The third incarnation of Apple’s iPod nano brings two features that at once put it on a par with two other groups of device: FM radio reception, which brings it up to date with pretty much every other mid-priced non-Apple digital music player for the past five years; and video recording, which puts it on a par with the Flip devices that are selling like hot cakes.
By now you know the routine for an iPod: cover art, “Genius” playlists that can be created on the fly from a single track (usually, I find, closely matching the artist and/or year), a couple of games, a fiddly screen lock. The new nano has also got “VoiceOver”, which will tell you the name of the track playing in a Stephen Hawking-style disembodied voice. And rubbish earbuds. (Truly, it is time Apple improved this aspect of its product. The standard ones are shockingly bad.)
And so to the new. The FM tuner is serviceable, as they are on all such devices: if you could buy headphone leads 2 metres long, you’d probably get a good signal. It does add the ability to pause the stationwhich is neat; I suspect it uses the video processing chip to compress the radio signal, so probably uses about 3.6MB for 10 minutes of storage. You’re unlikely to run out of radio storage in a hurry).