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iPod Nano Gains Camera, Microphone and Speaker, Larger Screen

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ipod_nanoSo it seems like case manufacturers were only half right when it came to their designs for new iPods. The iPod touch didn’t get a camera at today’s special “Rock and Roll” Apple (s aapl) event, but the iPod nano did.

Not only that, but it also got a built-in mic and speaker, which makes sense when you consider that people will be using it to record video. Yes, the camera it received is not just for stills, and is intended to position Apple’s svelte media player as a direct competitor with the Flip portable video recorder.

Video Camera

New nano owners will be able to record up to eight or 16 hours of video, depending on whether they opt for the 8 or 16GB version. You won’t have to squint quite as much to review your footage, either, thanks to the new 2.2-inch 240×376 pixel TFT display. Video will record at 640×480 pixels, at up to 30 FPS. It’ll be H.264 VGA formatted with AAC audio.

It’s not HD, but it’s also much smaller and cheaper than Flip’s HD offerings. Flip’s SD cameras offer similar quality to the new iPod nano, at the same price as the 4GB model, but without the media player functions, and with far, far less onboard storage.

Video can also be recorded with a variety of iSight-style special effects and filters, including Sepia, Motion Blur, Mirror, etc. Once synced with your Mac via iPhoto, it’s easy to share and publish your recordings to Facebook, MobileMe, and YouTube automatically, without any third-party conversion required.


Voice Recording and VoiceOver

Video isn’t the only new trick in the nano’s bag, either. It gains the VoiceOver functionality first introduced by necessity in the button-less and display-less iPod shuffle, and gets a Voice Recorder app like the iPhone and iPod touch.

FM Tuner and Tagging

There’s also a built-in FM tuner that not only allows you to listen to FM radio, but actually displays track and artist information for what you’re hearing. Plus, you can Live Pause, which if you have a PVR is like pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding live television, except with FM broadcasts. The iPod nano automatically stores up to 15 minutes of what you’re listening to for rewind purposes.

You can also tag tracks using the nano’s click wheel so that you can preview or buy them the next time you sync your device. Beware, though, the tagging feature is only available in the U.S. as of now, and only on stations that support it.


Finally, there’s a new built-in pedometer so you can track your daily steps. You can set a daily goal through the pedometer app, or just set it to “Always On.” No word on how this will affect battery life, but I can’t imagine it will help it.

The new iPod nano is available today in a variety of colors and in 8GB and 16GB formats, priced at $149 and $179 respectively. As of this writing, all models are showing a 24-hour shipping window. I’m definitely intrigued, but I think I’ll wait until reports of camera performance start to roll in.

29 Responses to “iPod Nano Gains Camera, Microphone and Speaker, Larger Screen”

  1. I got this for Christas ’09 and there’s no problems so far. It’s rather peachy, in fact, with enough memory that I haven’t used half of it but I have enough hours of music to outlast the battery by 10 times. The video capability is nice but when you upload vids to YouTube, the video might upload to show a vid 90-degrees-alignment off, left or right. Because of the video format Movie Maker won’t import for you to make changes, so I suggest a download of “Format Factory,” which is awesome shareware. Otherwise the thing is peachy and a more than acceptable substitute for my Sansa Express Mp3 player.

  2. regarding the headphone/speaker prob i just fixed it by resetting it
    1. Toggle hold switch
    2. hold menu+center buttons at the same time for 6-8sec
    (when u get the apple logo appear ur set =] )

  3. I cant get my ipod to play when put into other speakers which works with my other ipod, it just keeps playing out of the built in speakers, which isnt very loud and hard to understand. Help, its so annoying!!

  4. I took the first one back, onto my second and have the same problem, I even upgraded from the smaller GB to the larger one. Will take it back and try third time lucky. Don’t have much faith in it lasting.
    Apple really have me by the short & curlies.

  5. i have the new ipod nano and can’t get it to stop playing the music from the speakers. even when i plug in the headphones it still plays through headphones and speakers. tried everything. can anyone help? perhaps it’s faulty??

  6. yes but I just bought the new Nano 8GB (thanks to me leaving my 6 mth old version on a plane for the next person to win a “lucky free iPod”… my problems seems to be pairing it to Bluetooth headphones using the Moto D650 adaptor… worked a treat on the older ‘non microphone and video’ model yet does not like to pair on this new one?

    any ideas?

  7. Thank you, Apple, for not adding video and built-in mic to iPod touch! This way, I do not have to “toss” my iPod Touch 1G away and shell out $299+. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

  8. btw. replace the nano with a same size capacitive touch screen, and a number pad, or a small keyboard and make it a little bigger and all of a sudden you have a nice little iPhone nano….

  9. “Flip’s SD cameras offer similar quality to the new iPod nano, at the same price as the 4GB model, but without the media player functions, and with far, far less onboard storage.”

    do you mean 4gb Flip or Nano (which is just avail in 8?)

    This post has left me puzzled re your price comparison.

    Right now I am looking at Flip Ultra Standard def at £64.95 on Amazon UK
    and the lowest spec 8gb Ipod nano also standard definition at £115 on the Apple Store UK

    sorry to bring the pound into it!

  10. Im wondering if the Hardware issue was with the Touch, hence no release (and Apples method of only releasing when they feel its perfect). I just can’t see how apple would only do the refresh to the Nano and not the Touch. I mean if its a marketing plan to make you move from the touch the iPhone, it somewhat makes sense. Either way Im not affected. I just find it odd.