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iPod: The Missing Manual, 7th Edition by David Pogue, J.D. Biersdorfer

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Meet the iPod Nano

The iPod Nano is Apple's mid-sized music player, but it doesn't just look like a regular iPod that got shrunk in the wash. The Nano has its own sleek, stylish design that brings a touch of fashion to your music experience. Like the Classic iPod, the Nano has a color screen and it plays songs, podcasts, and audio books. It can display photos, text notes, contacts, and calendars, too. Unlike Nanos from olden times, today's Nano also plays video. You navigate through all these goodies using the smooth, touch-sensitive click wheel.

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With its 2-inch color screen and the same sharp 320 by 240-pixel resolution its Classic cousin uses, the Nano can also play movies and many of the same games. But the Nano's even better for workouts because it uses a flash memory chip to store everything. That means it's much more tolerant of jumping and flying around than the Classic Pod, with its big ol' hard drive tucked inside.

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The Nano comes in two sizes: 8-gigabyte and 16-gigabyte, all wrapped in scratch-resistant anodized aluminum. You're not just stuck with two colors when buying a Nano, either—you get a rainbow of nine choices: silver, black, purple, blue, green, yellow, orange, red, and pink. Oh, and if you like your music flowing all day long, you'll be glad to know the Nano's battery lasts up to 24 hours—you'll probably conk out before it does.

The Nano has a few other tricks under its aluminum hood. For one thing, it's got a built-in accelerometer (tilt sensor), which means it can sense movement and which way you're holding it. Turn it sideways to watch a movie and see the picture instantly spin around and orient itself for the wider view.

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The accelerometer is shaking things up in another way, too—literally. Not in the mood for that song that just came on? Give your Nano a shake to have it shuffle up a new tune. And certain video games were made with the Nano in mind, making you tilt and move your way through the pixelated landscape in search of that next level.

The Nano is also the most accessible iPod ever for visually impaired listeners. An optional Spoken Menus feature recites the names of songs, albums, artists, and menus out loud, letting you navigate through this iPod's content with verbal cues. And for those tired of squinting: The onscreen font size can be made larger, if you like.

At about a quarter of an inch thick and tipping the scales at a mere 1.3 ounces, who'd have thought it'd be this easy to fit a combination jukebox/movie theater/handheld gaming console in your pocket?

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