Blind VI Updates & News (blindvi) wrote,
Blind VI Updates & News

Talking IPod Review

I'm one year late but I didn't see the need for IPod Nano at that time. The newer IPods are packed with lots of cool stuff that even those with little to no vision might like. I'll go into the list and then cratique each one.
  • Spoken Menus
  • Video Camera
  • Voice Recorder
  • External Speaker
  • FM Radio (kit sold seperately)
  • Fitness (kit sold seperately)
  • Pedometer (measures walking)
  • Alarm Clock
  • Accessible ITunes
  • Genius & On The Go Playlist (never used it)
The only features I've ever used in this list are the voice recorder, speaker, spoken menus and playlists (never used genius/on the go don't see a need.). Radio and fitness those have seperate kits that you have to buy. And the downside to this is you can only use one or the other. Theres enough memory to even play videos, movies and podcasts. What I love about the external speaker is that it's hidden and no need for additional gear. Plus the sound quality is good enough (well for me it is.) where I can listen to the speaker or use headphones. There are some features that really don't work for me or the average user might not like.

Video Camera: Apple chose to go with a video camera instead of camera that takes still shots. This is great and all cause I've always wanted a video camera (just not on the IPod) but the cam on the pod isn't worth it. You only have a small window of time to record things. Plus your viewing window is very limited.

Spoken Menus: There's a tiny complaint here. The Talking IPod is only limited to menus, audio books and music/video (to announce artist/album/track listing) and settings. You can't use the talking feature in the extras menu (camera, recorder, games, etc.). But it is good none the less. Since I only use the IPod for music means only this doesn't bother me. But it might bother someone else with a vision impairment who wanna use the sighted features but need that extra assistance. For me, it means I can keep the power eater (I mean backlight) turned off.

Font/Contrast: Apple plugged in the fact that font size and contrast can be enabled for those with visual impairment. I'm visually impaired but this feature did nothing for me. Unless you get a skin application that has dark color or black background with light colored text you're out of luck. Rockbox has this ability but Rockbox never worked for me. Thus why I opted for a new IPod instead. Cause I can barely see my IPod's menus on the 30 gig IPod now collecting dust in my desk drawer.

External Speaker: I LOVED this feature but for those who haven't found it they may never know about it. I caught it by accident. It means having to jack your volume up but you turn the volume down when you use head phones. I was messing around with the volume limit setting when my head phones disconnected from the jack. All of a sudden I heard my Nano cherp (cause I had spoken menus feature turned on.) when normally if this happened the device would automatically shut down. This is a lovely option if you prefer your device without headphones (like for offices, bedrooms etc that you'd rather not have real loud music in.). The problem is if you want loud music and or surround sound (like when you're at a party) you'll have to purchase a speaker system thats sold seperately. There are many speaker systems out there and my only advice is to read the reviews and product descriptions carefully before purchasing. But a great feature for me nonethe less.

Games/Calendars/Photos: These options can be hidden if you don't want them. But if you prefer them off your device all together you're out of luck. There is no way you can remove these from your device. Apple needs to make these features optional instead of permenant. You know to have the ability to disable features you don't want on your device to free up space via ITunes. You can remove these items from the device's usb folder but be real careful. You delte the wrong thing and you erase your IPod or screw up to needing a factory reset (and starting from scratch.).

Radio & Fitness: I wanna try the fitness feature but it requires buying nikkie shoes that have built in sensor. And let me be honest here: I own Nikkie shoes but they are expensive. I bought mine a year ago for 60 bucks but they were on sale. What I'm seeing is it just records your run/walk times. If there were options to record time/distance for multiple things than I'd buy it. Mult-taskers such as running, walking, stairs (for stair climber), steps (for step master), eliptical, tredmil and bike. For now all I see is this is good for just walking and running so this does nothing for me. Another thing that does absolutely nothing for me is the radio. Again you must purchase a kit for the radio feature. But why do that when you have like your entire music library on your IPod? I mean you wouldn't have to put up with commercials or DJs talking about pointless stuff plus the static.

Stop Watch: I liked the digital stop watch. Cause the digital was in large print. Large enough where I didn't see it as a problem. The new stop watch is a image of a stop watch with a big/little/seconds hand.

Accessories: There's a huge disadvantage with the new nanos. You can't use the accessories. Accessories such as dock holders (to hold up right on clock radios) to charge or listen to your device. That also includes wall chargers as well. Not to mention the cases. I'm having a rather difficult time finding a case to protect my IPod. I tried 2 different cases that were too snug for my device. Not to mention if you plan on using the video camera you'd have to risk taking the device out of the case. Had I heard about the disadvantage w/the cases I would've waited til they came out. Cause when I bought my 30 GB a couple years ago I was able to purchase things alot quickly. Like a clock rado to charge/listen to my IPod (w/the nano for now I'm using the usb charger) and cases weren't hard to come by. But I'm having problems finding a case that has 2 belt clip options. One's a D ring clip that you clip to your jeans. Another is a actual belt clip. I did find one case that worked but ended up returning cause I couldn't use the click wheel. Again, the video camera isn't in use so any case from the 4th gen is fine. But if you're using the camera then you're gonna need a case that has a peep hole for the camera's lense. IPod should've thought about this before putting the camera on their devices.

Other than that it was worth the $179 bucks (IPod Nano comes in 4, 8 or 16 GBs.) for a 16 gig hard drive. But if you just want the music and spoken menus - good luck finding the older IPod Nano. The 4th Gen IPod Nanos were discontinued a few months ago. You'd have to go on Amazon I think to find something like that.
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