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Ars Technica's iPod nano Dissection

Zonk posted more than 8 years ago | from the for-science dept.

Media (Apple) 532

starwindsurfer wrote to mention an Ars Technica review of the iPod nano in which they autopsy the cute little guy to find out what makes him tick. A more thorough review than the one we ran last week. From the article: "At this point we were astounded that the iPod nano was still working properly, albeit with a broken display. Because we had honestly expected the iPod nano to break by this time, we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car. Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering." Update: 09/12 14:58 GMT by Z : Changed linking words to previous article for clarity. Monday fuzziness.

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532 comments

What apple should do now (4, Insightful)

Data Link Layer (743774) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537684)

Size of the iPod never really mattered to me, the 30 GB photo is small enough. What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches. Cases do not work so well, they still scratch and add lots of bulk.

Re:What apple should do now (0)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537701)

I size has mattered to me. I don't want to carry around some bulky thing... althought he scratching on the IPod would be rather annoying.

CHECK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537736)

SLASHDOT IS STEALING FROM YOU

If you are a subscriber, check your subscription page. The "used today" counter resets itself, burning through your subscription.

mailto:subscriptions@slashdot.org [mailto]

Re:CHECK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION (-1, Offtopic)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537793)

WTF are you talking about?

Re:CHECK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537821)

You aren't a subscriber... no star next to your name. subscribers can choose how many pages per day they view without ads... but the counter resets itself, so Slashdot is raking in the dough.

Re:CHECK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION (-1, Troll)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537892)

I really do not care, they need to make money somehow. Now bugger off.

Re:CHECK YOUR SUBSCRIPTION (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13538009)

Who cares? Anybody dumb enough to actually buy a subscription to this toilet deserves to be ripped off.

Re:What apple should do now (5, Interesting)

big_groo (237634) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537717)

I have scratch proof lenses in my glasses.

They're scratched, btw. In case you were wondering.

Re:What apple should do now (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13538060)

...hence the benefit of the $30, 2 year warrantee... About to go get "free" fresh ones myself...

Re:What apple should do now (5, Funny)

mblase (200735) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537747)

What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches. Cases do not work so well, they still scratch and add lots of bulk.

Small, rugged, scratchproof: pick any two?

Tell you what: if you buy an itty-bitty iPod nano and still think it's too bulky after adding a sleeve around it, I will personally come to your house and sew bigger pockets onto all your clothes.

Re:What apple should do now (5, Funny)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537838)

Tell you what: if you buy an itty-bitty iPod nano and still think it's too bulky after adding a sleeve around it, I will personally come to your house and sew bigger pockets onto all your clothes.

I added the sleeve and it's still too bulky. I'll be expecting you at my house at 8am sharp tomorrow.

Re:What apple should do now (1)

PurdueGraphicsMan (722107) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537754)

What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches I heard that they're making a diamond coated iPod that is virtually indestructible. ;)

Re:What apple should do now (2, Informative)

somersault (912633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537956)

diamond shatters =p

Re:What apple should do now (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537778)

Thanks, but I'll pass on the scratchproof thing. I have plenty of cleaner, and failing that, lots of peanut butter to get rid of scratches.

What I would like is for them to add Firewire support to the Nano, instead of only allowing USB 2.0.

Re:What apple should do now (3, Interesting)

DenDave (700621) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537847)

It looks like it is intended for the replacement market. Old ipodders are getting the jitters to replace their 5 and 10 gb models and will probably be happy with these devices are they are used to not having their entire collection on the road with them. It does sorta kill the shuffle though.. What is also interesting to note is that this is the second ipod that is USB only. Is this because they both use the same "mainboard" and adding fw would be too expensive or technically challenging? Or is apple slowly abandoning fw as the end-all of device connectors? Perhaps a sign of this to come? Intel based machines rarely if ever have a fw port and even more rare are the full-size powered connectors like we have'em on iBook/Powerbook... hrmm the mind begins to wonder whether the next generation of laptops will have fw at all!!

Could someone out there with a intel dev box tell us whether there is a fw port on the dev box??

Does OSX/Intel support fw???

Re:What apple should do now (5, Interesting)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538001)

firewire (assuming thats what you meant by fw) is the choice for digital video tranfer on apple. Apple has a lot invested in being the digital video editing platform of choice. There is no way they are going to give up on firewire. For connections to random devices that don't need the speeds of firewire, and benifit from PC connectivity, USB is the obvious choice.

