Written by Radio

iPod Nano

This week saw the annual refreshing of Apple’s iPod range. As always there was lots of speculation prior to the announcement about exactly what features would be included. There was lots of talk about cameras being fitted to various models, and about the long term future of the iPod Classic – the “original” iPod (this was a concern of mine as the largest Touch at 64GB doesn’t come close to the Classic – now returning to a 160GB size. My Classic – sadly stolen last week – was nearly full. The extra 40GB is going to be essential to me).
What nobody saw coming was Apple’s inclusion of an FM radio on the Nano. Most of Apple’s competitors have long included an FM radio, and while Apple has included radios as optional extras built into their remote controls, this is the first time a radio has been natively built into the core device.
Apple being Apple, they didn’t just include a radio – there’s also some tagging technology better explained by Nick than me, and interestingly, something that hitherto has only been seen on DAB radios – live pause and rewind. The Nano buffers audio for about 20 minutes and you can go back and listen again.
What is interesting is that Apple is using RDS RadioText (as explained better by James). We nipped out to the Apple store at work yesterday to pick up a Nano, and it’s interesting to note how few stations are really using RadioText fully.
Because few radios in the UK fully use RDS – some highend car radios have it built in, although the only radio I have that has it is a Sony tuner in my hi-fi – few stations fully utilise this technology beyond what car radios manage.
A quick tune through London stations yesterday revealed that most had a static station message. At Absolute Radio, we had been simulcasting our DAB DLS text, but as a special welcome to new Nano owners we changed it to this:

It’s a shame the radio didn’t make it to the Touch and the Classic. Indeed it’s surprising that the camera didn’t make it to the Touch either. Does Steve Jobs really think it’s a gaming platform? Nokia has made that mistake with its Ngage system. But this does mean the “sexiest” iPod in the new range is actually the Nano.
But my next purchase will still be a Classic. I need that 160GB!