Feature Writer Lynne Tatum – It’s a Music Player, It’s a Watch, It’s an iPod Nano

I was recently on the phone with the friendly Apple sales representative discussing choices for wireless keyboards. Our iGuy insistently prompted that I inquire about Apple’s newest cool piece of hardware–not the sought-after iPhone 4s with the incredible Siri feature–but rather the 6th Generation iPod Nano. When I came to, I had impulsively ordered red Nanos with black wristbands.

You’ll need to attach your Nano to your computer with the supplied USB cable and open the iTunes application in order to add content to the device. iTunes and I are at least on speaking terms these days. Additionally, you’ll probably want to add VoiceOver to the player. I needed my knowledgeable iGuy’s help with that as the radio buttons weren’t as apparent to me as they should have been. By the way, for those readers who would like to know, I created a playlist, added music to that playlist, and then copied and pasted the music to the Nano. I used tried and true Windows commands (such as copy and paste) whenever possible.

The iPod Nano is now a touch device but the Voiceover gestures work well. There is a home screen which contains Settings, Fitness, Videos, Clock, Podcasts, Radio and Music–not necessarily in that order. Swipe to the right or left with one finger to move through these menus. Double-tap on an app to open it. VoiceOver is not shy and she’ll quickly tell you what to do. My main interests are the Music player and the Clock. Headphones and speakers make a huge difference but I have Boost bass and the Pop equalizer set, which makes me an extremely happy music listener.

If you think you’re getting an accessible talking watch, you are–sort of. The Nano has no speaker, which means you are unable to hear the clock out loud. This will be a definite drawback for some. As a person with some usable vision, I set the clock face to one that I can see well and I need only turn on the screen and use a double-finger swipe to the left to read it. My iGuy put the Nano into my wristband, but I was then able to do that for Maria’s on my own. Additionally, we set the screen orientation as a team. He turned on the Black and White setting, turned off VoiceOver and I changed the orientation with the rotation of two fingers. I then turned VoiceOver on and switched back to the default color scheme. One disappointing omission is that of the watch face descriptions. VoiceOver announces only numbers, which offer no clues to the true watch-face designs.

This exciting 16 GB device truly gives new meaning to the phrase “portable player.”

For more information on the iPod Nano, you can visit: http://www.apple.com/ipodnano/

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