Firewire compatibility... (2, Interesting)

SparksMcGee (812424) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537880)

While overall I thought the article was informative, amusing, and well-written, I don't know why Ars brings up the issue of compatibity with FireWire as a reason to downgrade the nano's score (except perhaps for Apple's perennial refusal to put more than about 3 USB ports on its machines). The throughput on USB2.0 is 480Mbps as opposed to Firewire's 400MBps, and USB compatibility is all that's really needed to make the nano work with both Macs and even older PCS (although such models might not have USB2.0, they probably won't have IEEE 1394 ports either. Heck, I've got 3 on my desktop that I don't think have ever been put to good use). It seems like adding Firewire would essentially be redundant from a data transfer perspective and potentially increase the size of a devize of which part of the appeal springs from its ability to fit in a coin pocket. I'm not saying it's a bad review by any means, I'm just somewhat confused as to why Firewire--which has now been eclipsed by USB2.0 in terms of throughput--should remain a point of contention.

Re:Firewire compatibility... (2, Interesting)

Intellectual Elitist (706889) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537948)

Because regular iPods support Firewire 800, which all Power Macs also support, and which trumps USB 2.0's bandwidth by a healthy margin.

Re:Firewire compatibility... (5, Insightful)

djdavetrouble (442175) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538024)

Because regular iPods support Firewire 800, which all Power Macs also support, and which trumps USB 2.0's bandwidth by a healthy margin.

riiiiight... because we all know that those leetle teeny hard drives are soooooo fast, much much faster than the data rate of a regular old firewire 400 connection.

Re:Firewire compatibility... (1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13538003)

> I'm just somewhat confused as to why Firewire--which has now been eclipsed by USB2.0 in terms of throughput--should remain a point of contention.

Go transfer a gig of data via firewire, and a gig of data via USB2 and tell us which one was faster in the real world, not just on paper. Also let us know which one affected responsiveness of your machine during transfer due to generating an excessive number of interrupts (hint: it's not firewire).

Re:What apple should do now (1)

null etc. (524767) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537962)

we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car

It sounds like running over it with a car wouldn't be terribly difficult. I hope it wasn't something they had to try too hard to do.

What they should consentrate on is making it scratch proof, I can't stand so many scratches.

I second that. Having a beautiful piece of art like an iPod Nano get marred by scratches is terrible! I bought a Sony PSP screen protector and cut it to size to protect my Nano. The PSP screen protector is 5 bucks, but it's nice and thick, and will keep my Nano looking beautiful.

put a almost full iTunes client on Palm (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13538015)

The itunes phone was a retarded decision. Having an FM tuner would make sense but the analog hole argument is probably why Apple continues to make sure their bottom line comes first over that of the end-user's experienc.

iRiver not only has a tuner, it can rip MP3 from the audio-in jack. Now THAT is thinking about the consumer.

My series 32 Palm can play MP3's and comes with SD cards. What makes sense is for there to be iTunes for Palm. While I can live with not being able to rip new songs (would be mighty nice though) I deplore the inability to manage my collection on anything besides the freaking desktop computer. If I want to delete a song, I want to delete it off my Palm (insert ipod if you want) and when I sync, for that delete to get propagated back if I want it to. Anybody who's used Palm knows how to do this.

I want to be able to change play lists, rankings and such and have that data sync BACK to the PC. Apple for some silly reason only syncs stuff one way. That's nuts.

So does nano... (5, Funny)

furiousx (909573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537686)

also refer to the outstanding battery life?

Re:So does nano... (2, Informative)

tont0r (868535) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537746)

according to the article, you get 13 hours of life out of it. not sure if you were being sarcastic though.(since it was modded funny)

Re:So does nano... (1, Funny)

furiousx (909573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537829)

13 hours before stops holding a charge? That IS an improvement!

This is truly sick and perverted (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537691)

That wasn't an autopsy it was a vivisection! Disconnect the power first you fucking Ars Nazis!

OH THE HORROR! (1)

laurensv (601085) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537711)

Won't someone please think of the children! Anyway it's a gruelling sight if you can't afford one, but an interesting experiment if you think about getting one (or get one for free).

Geeks are like apes (5, Funny)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537692)

Seriously, I find it funny how as soon as we get some new piece of technology our first instinct is to break it. Honestly think about it. I can't tell you how many things I can't wait to take apart as soon as I buy it. There has to be somehting unhealthy about this.

