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Guide to the iPod range

There are several different models of iPod available, with a variety of features and capacities, so just how do you decide which one would be best to meet your needs? When the first iPod came out it revolutionised the way we listened to music - with a big hard drive you could listen to your all music on the go and easily choose your favourite tracks using the easy to navigate menus. Buying a new iPod can be bewildering as they come in different designs, with different features, different capacities and each one is unique in what it does. In order to help you find the perfect iPod we first need to explain the different models available so you can make an informed decision on your new purchase.

iPod shuffle

The iPod shuffle is the cheapest iPod available making it great for those on a tight budget. It comes with either a 2GB or 4GB hard drive allowing you to store up to 1,000 songs. The iPod shuffle is the smallest MP3 player around. It’s extremely lightweight and comes with a clip, perfect for jogging or using at the gym. A new feature of the iPod shuffle is that by holding down the button on the headphones the iPod speaks to you and tells you what song is currently playing. The downside to the iPod shuffle is that it doesn’t have a screen where you can select a song to play, you press next and it randomly selects a song to play next from your library. Also, unlike its sister products, you cannot watch video or play games on it. If you’re on a strict budget and fancy a new iPod, the shuffle is the best way forward.

iPod Nano

The iPod nano is one of the most popular iPod models. There have been many improved features and new additions since the previous generations. It has a built in camera that allows you to take good quality videos, sound included, and allows you to easily sync them with your computer. It is in the medium price range, and very affordable for what you get. It is very attractive and comes in a wide range of colours for you to choose from. It comes with an 8GB or 16GB hard drive allowing you to store up to 2,500 songs; it is lightweight and fits nicely in your hand. The iPod nano also has a built in radio which uses the headphones as an antenna letting you listen to all popular radio stations. Included is a pedometer to digitally keep track of your fitness. As expected, the sound quality is great but hardcore audiophiles would probably need to purchase better headphones. The iPod nano is popular as it works perfectly and isn’t slow to respond. The only negative about it is that it is prone to scratching, but you can combat this by purchasing a cheap case to protect it.

iPod Classic

Extremely good iPod with a mammoth 160GB hard drive allowing up to 40,000 songs to be stored and listened to - any time any place. This model is great for avid music fans as no other iPod comes close to the storage capabilities of the classic. It works fast and you won’t notice any lagging or sluggishness in this one. It comes with built in games, including a great one that randomly selects music from your library and you have to guess the song from the intro! It comes in black or white colours and has a very good colour screen and it's menus are easy to navigate with the familiar touch wheel. The main reason for choosing this product would be the size of the hard drive and also the fact that it's design is similar to that of the original iPod making it a familiar and well recognised product. A great iPod for those who have huge amounts of music.

iPod Touch

The newest model in the iPod family, the iPod touch is an innovative product which has changed the world of MP3 players by doing much more than just playing music. It has built in Wi-Fi so you can connect to the internet and surf the web, as well as listening to all your favourite tunes and running Apps just like an iPhone. In fact it's pretty much an iPhone without the phone. You can check and send e-mails from the iPod touch and has just recently been updated to iOS 4 – allowing multitasking and folders to clearly organise your storage. If you’re into games the iPod touch is for you, there are thousands of game apps, both free and some that cost between £0.59 and £4.99, which will keep you occupied for hours and potentially rival that of current handheld consoles. The built in accelerometer and gyroscope allow you the control the iPod by simply moving it around or turning it on its side. It comes with either 8GB, 32GB or 64GB capacity. Despite not having as big a hard drive as the iPod classic, it makes up for it with its features and the many many applications you can download. The new user interface for the iPod Touch is one of its biggest selling points.