Pros Easy to use.,more choices, easier integration
Cons None so far
Summary After owning a number of other players I finally gave up and purchased an iPod to replace my Sandisk e260.
My major complaint with every alternative player I've owned has been the darn DRM. I frequently found myself searching different music sites to find some of the music I wanted. Once purchased and downloaded, music purchased on Yahoo would not play on the Rhapsody player, etc... unless of course I put it all on a CD and converted it to the MP3 format. Otherwise, I was forced to use different players depending on where I purchased music. Windows Media Player was hit or miss at best. What a pain. The only really good music site (in my opinion) was Urge, but they sold out to Rhapsody and that killed it for me.
iTunes imported all my purchased music, and viola, it all plays in iTunes. iTunes also has the greatest selection of music, Podcasts, and a bunch of other stuff, too. The alternative players can be used for Podcasts, videos and other things too, but why bother with extra steps. The Nano integrates perfectly with iTunes and at least on my computer they both work flawlessly. I've yet to search iTunes for a particular song and had a negative result. I finally gave in to the fact that Apple has the market cornered and the music part of my life has been greatly simplified.
I could care less about no FM tuner. The FM tuner on the Sandisk didn't pick up radio stations that well anyway. The sound quality on the Nano is at least equal to or greater than the Sandisk e260. There is no problem with the Nano's battery life as long as you understand that it is significantly reduced by playing games or watching videos.
Pros Attractive slim line design; bright color screen; easy to use.
Cons Lacks decent bass; iTunes interface not intuitive; lack of basic functions; proprietary format
Summary First a quick user profile...while I'm not an iSheep, I do admire Apple's great on-going product design for the iPod and the Mac, so this opinion should be without the pre-conceived notion from either camp. I'm also not what some would consider a power user, but I do travel internationally on a very frequent basis and use my MP3 player during long flights and while at the hotel or during down times overseas. I'm hoping this review would also help fellow travelers like myself who otherwise would not have the time to research MP3 player options.
So, recently bought the new 4G Nano to replace my old iRiver 1G player, and thus my basis for comparison. While I found the Nano quite intuitive to use, I found some areas of sound quality lacking...the highs were adequate, the mid-range was excellent, but the bass was all but missing. Even with the extra bass function turned on, I was still not getting the bass sound that I was getting from the iRiver at an average "rock" setting. I even doublechecked the same song on the Nano versus the old iRiver, and the difference was obvious...the iRiver has much better bass. Otherwise the player is very easy to use and looks just great!
On the other hand, the iTunes software was not easy at all to figure out. I rate as above average in early adoption of new technologies and still it took me a bit to figure out how everything worked...not to mention the lack of an FM radio, extra storage, and the ability to fully customize the EQ function. What also became a point of frustration was the proprietary nature of iPods which meant I could not ever perform a "drag and drop" of songs from my Windows Media into my iPod.
Bottom line, I think it's a good product but not great for the international travelers like myself. And with some of the missing features, Apple has not convinced me to be a loyal follower yet.
Pros Better games, transfer speeds
Cons iTunes, body size, too sensitive, scroll wheel, encrypted and slow firmware, Mac must be updated to use
Summary The Apple iPod Nano is, well, not my favorite of all players, what with a lack of features (FM radio and recording) and mediocre sound quality. I own the 8GB model, my first iPod in years after my hell of a battle with the 20GB iPod 4th Generation HP. While it's more stable than the 4th Gen, I still feel like the iPod is mediocre at best and really overpriced.
In order to use the Nano on my Mac, I had to update my edition of Tiger in order to run iTunes (which one can ONLY get online, what the hell is that all about?). For first time ever, installing the iPod was easier on my PC (and it runs Vista Ultimate-- ouch for Apple).
My biggest pet peeve is that Apple has encrypted the firmware, meaning Rockbox will no longer run on any iPod after the 1st gen. iPod Nano.
iTunes is also the worst piece of bloatware to use (if on PC). Overwriting album art will screw up the paths on the iPods, meaning a black box will be displayed instead. I've also had occasions where album art will show up on the incorrect record. And if that isn't bad enough, Cover Flow combines albums that have the same title, even if they have different artists. This means that Bruce Springsteen's Greatest Hits record is mashed with Journey's Greatest Hits, which is also mashed with Queen's Greatest Hits. That's really annoying.
The iPod needs work. I do not recommend it.
Pros Size, Screen Size, functions
Cons doesn't work with music downloaded from other services
Summary I love this thing!!! I had been using my VX8600 phone as my main player with 2b sdmicro card; however, after receiving soo many gift cards to BestBuy I decided to purchase the new Ipod Nano (open item for 119.00) I couldn't be happier. The podcasts have to be the best feature. I transferred all types of videos from itunes for FREE like Meet the Press NBC nightly news, and tons of NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC PROGRAMS I also purchased programs like Americas funniest home videos. This this is great for video on the go. If you need a good mp3 player, this is the one for you.
"Wow! I love it!"on by slieder
Pros great sound, handy size, very intuitive
Cons screen gets dirty easily
Summary despite being a musician and a geek, i had not taken a serious step into portable music players, due to a healthy skepticism of proprietary technology. but in february i received a 2nd gen shuffle as an award. i got into it, and found i loved it, but i didn't have a screen, and i wanted more flexibility in how i played my music...so i decided i wanted a 3rd gen nano.
i have now had one for 3 weeks, and i absolutely love it. the sound quality is great (i know, it's not quite audiophile level, but honestly, when listening while travelling, ambient sounds prevent you from hearing the the subtlest nuances anyway.) i have found that i have heard some details i had not previously heard with the shuffle, and i was very happy with the shuffle.
i am a part-time sound tech, and i had been using the shuffle to play music during breaks between artists through a high-quality sound system, designed for acoustic acts, with very good results...now that i have the nano, it will be easy to play the catalog of the night's performer, as well as that of upcoming artists.
my favorite part so far is the abilty to play solitaire (klondike) while listening to the music of my choice. i have found this capability to be incredibly useful while waiting for appointments, although it does not seem to honor the shuffle setting on the playlist while playing a game. (yes, the games do decrease the battery life, but that's ok with me.)
having come from the shuffle, and not a larger-format ipod, i have no problem at all with the navigation wheel. i have fairly large hands, and i have no problem using it. it is very intuitive, and responsive.
i don't really like the included ipod earbuds, because they are a little too big for me to wear comfortably, but that's easily and inexpensively remedied, and no one pair of earbuds will please all users.
i do have some concerns about the screen, but i'll be putting a screen protector on it...just like i did for my blackberry.
i did buy an extra (aftermarket) cable, usb ac adapter, and a usb car adapter, so that i am not tied to the computer to charge it. i also immediately went out and bought a skin. in my opinion, these are all essential items to have in an "ipod survival kit".
oh, and you can use it as a disk, and see it via explorer, although the files are hidden, and have crytpic, undecipherable names. to do so, from the itunes software with the nano connected, just choose "enable disk usage" in the settings screen, and apply it. that's it.
bottom line: i use it every day, and i absolutely love it.