Give somehting new and unknown to a bunch of apes and the first thing they do is smash it or rip it apart inquisitively.

Guess we ain't so superior after all. :)

Re:Geeks are like apes (4, Funny)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537790)

That's what makes us so superior. If I hadn't taken schitt apart when I was a little geekling, I would never have blossomed into the well rounded geek I am today. Hell, now I can even put stuff back together!

Re:Geeks are like apes (1)

archen (447353) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537998)

Heh, I wonder how many of us got started that way. I recall me asking if I could take anything apart that we were going to throw away. Sometimes I would take things apart that wern't garbage and about half the time that stuff ended up getting thrown away as a result.

My mom would always complain that I would just take things apart and never put them back together and usually make a huge mess. Sometime around the time I was 12 my mother noticed that if I took things apart that were working they usually still worked. A bit after that I would take non working this apart and put them together working. Now days my mom often says "I'm glad you taking things apart actually gave you some skills" whenever she needs help with things. I hope I'm as patient with my kids when they brake all my shit =/

Re:Geeks are like apes (4, Funny)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537798)

Give somehting new and unknown to a bunch of apes and the first thing they do is smash it or rip it apart inquisitively.

Guess we ain't so superior after all. :)


But now we can also run things over with cars...so clearly we've evolved. No more pounding on it with large rocks.

Re:Geeks are like apes (1)

Xzzy (111297) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538035)

But now we can also run things over with cars...so clearly we've evolved. No more pounding on it with large rocks.

Hitting it with a rock probably would have broken it a lot faster. Cars put out a lot of pressue on their contact patch, but it's spread out evenly over the entire area.

Jagged edges of a rock are not so even, and would have put extreme pressure anywhere they contacted the nano. One or two hits probably would have punctured the casing. A smooth round rock would be mostly the same, but without the punctures.

So put that way, our monkey ancestors were better at destroying than we are. Evolution shmevolution.

Re:Geeks are like apes (0)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537845)

I was under the impression that this urge to rip apart items inquisitively was a sign of intelligence, rather than the opposit as you seem to suggest.

Re:Geeks are like apes (4, Funny)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538022)

Yeah, RUNNING SHIT OVER WITH A CAR helps us understand a whole bunch of new things that otherwise would have gone unknown. Damn am I dumb, how could I have overlooked that!

Inquisitiveness Gooooood (0)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537852)

"Give somehting new and unknown to a bunch of apes and the first thing they do is smash it or rip it apart inquisitively."

Yeah, and that's why we're sitting in our ergonomic leather-padded swivel chairs, taking apart complex consumer electronics with cheap mass-produced durable metal alloy tools, in our centrally-heated/air-conditioned house, writing up the experience on our cheap yet powerful computing devices and posting the results half-way around the world (at light-speed, or thereabouts) to be hosted by other computers in a completely different country.

And why other mammals are being hunted for food, or lounging around in a tank at seaworld squeaking stupidly and begging us for fish. ...

Well... that and opposable thumbs....

Re:Inquisitiveness Gooooood (4, Funny)

rAiNsT0rm (877553) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538000)

So, basically, to sum it up. We've created a whole bunch of advanced shit to take apart and more advanced shit to *use* to take the advanced shit apart... all while being comfortable.

Man, we sure have come a long way! :)

Re:Inquisitiveness Gooooood (1)

Shaper_pmp (825142) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538053)

Well, more that because we take shit apart to find out how it works, we can then put it back together to make better shit. Or at least make more advanced shit without making the same mistakes as the previous generation of shit.

Or some shit like that. ;-)

Re:Geeks are like apes (1)

AviLazar (741826) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537897)

I like to think of it as our explorative nature. Our desire to find out the unknown\.
To BOLDLY go where no Geek has gone before.

Re:Geeks are like apes (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537926)

Thankfully, the girls already understand this urge and keep their distance from most geeks.

Summary (2, Insightful)

ReformedExCon (897248) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537696)

Treat hardware really roughly and it will break.

I am not sold on this. It is too small and costs too much. But I guess if I was driving 55 in my convertible, I'd be able to hear the playback over my car stereo crystal clear.

Re:Summary (1)

the_2nd_coming (444906) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537762)

umm.. if you can find a larger flash based mp3 player that has a color screen and can show pictures, plus gets 15 hours of battery life and is less than 250 dollars, then I would like to know.

