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A Guide to Buying the New Range of Apple iPods

The US giant unveiled the revamped iPod touch and iPod nano in San Francisco, moments after boss Tim Cook showed the iPhone 5 to the world.

But with a range of new features and designs for the iPod selections, they’re just as exciting to think about.

Due out in October, they are set to be a massive hit on December 25 in the Christmas present charts.

So before you choose one, find out all you need to know about them with our guide to buying an iPod from this range of next generation music players from Apple.

Which iPod should I buy?

The three types of iPod in the Apple range remain and each will suit a particular type of person and need.

The three are still called the iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle with the first two having been totally overhauled while the third continues as it is.

Here are the key points about each one.

What’s changed with the iPod touch?

The flagship iPod has been made thinner, lighter and far more like a mini iPhone than ever before. Without the phone part, obviously.

It now uses the fast A5 processor found in the iPhone 4S and has an ultra-thin design and like the iPhone 5, sports a four inch Retina display.

It is the thinnest iPod touch ever, is made out of anodised aluminium, and is just 6mm thick, weighing only 88 grams.

The new chip inside means double the power compared to the fourth generation iPod touch with this fifth generation model also giving seven times faster graphics, making it even better for app-based gaming.

With its higher quality widescreen, it is now even better for viewing movies while on the move and has up to eight hours of battery life for video. But if you’re just using it for music, there’s up to 40 hours of playback.

Other enhancements include a five megapixel iSight camera and an upgrade to 1080p HD video recording rather than 720p. There’s also little tweaks such as Face Detection when taking snaps, an LED flash and improvements for low light conditions plus the panoramic picture function found on the iPhone 5. With this you can take amazing landscape photos simply by moving the iPod touch from left to right. It will even tell you if you’re doing it too fast.

If that wasn’t enough, the iPod touch will come with the new iOS 6 operating software – which itself is due for release on September 19 and can then be downloaded to the previous iPod touch.

There are more than 200 new tweaks and features in iOS 6 and crucially for the iPod touch, it brings Siri voice assistance to the device for the first time. You will also be able to use AirPlay Mirroring with Apple TV to show what’s on the iPod touch screen but on a bigger screen like your HD TV.

And finally, the new iPod touch range comes in five different colours for the first time and they include a colour-co-ordinated wrist strap called the iPod touch loop, which can be attached to the back in order to hold it more safely while taking photos.

It will come in 32GB and 64GB versions for £249 and £329. The existing iPod touch fourth generation will be reduced in price to £169 for the 16GB and £199 for the 32GB.

So what’s new with the iPod nano?

You wouldn’t recognise the iPod nano now compared to its predecessor – and with the iPod touch and iPhone 5 both getting thinner, it’s no surprise the nano has gone the same way.

It too is the thinnest ever at 5mm but now has a 2.5 inch Multi-Touch screen along with buttons on the side for controlling the volume and navigating tracks. While watching video on it may not be as striking as via the Retina display on the iPod touch, the portability of the nano along with the new widescreen makes it great for anyone who is frequently on the move and needs the lightest entertainment device available.

It’s available in seven colours and usefully now has built-in Bluetooth for wireless listening through compatible speakers and headphones.

There’s also 30 hours of battery life and an FM radio that can do live pause and rewind. Due to the fact the previous nano was a big hit with those who used it while running and at the gym, this new iPod nano has support for Nike+ and has a pedometer inside too.

It only comes in one version, a 16GB model costing £129. The colours are pink, yellow, blue, green, purple, silver and slate.

Did nothing happen to the iPod shuffle?

No, the iPod shuffle remains the same 2GB £40 device with 15 hours of audio playback and no screen.

This means all you can do is listen to randomised tracks rather than selecting an album specifically. It will come in the same seven colours as the nano though.

What else is new?

Both the redesigned iPod touch and the iPod nano use Apple’s new Lightening connector on the bottom. This replaces the original 30 pin charging and docking connection and is so much smaller  to ensure such a thin device. It works on digital frequencies and is reversible so you can never plug it in the wrong way.

The downside is current docking stations and other accessories using the 30 pin connection will not work with these two devices unless you buy an extra adaptor to plug in between them.

The other big change is to the headphones included with the iPod nano and iPod touch. After years and years of bundling with Apple devices, the traditional and iconic white earphones have changed. They are still white but now they have a flatter design that hangs just inside the ear. They’ve also been dubbed “EarPods” by Apple.

So which one do I buy?

Well, it should be fairly obvious from their features as to which one is right for you. If not, here’s a quick bit of advice.

If you’re looking for a pure music device to carry around while running or at the gym and all you want is a mixed-up soundtrack to push you along, then the iPod shuffle is your best bet.

If you want a fitness accessory that is just as useful on a journey for watching downloaded video or listening to the radio, then plump for the iPod nano.

But if you’re after a device that does pretty much all the iPhone 5 does without the built-in 3G connection, then the iPod touch is for you. It’s a full-on entertainment powerhouse with access to 700,000 apps including 175,000 games. When connected to the internet using Wi-Fi through your router at home, a bigger network in a hotel, town or city or via a mobile device, it becomes a gateway to the internet and all the content and fun that comes with that.

You will also be able to send an iMessage to other compatible Apple devices and send photos instantly with owners of other iOS 6 devices using the new Shared Photo Stream.

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