5th-generation Nano provides new entertainment

Meredith Cannon

Packed with a video camera, FM radio, voice recording, genius mixes, a pedometer, and offered in a wide variety of bright colors, the new fifth-generation iPod Nano is an easy choice for many, especially children and athletes.

Of the many new features of this iPod, the most notable happens to be the video camera. The camera is easy to use and very convenient with a small and light video recording device and the ability to upload the videos straight up to Facebook, Youtube, or Flickr.

The downside is the placement of the camera and quality of the device; the camera is located in the lower right corner on the back of the iPod , (view from the front) making it easy to accidentally put your hand over the lens. Furthermore, the videos are often shaky, with no ability to control brightness or contrast, and there is no ability to take still photos.

The fifth generation Nano is actually the first device produced by Apple to include an FM radio. The features of this built-in radio are extremely useful, including the ability to tap into RDS data from radio stations in order to identify artist and song title.

Other features of the radio application include tagging a song for later purchase, which is nice for when you’re driving and don’t have time to write down the name of a song, and the ability to pause and resume radio playback. The Nano can hold up to 15 minutes of recorded radio temporarily until resuming playback, which comes in handy during restroom breaks, phone calls, or for pausing a song so a friend can come and listen too.

The voice recording application has been in previous generations of the Nano, but it now includes a built-in microphone; thanks to this, recordings can now be made without additional accessories. Recordings are not exactly professional because the microphone placement causes a lot of background noise from handling the device to be captured, but the recordings are conveniently imported into iTunes with labels of the recording time and date.

The small size and lightness of the Nano is already appealing for athletes who like to bring their iPod to workouts, but the new pedometer integrated into the product makes it even more attractive. The pedometer allows you to record your steps, estimate how many calories are burned, and lets you transfer the data onto the Nike+ Web site.

If looking to upgrade your iPod, rest assured that the fifth-generation iPod Nano is by far the best Nano to date. If you’re not big into the apps or wi-fi of the iPod Touch, the Nano is definitely a better and cheaper option, being about fifty dollars cheaper than the Touch.