iPod buying guide: Part 1 - Storage
With the iPod Classic now a distant memory those wanting a large amount of storage on their iPod will find the options rather limiting. Currently, the iPod Shuffle is available with a rather humble 2GB of storage, while the iPod Nano boasts a more spacious 16GB. It's worth bearing in mind that this means the Shuffle can hold around 450 songs encoded at 128kbps, with the Nano's 16GB topping out at around the 4,000 mark. The only model to go higher than 16GB is the iPod Touch which is available in 16, 32, and 64GB variants. While it's nowhere near the mammoth 160GB capacity of the iPod Classic, it should still offer enough room for the vast majority of users. Of course if you really need that extra space then it's worth seeking out the second hand market for the Classic, or checking whether high street retailers still have any stocks left.
iPod buying guide: Part 2 - Features
iPods have come a long way since the initial music-only device that magically appeared from Steve Jobs' jeans pocket in October 2001. Now you can buy models that have full access to the internet, play movies, and even make video calls using Apple's Facetime technology. All iPods are not created equal though, so here we round up the various features of each model.
iPod Shuffle: In many ways the Shuffle is probably the most true to that original iPod, as it focusses solely on playing audio. The lack of a screen has meant that in the past you had to remember what was on the device, and switching between tracks was something of a lottery. Now, with the impressive Voice Over feature, the iPod Shuffle will read the name of the track, podcast, audiobook, or playlist to you and allow you to choose the one you want to listen to with nary a touchscreen in sight. This means that you can have multiple playlists on the device without having to return to your iTunes library. It's a simple addition, but it really does make the Shuffle a far more capable device that past iterations.
iPod Nano: The most obvious feature that differentiates the iPod Nano and the iPod Shuffle is the 2.5" multi-touch display. This enable the iPod Nano to have a range of included apps that broaden its appeal. Music is, of course, still the primary function, with the cool ability to create Genius mixes on the fly by tapping a button while a song is playing; the device will then automatically generate a playlist from your library based around that track. A screen also means video, with the iPod Nano happily playing any media synced to it from your iTunes account. It's admittedly not the biggest display for Hollywood blockbusters, but for quick fixes on the go, or to entertain the little ones, it does the job. You can also store photos on the iPod Nano, and a built-in FM radio app makes it easy to keep up with the latest music, news or sporting events. If you are a Nike Fitness user then you'll find the bespoke app on the iPod Nano a handy addition, as the device doubles as a fitness tracker that can sync up to your NikePlus account with details of your workouts. Bluetooth is also a useful feature, as you can listen to your tunes wirelessly on bluetooth headphones, or connect to a number of home and car speakers.
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