Re:Summary (1)

ScriptedReplay (908196) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538061)

What use is having photo display on a postmark-sized screen? Bragging rights? phones have larger screens for photo display these days. And for plain music playing color is inefficient (waste of power)

All the nano has for itself, AFAICT, is the size - chicks will find interesting places to carry it in. Perhaps battery life, too, but I'll wait for real-use tests before counting that one in.

Re:Summary (1)

nine-times (778537) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537965)

Treat hardware really roughly and it will break.

I thought it was more like: Treat the iPod nano really roughly and it'll get slightly scratched up. Run over it with a car, and it'll still play music. Abuse it in the worst ways you can think, and maybe, after quite a lot of torture, you'll be able to actually break it.

The story here isn't that they were able to break it, the story is the great lengths they had to go to in order to accomplish that result.

Re:Summary (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537992)

Seems like a cheap 4GB USB memory stick :) USB Sticks [cnet.com]

Good Review (2, Interesting)

Oculus Habent (562837) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537697)

Nice to know it is so durable.

Like another poster mentioned, it would be nice if they (any iPod, really) was more scratch-proof, but I suppose it helps drive the acessories market. :)

Re:Good Review (1)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537730)

The mini was pretty scratch proof with it's solid anodized aluminum shell. Apple must not have been selling enough cases for them, so they needed to replace it with a polycarb based model. :)

Stop it! Please! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537704)

Enough with the fucking Apple advertisements!

iPod durability (3, Interesting)

Auritribe (856763) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537705)

As much as I love iPods, every generation of iPod has broken in one form or another. Being hard drive based, they're not durable at all. I don't abuse my products but these things can't take anything. The first generation had its problems with the scroll wheel going loose, I had returned it and gotten another one. Typically the Apple warrantee is crap, their customer service is also crap. You walk into an apple store and they typically treat the customer in the most condescending manner possible. This was in the Tysons Corner, VA Apple store. It's gotten better more recently, but when they started out it was like pulling teeth to get them to listen to any form of reason. Thankfully, the iPods were replaced fairly quickly, I'm sure that it was a common problem for them to have treated it as such. The one thing about the iPod nano that I've been worried about it durability. Apples history with physical durability is pretty crap, IMO. By the way, for the nay sayers, I now go to AbsoluteMac for my apple needs, nearby Rockville, they're great guys. When my mom mentioned how crappy the staff is at the apple stores, they responded with 'Yeah, we get those kind of complaints all the time.'

Apple Product Lifecycle (5, Interesting)

Chibi Merrow (226057) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537715)

Article on the new iGadget being a failure? Check [slashdot.org] .
Apple g33k pr0n? Check [slashdot.org] .

Wow, this guy [misterbg.org] really DOES have Apple pegged... I mean, at first it was funny, but now it's just creepy...

Dead Cat (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537732)

If you open up a cat to see how it works, the first thing you have is a non-working cat.

Re:Dead Cat (0)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537832)

What if you strap a piece of buttered toast to it's back first?

Where's the FM tuner??? (5, Insightful)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537733)

What I don't understand is why, oh why hasn't apple incorporated an FM tuner into their iPod line yet?? Creative and iRiver have it on their models, it can't be that hard to implement. They are priced competitively as well so i can't be a cost issue.

Seriously, for me the downside of the Nano is the lack of FM tuner. Mp3's are great, but sometimes you just want to listen to radio.

I have been looking at getting an mp3 player for quite some time, and I thought the Nano was going to be my thing. But I will probably just wait until iRiver comes out with their clone with the FM tuner on it.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (4, Interesting)

mrgreen4242 (759594) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537752)

Well, personally, I don't want to listen to the radio, ever. That's why I have an iPod. I used to listen to the radio for NPR shows, but with most of the "good stuff" from NPR being available as podcasts, well, my car radio stays on "Aux Input" all the time now, and I don't own another radio reciever at all.

I think Apple intentionally doesn't include an FM tuner on purpose, as they are theying to replace radio, not just replace CD players, with the iPod. They're doing a good job of it, too.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (5, Informative)

jwinter1 (147688) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537853)

with most of the "good stuff" from NPR being available as podcasts

Are you crazy? NPR has given up almost none of its best shows to podcasting. This American Life, Car Talk, What Do You Know?, Morning/Weekend Edition, All Things Considered, and pretty much any other of their big shows aren't podcast. There's actually very few good NPR shows available through podcasting.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

Niten (201835) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538021)

And A Prairie Home Companion!

