The nano ships in two capacities, 2GB and 4GB. I went for the 2GB because 4GB isn’t anywhere near enough for me to store all my music, and besides that’s what my 20GB iPod is for – so my rationale is that you might as well save £40, since you’re going to have to mix about your tracks no matter which capacity you go with. Apple reckons that the 2GB nano will store 500 songs, with the 4GB holding 1,000. Of course how much you actually get onto any device depends on the bit rate at which you record your music and the codec you use. Like all iPods, the nano supports two codecs, AAC and MP3, with the former being the more efficient of the two.
Another plus that the nano has over the outgoing mini is the screen. Although the screen is obviously smaller due to the smaller dimensions of the device, the nano screen is colour. Now you’d think that a 1.5in colour screen wouldn’t be worth the effort, but I was amazed at just how good this display is. Not only will the screen display all the track and artist information while you’re playing your music, it will also display the cover art – just like the iPod photo.
Talking of the iPod photo, the nano is happy to accommodate your digital images, allowing you to put together albums and show friends slideshows to while away boring train journeys. OK, so I’m not sure that I’d be viewing too many images on my nano, especially since it has a smaller screen than my digital camera, but I’m not one to complain about extra functionality.
Below the screen is the traditional iPod Click Wheel, and despite being far smaller than the one you’d find on a full size iPod, or even a mini, it works flawlessly. I have used a great many MP3 players over the years, some good, some bad, but there’s been one constant during that time; the superiority of the iPod navigation system. Many manufacturers have tried to imitate the iPod with varying degrees of success – the Creative Zen Micro did a good job with its vertical scrolling pad – but nothing can compare to the ease of navigation that the Click Wheel empowers you with.