MacMost Now 774: iPod Nano 7th Generation

Take a look at the new iPod nano. The latest iPod allows you to play music, video, view your photos, listen to and watch podcasts, listen to the radio and track your steps. You can also store files on it and use it for audio recording with the right earphones. But it is not an iOS device and has a limited feature set compared to the iPod touch.
Video Transcript / Captions
Closed captioning for this video is available on YouTube: MacMost Now 774: iPod Nano 7th Generation.

Hi, this is Gary with MacMost Now. On today's episode let's take a look at the new iPod Nano.

So this is the seventh generation of the iPod Nano and of course before that was the iPod Mini and all the different generations of the iPod and now the iPod Classic. This new one is a little bit bigger than the sixth generation one which a lot of people wore as a watch. It is still pretty light and it is even thinner than that one. It doesn't have a clip on the back. It has a lot of the same basic functionality.

It has a touch screen and you can control it with that. In addition it has a Home button on the bottom just like the iPod Touch does. But it doesn't run iOS. I doesn't have any apps you can install. It doesn't work at all like an iPhone or an iPod Touch.

Of course it is much much smaller and lighter than any iOS device. It actually is really tiny. But the good news is that in this new generation you can once again watch videos again on the Nano as you could on the fifth or fourth generation Nanos.

You've got a wake and sleep button at the top. You've got a Home button here and then at the bottom you have your connectors for your headphones and also for the lightening dock connector.

On the side you've got volume controls and they are kind of like the ones you find on more advances ear pods. There is the up and down volume but you can also press the center there to pause your music.

So here is the basic interface. You see six icons on the screen. You can swipe to go to the next screen to see more icons. You can tap on any to go into that part of the iPod. So let's go in here and then you can go into say Artists and keep digging down until you are finally playing a song. Then you have your controls at the bottom, volume, pause and such. Tap in the middle there and you get your shuffle controls and repeat controls. Things like that. Then you can swipe in the other direction to go back as many steps as you want all the way back to the home screen.

Now there are also other things you can go into. Say videos. I have one video here and you can tap it to go in and play it. Video always plays in horizontal mode. Turn it back to the vertical mode for controls.

You can of course sync music, podcasts, photos all sorts of things. Here I have synced the MacMost podcasts so I can go and watch that on here as well. At any time you can always tap the Home button to go back to the Home screen.

Then you've got photos. Go into there and you can sync photos and photo albums. When you are in photos you can actually flip the screen either way. So if I flip it this way I can now review it in the horizontal mode. Of course since I am shooting straight down it is kind of hard to show you. But either way you do it you can definitely zoom in using the familiar pinch controls.

Now in addition to the basic iPod playback stuff you've of course got Fitness. Under Fitness you've got your Nike Plus stuff and you also can use the iPod as a pedometer. So you can have it just basically guess the number of steps you are taking as you jog or walk.

There is also a radio built in, a FM radio. You can go between stations and you can also have it pause music playback and it will work kind of like a DVR where you can pause and then fast forward and get through commercials even or rewind by thirty seconds. It will also tell you the name of the station and the songs at the top like you might get in your car. In addition to that you can also set it to know some stations so let's see if I can bring that control up here. Here you go. I've got the local stations programmed in and you can actually program these and reprogram these so you can basically have all the local stations in there and jump between them rather than searching through the dial.

Like the previous Nano you have clock functionality so you can bring that up. It is a little too big to be worn as a watch but you have that anyway.

Under settings you have various different settings. So you've got the general settings where you can set things like brightness and the wallpaper. And notice that the wallpaper here it's all variations of red because you've got the red iPod Nano. You can adjust date and time. Language and Accessibility options as well. You can also have settings for music and the stuff we are used to seeing in iPod and iPod apps for video. For radio you can disable live pause if you want. Settings for photos.

It is also useful to know that under the music app you can go under the Playlists and you can create a new playlist. Swipe down and I can add and from there I would go in and select the song to start with, hit the plus and continue to add more songs. Swipe back, go to other albums, add a song and when I'm done I hit done and I can see the playlist there and then it will be listed as new playlist 1 and that will sync back to my Mac in iTunes later one.

You can also create Genius playlists. So you go into Playlist and from there you tap Genius and its going to ask you to choose a song. So you pick one song out of your collection to base the playlist on. Once you do it, it will think for a little bit. So there you can see what it selected and I can swipe down here and save it as a regular playlist or I can hit refresh as well.