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (2, Insightful)

neverutterwhen (813161) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537937)

But in britain we have the BBC. We like radio, it's actually good. I got given an ipod mini, and it's great but it will be replaced by an iriver as soon as I can purely because I need a radio.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

StarvingSE (875139) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538025)

It's all about choices. If you choose to not listen to the radio, just don't use that feature. I enjoy listening to morning shows and getting updates on traffic, weather, and concert info.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

angrist (787928) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538039)

NPR?

The only reason I would use an FM tuner on my iPod is to listen to Howard Stern ..... but come January, that'll be a moot point.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (2, Insightful)

djward (251728) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537843)

Most airlines don't allow devices with radio tuners to be used in-flight, and I LIKE to use my iPod in-flight.

And the radio sucks anymore.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537920)

Why would that be? It is a *receiver*. Are they worried you'll be able to tune in to the cockpit? Only if they are using FM....

Radio receivers also transmit (1)

dazedNconfuzed (154242) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537954)

Pilots don't like radios in the cabin because radio reception involves producing radio frequencies - yes, it's a small transmitter - which could interfere with vital navigation radios.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

Speare (84249) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537955)

Every antenna must use an amplifier to turn a weak input signal into a usable internal signal. Unless the circuit is specifically shielded, which is expensive, much of the amplified signal leaks back out the antenna. Most receivers are thus noise-producers. This includes FM, TV and non-aircraft-certified GPS receivers, all of which are ostensibly of interest to airplane passengers.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (2, Insightful)

Ramses0 (63476) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537888)

It's the "analog hole" in reverse. Radio == "A way to get music on your iPod without buying it from the Apple Store(tm)" ... by intentionally eliminating that way of "leaking music" into your headphones, iPod owners are that much more of a captive audience when buying music online (since you can't effectively buy MP3's or AAC from other online vendors... instead only DRM WMA's, etc).

This is why engineers != business people != marketing people. :^)

--Robert

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (3, Insightful)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537914)

Because with an iPod and a good selection of songs and podcasts, FM radio is deader than an English roast beef. I own two radios...one is relegated entirely to being my alarm clock and my car stereo is used to listen to my iPod through an FM transmitter/car charger combo.

When you think about it, the only radio stations that provide useful information that an iPod can't readily provide (ie traffic reports and weather) are AM radio stations...yet I only hear people clamoring for FM.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

s7uar7 (746699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537916)

I used to be of the same opinion - I immediately decided against the iPod a couple of years ago because of the lack of FM tuner. But then I bought a Bug digital radio that records the DAB stream at home, and I can now choose what radio I listen to and when, and in better quality than a portable FM tuner.

Ok, I can't listen to today's breakfast show on the way to work, but then does it really matter if you're a day behind? Plus I get to fast forward the adverts, news and traffic reports.

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

Rakshasa Taisab (244699) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537938)

Ahh, i had completely forgotten about my player having an FM tuner...

Uhm... Does this count as an convincing argument?

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

iroll (717924) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537964)

why hasn't apple incorporated an FM tuner into their iPod line yet?

Because most people don't care, and the few that do can go buy a Creative "MuVo" or an "iRiver" and look like nerds. Result: iRiver and Creative get reps as dorkware, making them even less attractive to most people. Apple gleefully carries bags of money home, and Creative/iRiver executives throw down their tophats and curse Apple like cartoon villians. "Foiled again!"

Re:Where's the FM tuner??? (1)

MungoBBQ (524032) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538020)

Well, one reason I can think of is that it's illegal to transmit on the FM band in many countries, my own Sweden included. Owning and using an accessory like the iTrip is not legal here.

I bet Apple doesn't want to have to make different iPods for different regions.

Sold on it. (1)

Kranfer (620510) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537744)

Well after reading the review and the few comments posted so far, I have decided to purchase one of these on my lunch break at the local Apple store. Although, I do need to agree with everyone else... when will apple make this bugger scratch proof? I would be royally annoyed at scratches on my IPod.

Zonk's article linking... (4, Funny)

mattyohe (517995) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537748)

That was a bit confusing on a Monday morning... You linked the words "more thorough review" to point to the less thorough review.

