Apple iPod Nano (5th Gen.) Nano Fith Generation 16GB Review

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PROS / Video recording capabilities is one of the strong features on this Apple product.

CONS / The Apple iPod Nano has a battery life of 24 hours.

VERDICT / If you want a few added features in addition to high-quality music performance, this MP3 player is worth your consideration.

Editor’s Note: This product has been removed from viewing as part of this site because has been discontinued. You can still read our original review below, but TopTenREVIEWS is no longer updating this product’s information.

The Apple iPod Nano was been one of the leading MP3 players in the world for quite a while. It’s light weight, compact and has a sleek design which makes the portable aspect very nice. Probably for that very reason this has become a popular MP3 player to people who want something for on the go. After only about a year, it seems Apple decided to move on from the fourth generation Nano and brought out the latest fifth generation. The back to back releases sort of make sense because the fifth generation is almost the same as the forth. It seems like they basically just added a few little goodies to boost sales with the “new” factor. Although it may make been just a marketing tactic, there are some decent new additions.


One thing that iPods have been missing until now has been the lack of radio. Radio is a very good thing. Sometimes it is just fun to step away from your music collection and listen to something different. Plus, radio stations frequently get songs before they’re actually available to the public, singles that are nearly impossible to find, etc. There are also many of us that have a radio show or two that we enjoy listening to like National Public Radio for example. Things like that make radio valuable and the addition of the FM tuner was much needed. They didn’t go all out and throw in HD radio but FM is a great start and good enough for now.

The one unique thing that they added to set them apart from everyone else is the ability to pause live radio. How is that possible? Well first of all the Nano has support for RDS data which does a few things that are quite nice. First of all it basically gives you all the information about what the name of the song and artist is that is playing. When it downloads that information it basically works like the old portable CD players that had anti skip. All anti skip was usually, was the player would record x number of seconds in advance so that if the player got jostled, rather than skipping, it would play the prerecorded file. In this case it records the information from the RDS data and allows you to pause live radio for 15 seconds. RDS data also makes it so you can tag songs that you like on the radio so that you can download them the next time you sync up with iTunes. The only problem people have had is if the songs don’t have a data file, then you can’t tag it. Also reception varies depending on your area. If you don’t get reception in your car then you probably won’t on the iPod.

One more minute addition is the fitness program. It’s basically just a pedometer unless you get the Nike + iPod Sport Kit to go with it. If this is important to you than the extra kit is essential since knowing how many steps you take isn’t the most useful information. With a few more numbers and some quick math it could but those other numbers like distance walked, aren’t available without the Nike kit. The other thing is that the pedometer works based off the accelerometer which means when it gets jostled it reads as a step. With all the potential jostling of everyday life, many are skeptical to how accurate it can be.

The final major point we’d like to mention is the video recording. This feature probably doesn’t deserve the hype that Apple gave it. The video quality is equal to that of the camera on your cell phone. That is basically what it is except that it can’t take still frames like your phone can. If your cell phone is one of the rare ones that doesn’t have a camera yet or you don’t take your phone with you always but you do take your iPod, then the video could be nice. For most thought that isn’t the case so it’s a feature that ends up not being used. Another downside to this camera is the location of it. It sits right where most people would naturally hold the thing to shoot video or do anything else on it. Not one of Apple’s most brilliant moments.


For an MP3 player, the Apple iPod Nano is still one of the best. On the other hand though, most of the extras have a long ways to go before they become a main reason to get this iPod. Get it for music or go with something else. We’ll let Apple finish whatever thought process they were having when they decided to make these additions. Surely the fully realized idea will be better.