Apple adds video camera to iPod nano

Dan Moren
10 September, 2009
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Apple announced a new iPod nano with a built-in camera on Wednesday at the “Rock and Roll” event in San Francisco. Apple CEO Steve Jobs introduced the new model by citing the popularity of pocket flash memory-based video cameras like those from Flip and Kodak. “This market’s really exploding,” said Jobs, “and we want to get in on this.”

The new iPod nano comes in 8GB and 16GB models, each of which incorporates a video camera and microphone on the back of the unit, as well as a built-in speaker. The video camera shoots H.264 VGA video—640 by 480 pixels—at up to 30 frames per second with AAC audio in either portrait or landscape modes. It also features 15 special effects that can be applied in real time: Sepia, Black and White, X-Ray, Film Grain, Thermal, Security Cam, Cyborg, Bulge, Kaleido, Motion Blur, Mirror, Light Tunnel, Dent, Stretch, and Twirl. The nano can display video or sync it back to your computer, where you can easily upload the clip to YouTube, Facebook, MobileMe, or share it via e-mail. The microphone can also be used with the nano’s voice recording feature.

In addition, the nano now has VoiceOver support, which provides audible navigation cues in 20 languages, and the new Genius Mixes feature, which creates up to 12 endless playlists of music based on your existing library. There’s also a built-in pedometer which can measure your steps and sync the information with the Nike+ service and, in a first for an iPod, an FM radio tuner. The radio tuner includes support for live pause, which allows users to pause a live program and resume it later, and iTunes Tagging, which lets listeners tag radio songs they like and then preview and optionally purchase the song next time they sync with iTunes.

Other than the camera, the physical form factor of the nano remains mostly unchanged, although it now features a larger 2.2-inch, 240-by-376-pixel, display and comes in nine colors: silver, black, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, (PRODUCT) RED and pink. The 8GB model runs for $199 and the 16GB for $249 (a discount from the previous nano, which cost $199). Both new models are shipping today.

The new nano requires Mac OS X 10.4.11 or later as well as iTunes 9. iPhoto 6.0.6 or later is recommended for Tiger users and iPhoto ’09 for Leopard or Snow Leopard users. Windows users need Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later as well as iTunes 9.

Macworld will have more details on the new iPod nano models throughout the day as they become available.

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