Apple's iPod nano 5G gets a camera

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The ipod nano's new video camera

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Apple added a number of updates to various iPod models at its Rock and Roll event. The iPod that sported the most obvious changes was undoubtedly the nano, which now includes a built-in video camera, a much anticipated FM radio, and built-in pedometer. The new 5G nano also features a slightly (0.2-inches) larger 2.2-inch display, and built-in microphone and speaker, which means watching those newly recorded videos need not be a solitary affair.

The camera is located on the lower left back corner of the nano and captures H.264, 640 x 480 VGA resolution video at up to 30 frames per second (fps) with AAC audio. It offers 15 real-time video special effects including Sepia, Black and White, X-Ray, Film Grain, Thermal, Security Cam, Cyborg, Bulge, Kaleido, Motion Blur, Mirror, Light Tunnel, Dent, Stretch, and Twirl. It doesn’t take still shots though with Steve Jobs saying the thin CMOS sensor squeezed into the nano isn't up to the quality standards needed for stills.

The long-time-coming FM radio found in the new nano offers live pause, which holds a buffer of up to 15 minutes, and iTunes Tagging, which lets listeners tag a song they like and save it for purchasing on the iTunes store next time the iPod is synced. Currently, iTunes Tagging is only available in the U.S. on radio stations that support the feature, but Apple is providing an incentive for radio stations to implement it by providing a commission on every purchased song tagged from a station’s broadcast.

Apple has also made use of the built-in accelerometer to let the 5G nano double as a pedometer and link with Nike’s online exercise tracking services, while the inclusion of a built-in mic allows people to use the device as a voice recorder. Apple has also carried over the VoiceOver feature found on the Shuffle that tells users the song name and artist without having to consult the screen.

The new iPod nano hasn’t had a bump in storage capacity, still coming in 8GB and 16GB flavors, both of which should provide up to 24 hours of music playback or five hours of video playback on a single charge. Its glass and polished aluminum casing is available in silver, black, purple, blue, green, orange, yellow, red and pink.

The iPod nano 5G is available from the Apple Store now with the 8GB model priced at USD$149 and the 16GB model going for USD$179.

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