Sound Quality? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537750)

So is the sound quality as crappy as its bigger brothers, or as good as its smaller one?

Bad Selection of stress tests (5, Insightful)

CheddarHead (811916) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537761)

Their choices for stress tests were less than ideal. I'm never going to drop my ipod out of a moving car. What would have been good was some tests that would tend to bend the ipod rather than just impact tests. Instead of just sitting on it, put it in the back pocket of some tight jeans and sit down. For that matter, putting it in the coin pocket of some tight jeans and sitting down seems like it would put some stress on it.

Re:Bad Selection of stress tests (4, Informative)

Queer Boy (451309) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537933)

For that matter, putting it in the coin pocket of some tight jeans

Is that an iPod in your pocket or are you just happy to see me?

As an aside, that's not a coin pocket, Levi Strauss designed it for matches when he created the jean for miners to keep the matches dry.

Re:Bad Selection of stress tests (1)

umrgregg (192838) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537982)

I think that most peoples asses and thighs would give in before bending steel.

Of course, given how fit we all are on slashdot... I could see 'buns of steel' bending the nano.

Ride a motorcycle... (1)

Shivetya (243324) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538042)

Made the mistake of leaving it hooked to my belt. Of course the iPod decided it wanted to fly instead of play music. This was a 15gb model and it exploded... I have 5 pieces instead of 1!
A flash based player would have probably survived better because of the weight.

I have had friends lose their minis from the arm bands while jogging and one did it on bicycle so I have little issue with some of their tests.

Then again my neighbor down the street lawnmowered his, I can't believe Apple didn't account for that possibility!

Funny this should come up... (4, Funny)

Schezar (249629) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537770)

Just the other day, I was planning a mountain biking excursion with my flatemate. He'd never been mountain biking before, and he somehow got it into his head that bringing his Ipod Mini would be a good idea.

I tried to convince him that he would break it via collision with rocks or maybe a tree. He claimed that it was a very durable piece of hardware.

To demonstrate, he dropped it to the carpeted floor and bopped it with his foot...

The display shattered.

I think I laughed for a good half-hour. I felt bad about it, but there's nothing you can do but laugh when something so perfectly comedically timed happens.

It wasn't all bad. He just used this as an excuse to buy the new Nano.

Systm (4, Informative)

AngryScot (795131) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537772)

subSystm [revision3.com] has a video if the inside of the nano for anyone who is interested
subSystm is a short version of the full episode Systm

How to Kill an iPod nano... (4, Informative)

kuwan (443684) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537788)

The article should really be entitled How to Kill an iPod nano as I think that's the real purpose of the article. It must be fun to buy the latest gadget and then find creative ways to destroy it.

Basically the final cause of death for the iPod was to throw it up in the air as high as possible, about 40 feet, and then let it smack down on the concrete. That was the final nail in the coffin after dropping it from 9 ft., dropping it multiple times from a speeding car (10 MPH to 50 MPH) and running over it twice. Pretty durable for a little music player.

Re:How to Kill an iPod nano... (1)

somersault (912633) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537903)

You may just have spoiled the storytelling in the article for a lot of people, unless those people, like me, managed to stop reading your sentence just in time.. the whole point of this article was the buildup to that point. *shrug*

Re:How to Kill an iPod nano... (1)

thc69 (98798) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537906)

I question their subjective guess of the height. 40 feet is pretty goddamn high to throw something.

Re:How to Kill an iPod nano... (4, Insightful)

DingerX (847589) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537940)

Nah, they're playing to a solid-state, no-moving-part gizmo's strengths. Hell, on my cheap mobile phone (Motorola V171) I once was troubleshooting what ended up being poor interface design (if the PIN is entered within the first 30 seconds of the "Enter PIN" message appearing, the thing would accept it, start up, wait 10 seconds, find no network, reboot and ask for the PIN again). I had gotten to the point in the troubleshooting tree that reads:
14) Throw phone out of Fifth-story window

Darn thing didn't even scratch.

I dunno about the nano, but if it's anything like similarly-shaped solid state consumer electronic devices, the weak spot is gonna be sustained torque. Take that thing, and put it in a vice to simulate supertight pants. Apply sustained forces for long periods and see if the case deforms, loosening a critical connection. Put it in one of those paint-shakers for a couple hours to simulate it being worn by a pogo-mad punkrockers.