Now the Nano comes with a set of ear pods that do not have a microphone on them. But if you plug in ones that do, you can buy them independently or may have them from your iPhone, here is what you get. You get a new app that appears called Voice Memos and you can actually record voice memos as you have on previous versions of the Nano that supported this. There is no microphone built into the actual body it has to be on the ear pods.

One interesting thing that you can do with the iPod Nano that you can't do with say the iPod Touch is that you can use it as kind of a USB drive. You can plug this into your Mac and have it hooked up with the lightening connector to USB and actually will mount and allow you to put files on here and take files off of it.

So I can't emphasize enough how this is NOT an iPod Touch. You cannot install apps on it and you can't play games on it. There are no games at all. You can't actually change the functionality from what is on there. It is basically for loading up music, for listening to the radio, using the fitness controls on here and playing back video. You have to sync it with a computer in order to get stuff on here. There is no way to contact the internet or network or do anything wirelessly with this. It is quite a shock if you are used to using iPhone and iPod Touch now to go to a device like this where you basically sync it to your computer and then all the music that is on it stays on it and nothing changes until you sync again and change things. It is of course how iPods worked since the beginning but now in the era of iOS devices where you are used to actually communicating wirelessly with everything and adding songs and streaming music from the internet it is important to remember that this device isn't like that at all and it is just a standard iPod.

So this is a good device if you want something that is ultra light and can carry your music. Maybe you can load some videos on here. Maybe if you don't use an iPhone or if you use an iPhone but you don't want to take it with you when you do physical activity like jogging or at the gym or something like that, then this might be a nice little companion. Or for a kid who is too young to have one of the iOS devices this is a nice one to have some music and maybe have some videos that they can watch on car trips and plane trips and such.

So this is actually a pretty cool piece of technology except for the price. It is a $149. For a $199 you can get an iPod Touch and that connects to WiFi. You can add apps to it, you can make it do different things. You can send email. You can surf the web. All the things that you cannot do on here. It is only a $50 difference which seems a little too close for me. If this was a sub $100 device I think it would be a lot more useful.

So I hope you found this look at the new iPod Nano useful. Until next time this is Gary with MacMost Now.

Comments: 33 Responses to “MacMost Now 774: iPod Nano 7th Generation”

    Richard F. Randolph
    7 years ago


    Nice review of what this model nano does. I too will have a red one as it is on order. The reason I ordered this is to replace my old nano. I will keep it but this nano has FM radio and will keep track of my steps while walking. It is simple to use and load and that is what I wanted. I don’t need another device with WiFi and the like as I already have an iPhone and iPad. I just need something small and lightweight that I can plug into my car to listen to Audio Books and go walking with me. I am listening more and more to FM so having a FM radio is a real plus. As for price, I would have preferred a price tag of $129. You mentioned $99 and I knew it was not going to be that. Thanks for all your work.

    Randy Miller
    7 years ago

    I use and older generation iPod. Does this one have a sleep timer? I find that feature quite useful for listening to audiobook at bedtime. I set the sleep timer for 30 minutes or 60 minutes and it shuts off without playing all night.

      7 years ago

      Yes, there is a sleep timer. You go into the Clock app and set it there.

    6 years ago

    Is this more for an adult rather than a 12yr old my daughter just wants to be able to search for artist or song title?

      6 years ago

      It can be used by adults and kids. Whether it is the best device for your daughter depends on what she wants and what other products you are comparing it to.

    Jim Belknap
    6 years ago

    My Zen X-Fi quit after 5 years of operation. Fortunately, I had all of my music (mostly classical) stored on a hard drive. For various reasons I replaced it with an Apple Nano 7th instead of a Zen X-Fi3. The music is easy to install after you figure it out by asking others on the internet. Beyond buying music from iTunes, Apple offers little or no assistance in their manual.
    My problem is this: As an example, for Beethoven’s 9 Symphonies, they are all listed as Beethoven’s Sym…
    I realize that I can scroll to the right and then scroll a movement to find out which symphony, but this a bit cumbersome.
    Is there a way to change the text so that the symphony number comes first? I have tried changing this in the mp3 files, but the Nano will only show the album nomenclature.
    I have about 50 symphonies, and 30 piano concertoes, and this will be a problem with all of them unless I can change the text.
    Any help will be appreciated. Jim Belknap

      6 years ago

      Music files have all sorts of metadata in them: song name, artist, composer, etc. iTunes lets you get to that info. That is what you need to change if you want to see something different. See for some basics, although the topic isn’t exactly what you are looking for.

