Surprise 1: As lovely as the new gadget is, it still has the same annoying problem as every other iPod and Walkman ever: headphones. They stick in your ears, catch in your coat, and tangle up miserably. Until they make an iPod with wireless headphones (and oh how I cannot wait for this), it'll remain a problem. But Apple's at least fixed one related annoyance.
With the iPod nano playing, if you pull out the headphone jack for more than a couple seconds, the iPod detects it and automatically pauses the music. I discovered this when I accidentally snagged the cord again and pulled the jack out of the iPod. When I plugged the headphones back in, I noticed the music was paused. I thought it was a coincidence, so I tried it again. Sure enough, you pull the plug, and the iPod pauses. It's this kind of attention to detail that keeps me an Apple fanatic.
The only thing that would make it better would be if it unpaused when you plugged the cord back in.
But the iPod nano has a game that acknowledges the device you're holding is a music player. The Music Quiz game plays a random song from your library and presents five song titles - one's real and rest are fakes. You have to select the real song title in as little time as possible. To spice things up, the fakes disappear one by one until only the real title remains.
I love this game. It reminds me of road trips with my dad when I was a kid. He'd play mix tapes and we'd all try to guess the name of each song as it began. Of course, he always won. They were his mix tapes.
When we finally have networked iPods in the hopefully not-too-distant future, I can't wait to play Music Quiz in 2-player mode. Maybe I'd finally be able to beat my dad.
Update: Conscientious readers have pointed out that the Music Quiz is not new to the nano - it's been included in the last few iPod revisions. But it's new to me, so I still consider it a pleasant nano surprise.
This section is called Just a Thought. It's a blog where I post little pieces of what I'm thinking about at the moment. This page is an individual entry called “iPod nano’s Pleasant Surprises” that I wrote on 16 September 2005.
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Working the web since 1995, Derek Powazek is the creator of many award-winning websites, a couple of which still exist. Derek is the cofounder of JPG Magazine and the CCO of 8020 Publishing. Derek lives in San Francisco with his wife, two nutty Chihuahuas, a grumpy cat, and a house full of plants named Fred. More »
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