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Apple's domination of the MP3 player market is conclusive. Ever since the first iPod launched, rivals have pretty much continuously been playing catch-up. Sure, there have been stumbling points - the 3rd gen nano and latest shuffle have their (entirely justified) detractors - but, for the most part, it's a safe bet that you can't go wrong with an iPod.
Certainly, there's no denying that the 4th gen iPod nano was a fantastic portable media player. It was thinner, lighter and just plain prettier than its predecessors, while still managing to be a lovely device to use. You might think there was little Apple could do to improve on what it created, therefore.
You'd almost be right. The 5th gen iPod nano is, at first glance, barely distinguishable from its predecessor. The screen is slightly bigger, up from 2in to 2.2in, giving it a wider profile, although the resolution isn't 16:9 which is a bit odd. It's around the rear of the nano that this range's party trick becomes exposed.
Down in the bottom left corner (with the nano held upright) it's impossible to miss the camera and microphone where before there was just aluminium. It's probably worth pointing out that the nano is only able to record video - there's no option to take stills. I don't think that's an issue though, given the low resolution of the sensor and how rubbish any photos would look taken with it.
Video at that resolution, conversely, can be excused. As long as you're recording something interesting the action in a clip should more than make up for the lack of detail compared to a photo. Besides which, if you're happy to use a video camera built into your MP3 player, you probably aren't too fussed about absolute quality anyway, or you 'd have bought a compact HD camcorder already, surely?
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