All you get now is a USB 2.0 cable that is used for syncing and charging and a thin pouch that can barely fit the 60GB player. I notice that Apple doesn’t bother including the small cover for the slot at the bottom of the player, which is probably a good thing as it was easily lost and was therefore quite pointless.
Of course, not having these things in the box enables Apple and other third party manufactures to create the now simply enormous third-party accessory market. Want to show your photos or videos on a TV? That be the universal dock. Want a remote control, wired or wireless ? Head over to the Apple store. The camera connector enables you to dump digital camera pictures, while the latest addition to the party is an external FM radio tuner, finally responding to one of the biggest omissions from the iPod. Need a microphones? Well, there are several to choose from. Of course if you need to take all of these with you, your bag will get quite cluttered but that’s the price owners have to make to own the sleekest and lightest player on the market. Apple quite literally banks on the fact that most people won’t need these things and judging from the sales figures, it seems to be right.
The combination of the interface and the click wheel for navigation is pretty much a modern classic. The default menu lists Music, Photos, Videos, Extras and Settings. There’s also a Shuffle Songs option, which is great. On the third gen iPod, you had to enable Shuffle from within the Settings menu and then select the first songs manually. Now you just choose the option and away it goes, choosing a track at random. However, I’d recommend creating playlists as on a huge capacity device such as this you could well end up with the latest Kanye West track closely followed with Nellie the Elephant from one of the kids Children’s music CDs, which kind of ruins the vibe.
As great as the click wheel is, it is possible to nit-pick, which is of course, why we’re here. Often when you scroll through a long menu list you find out after you’ve pressed the select button in the centre that you’ve chosen the item just above or below the one you wanted, which can be frustrating.