Blunt trauma kills, but most of my devices die from "a long illness".

Re:How to Kil^H^H^H turn a Nano into a Shuffle... (2, Funny)

Vorondil28 (864578) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538017)

After they ran it over with the car....
 
...the iPod's display was not cracked but was showing some nasty vertical lines. Shockingly, the nano was still playing music and the controls still operated as expected, as we were still able to skip ahead, go back, pause, and play music!

So basically, VW + Nano = Shuffle?

Forget the Nano ! (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537792)

--> we were forced to depart from our planned schedule of destruction and try and run over it with the car. Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering --

Will you please please run a review on my Mother-In-Law ??? Gratitudes in advance.

Is autopsy the right word? (0, Offtopic)

samkass (174571) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537878)

"autopsy the cute little guy"

I believe the term is "vivisect" unless the subject is already dead.

Re:Is autopsy the right word? (2, Insightful)

op12 (830015) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537923)

They did kill it first. Then they autopsied it.

Re:Is autopsy the right word? (3, Informative)

Andy_R (114137) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537994)

Having RTFA, they did actually kill the thing first - It survived being dropped out of a car window at 50mph with nothing but scratches, and was still playing after that, plus being dropped onto concrete from 9ft then being run over by a car. Twice. It finally died when they threw it as high in the air as they could and let it land on concrete.

Nerds (5, Funny)

z0l0pht (835541) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537890)

"For our second test, one of us held on to the iPod, jogged about 20 feet" ...which is the average distance a nerd can jog

This is Steve Jobs' way of saying (0, Offtopic)

furiousx (909573) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537891)

size really doesn't matter. Stuff that in your pipe and smoke it, ladies!

Put it within 50ft of water like my cell phone (2, Insightful)

gelfling (6534) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537912)

It will break with 100% certainty.

Re:Put it within 50ft of water like my cell phone (1)

ofermod (214606) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537963)

You have a cell phone made of water? :O

Where do I get one of those?

Uh.. battery life? (1, Insightful)

happycat64 (558599) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537936)

What good is a portable MP3 player review without a battery life test? I guess these guys were too anxious to destroy the little bugger...

Oh yea.. Join the pyramid - you may get a free nano [freepay.com]

And now say this with a german accent (3, Insightful)

jurt1235 (834677) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537972)

Surely, we thought, it could never withstand the crushing power of German automotive engineering.
And it finally gets funny!
Anyway: Thin objects tend to survive being driven over more than thicker objects. If the object is thin enough, the tire even stays in contact with the road, causing a lot less pressure on the object than you might expect.

Re:And now say this with a german accent (1)

nodhg (646286) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537995)

Hence the Coyote surviving to chase another day.

slashdotted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 8 years ago | (#13537975)

were they running the webserver on another nano?

Why bother with music? (4, Interesting)

Alcimedes (398213) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537976)

Honestly, seeing as these are $100 cheaper than the next flash alternative I could find, I'm tempted to just pick up two as boot devices.

One for my Windows machines at work, one for my Macs.

You'd use up about 1GB for the OS, then have 3+GB free for data extraction. Throw a bunch of diagnostic utilities on there (usually a hundred megs or so at most) and you've got a kick ass clean system to test hardware with when you're troubleshooting. And since its got a batter of its own, it's not reliant on having a powered USB port.

Dead Nano (1)

Anonymouse Cownerd (754174) | more than 8 years ago | (#13537979)

Don't worry... it's covered under AppleCare!

iPod Nano (3, Interesting)

Daveznet (789744) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538008)

I actually have an iPod nano and I will agree, that it really gets scratched up fairly easily, even if you keep it in a sock you still get those little scartches. It really mucks up the nice finish that it originally came with. Ive had my nano for 2 days now and it looks like Ive had it for a couple months.

Re:iPod Nano (2, Funny)

SimilarityEngine (892055) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538037)

even if you keep it in a sock you still get those little scartches

Not to mention a somewhat cheesy music collection.

I liked the review (5, Interesting)

dogfriend (609723) | more than 8 years ago | (#13538050)

My reason for buying a nano was to get a flash based iPod so I could take it skiing. I have taken my 20Gb 3G iPod skiing several times, but I was always concerned about scrambling the hard drive in a badly timed fall. Also, the battery life was not good enough at low temps to last a full day of skiing. The nano should be perfect for skiing, and the Ars Technica review seems to confirm its durability.
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