        Jim Belknap
        6 years ago

        Thank you Gary. This gives me something to work with, and I think it will solve my problem. Much appreciated, Jim Belknap

      Peter from Oz
      6 years ago

      You change the track info in iTunes. Highlighligh the track(s) you want to change and right click. Then left click ‘get info’ A dialogue box then appears whic allows you to alter the id3 tags of the song. Thus with a movement of a ymphony you might type in ‘I. Allegro in the track name box. In the album name box you might put ‘3rd symphony’In the artist box you might put the name of the composer rather than the name of the performer as this will make things easier to find.

    6 years ago

    I am getting the iPod nano 7th generation for Christmas, but I was wondering if there are any iPod docks that are compatible with it. I have an old iHome that fits my old (and almost dead) iPod Classic. I am guessing it is too thin (the iPod nano), but my dock is also almost dead because the buttons barely work so I am looking for a new one. Any ideas?

      6 years ago

      “Good” is subjective. There are more and more new docks appearing every day. Of course you can use many of the old ones by just getting the adapter. Just search your favorite online store for “iphone lightning” to see what they have.

    6 years ago

    Do you need WIFI to listen to the fm radio on this nano?

      6 years ago

      No. It uses a real FM receiver inside the iPod.

        6 years ago

        could you disable the FM function?

          6 years ago

          I don’t think so. Just don’t use it.

            6 years ago

            Sorry to say my aunt bought the Nano/7 for my 8 year old and i wish it didn’t have the FM on it. Are you sure there is no way that i can disable the FM?

              6 years ago

              None. They only work with headphones plugged in, but that doesn’t help since you need headphones.

    6 years ago

    How can i record audio to it, and playback it? Do i have to buy a different earpod to do it?
    can you record independent voicerecords os just useless memos which is required to link to a existing audio track?

      6 years ago

      You need a set of earpods that include a microphone. You can record voice memos which are separate files. You sync them with iTunes and then you can do what you want with them.

    6 years ago

    I got the gen 7 for Christmas and have been using it(not my fave perfered the 6) but I noticed that when it reached the end of my playlist it just stopped. Is there no way to put repeat on? I have looked all over and can’t seem to find this function. Nothing worse then going for a run and your music just suddenly stops on you.

    Also, are there any cases out there that would allow me to clip the ipod to my clothing? (I so miss my gen 6:( )

      6 years ago

      There should be a way to turn on looping — usually associated with the shuffle switch, but separate. Look for it — I can’t since I gave up mine.
      As for cases, I’d give it some time. The shape is a new one and it takes time for the makers of cases to design and then manufacture them. Search online for ones now, but check back in a month or two to see what is new.

    6 years ago

    I just got an Ipod nano 7th gen, for Christmas. I like it a lot. The only problem is that I had asked for a 4th generation, to fit into my old ihome, with the 30-pin dock. The 7th gen has this new lightning dock, and I have read that the adapter between the two doesn’t work for audio. Is there anyway I could connect this 7th gen to my ihome? if not through the lightning port, perhaps through the headphone jack?

      6 years ago

      Does the iHome have a headphone jack input? If so, then try it. Otherwise, where did you read that the adapter doesn’t work with audio? I’d check with iHome first to see what they say.

        6 years ago

        I just bought the adapter. It will charge the ipod, but it won’t let you play music, which is causing me to reconsider getting the new ipod. Should it be playing music, or is something of mine broken?

          6 years ago

          You mean that with the adapter it won’t play music through some sort of dock system you own? Have you tried contacting the maker of the dock. They would be the ones to ask.

    6 years ago

    Please how do I delete audiobooks from my iPod nano once I have listened to them. Thanks.

      6 years ago

      Sync with your Mac or PC again, and change your audiobooks settings to not include that book.

    6 years ago

    Are there really no games or apps for the ipod nano 7th generation?

      6 years ago

      Right. The Nano is a simple appliance. You can’t add apps to it of any kind.

    6 years ago

    Can it take video and pictures?

    6 years ago

    Is there any way to set one of your photos as the wallpaper?

Comments Closed.