano and lowered the prices of its iPod Shuffles. The only evidence that this has occurred, aside from the approriate changes in the Apple Store website, was a press release buried in their site. I suppose this wasn’t big enough news to get to the front page of like the MacBook Pro and iPod Video did.

Anyway, the news isn’t very earth shattering. The new iPod Nano will be offered immediately (you can purchase it on the Apple Store online right now). It has one gigabyte (1GB) of space, so it can hold 240 songs according to Apple’s estimates based on 4-minute songs encoded at 128-bitrate in AAC. Other than that, it is exactly like its two predecessors with larger storage capacities. That is, it includes the photo viewing features, the color screen, the ultra-thin design and the iPod interface everyone is now becoming accustomed to. This new 1GB version also comes in both white and black. It is retailing at $149, opening a whole new market… a budget entry into the middle ground between the no-screen Shuffle and superfluously featureful iPod Video.

As I mentioned above, Apple also added another small note to their press release. The two iPod Shuffles, the 512MB version and 1GB version, have both been reduced in price by $30. The previous $99 512MB version is now $69, while the 1GB that was previously $129 is now $99. It is obvious why Apple did this… having only $20 between the 1GB Nano and the 1GB Shuffle (with no color screen and no photo functionality [exactly how would you have photo functions without a screen?]) would simply not work.

I think this move from Apple is rather interesting. The fact that they are lowering the price of their Shuffles and adding a lower-priced but still feature-filled Nano to the market means they are trying to get a new audience. There are plenty of people who simply can’t (or won’t) buy a $249 gadget that “just” plays music and can hold a couple hundred family photos. This new 1GB model will appeal mostly, in my opinion, to a younger (teenager) audience who doesn’t have a music fixation but would still like to have some tunes in their pocket. Furthermore, the now-cheaper Shuffles are not much more than a video game and are now not even seen as a major purchase. $99 was a little steep for 512MB of music storage, but that $30 drop makes all the difference.

Proving that the $30 does indeed make a difference, I went ahead and purchased an iPod Shuffle 512MB. I have a 30GB iPod Video that is great for watching a movie on a plane ride or on my home TV, and also great for listening to music. However, I have yet to purchase a protective case for it, so I fear scratching the screen. After all, just putting it in your pocket can scratch the screen pretty badly. Anyway, I simply don’t feel comfortable lugging around a $299 device with me all over the place. Not to mention, the fact that the device uses a hard drive means that dropping it while playing music could ruin the entire thing, so it definitely isn’t an option while running around. So, I got myself a Shuffle. It has out-of-the-box support for automatically randomly downloading 120 songs (that is the maximum for the 512MB model) from my iTunes library onto the device. So I can literally plug it into my computer and two minutes later walk out the door and have 120 songs from my library ready to listen to. You can also configure which playlists it pulls from. I have a Favorites playlist that only has 100 songs in it, so I can make it pull that entire one and 20 other random songs. This way, I can take it anywhere and not have to worry about it breaking or being stolen.

I’ve never actually listened to or used an iPod Shuffle, so I will write about how I like it. I’ve read nothing but great reviews for it, so I am expecting the best. The only complaint anyone can find is that it doesn’t have a screen. If I only have 120 songs anyway, why would I need a screen? Especially if I’m going to pull from my Favorites playlist, I won’t even need to skip that many songs. The whole idea is I just want to have my top songs in my pocket wherever I go, and not have to worry about anything.

Posted in Tech | 3 Comments »

3 Comments to “Apple Announces New iPod Nano, Cheaper Shuffles”

  1. Bruce Says:

    ok delema:

    when i downloaded an unreal tournament update a few days ago…i accidently clicked the thing twice…so i had 4 icons on my desktop for when it was downloading…and i cancelled one of the downloades. i could delete the one icon but i couldnt delete the one that said like…ut2004-winpatch3369-2.exe

    so now whenever i try to delete it it says like: program is being used by another program, stop other program and try again…or something like that

    but idk what program is using it and i now have like 4 icons on my desktop that i cant delete or move 👿

    so i need ur help cuz idk what to do

    ***and theres 4 icons because i tried some things to delete it like delete it in middle of download ,cuting it….whatever, but i now have 4 icons…..

    what i am doing now is just dragging the icons off the screen so they cant be seen…but that wont work forever…so i need them gone…

    i would appreciate any help at all that i could get, even if u asked some ppl online or whatever u do when u have a problem…

    p.s. this is probably an easy thing to fix but i just dont know lol 😀

  2. rob Says:

    Have you restarted your computer since then? Whatever program created the file will probably keep using it until you shut the computer down.

    If you already tried that and it still doesn’t let you, I would try to go into Safe Mode. Restart your computer, and after you see the logo for whoever made your computer, just keep pressing F8. Eventually a menu will come up with a bunch of options. The one at the very top should be Safe Mode. There is also “Safe Mode w/ Networking” and “safe Mode w/ command line” but you don’t need either. Just do the regular safe mode. The computer will show a bunch of text but will eventually boot up. If you have more than one user, you will have to login. A box may come up, and you have to press Yes. It says something about being in safe mode. After you do that, you will see your desktop. It will probably look different since Safe Mode doesn’t load third-party video drivers. But you should definitely be able to delete the file now. After you do, just restart the computer and it will be back in regular mode.

    And if that didn’t work, then I would use the Windows XP setup disk and go into the Recovery console, but I won’t explain that since you shouldn’t need to go that far.

  3. Bruce Says:

    ok thanks