iPod Nano recording tests

Our Nano recording tests were a bit surprising at first compared to our Video iPod recording tests. Our initial logic was that since the Nano is a smaller device, has a smaller battery, less disc space, etc., it probably wouldn’t record for as long as the larger Video iPod…Not so! In fact, quite the opposite:

Results with XtremeMac MicroMemo:
Device: 4GB iPod Nano, fully charged battery
Recording Time: approx. 6 hours, 15 minutes (6:15)
File: The Nano seemed to break them up into 2:00:11 (1.19GB) chunks. Don’t worry no audio is lost in between. This resulted in three 1.19GB .wav files, and one additional file at 236MB.

Nano vs. Video iPod for Recording; The Results are in…

The major recording difference between the Nano and the Video iPod seems to be the battery. On the Video iPod, it runs out before the device runs out of recording space on the disk. For the 4GB Nano, it was the disk space that ran out., while the battery still had nearly half of its charge remaining at the point when the disk filled up.

We attributed these differences to the different storage mechanisms that the devices use, the Video iPod uses a traditional/mechanical hard drive with moving parts and spinning cylinders, whereas the Nano uses flash technology for storage, with no moving parts. This clearly has an effect on battery life, and how much audio one can record.

For a academic recording device, I would probably choose the 4GB Nano (or even 8GB) over the Video iPod, based on its small size, it’s ability to record over 6 hours of audio before downloading, and its battery life. I think the iPod Nano would probably be best for recording lectures, seminars, or interviews. Now of course depending on your requirements, the Video iPod also proved to be very useful, and if your interested in producing and/or listening to enhanced podcasts or video podcasts then that would be the way to go.


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