I was quite surprised to find the new iPod nano 3G along with the rename iPod classic was available in Australia 2 days after Steve Jobs announced it (it was Wednesday in San Fran, but Thursday in Oz). I through pure power of will alone resisted the temptation to buy it then and there, my facade broke by Tuesday and like the iPod whore I am I ordered one online and it arrived yesterday, which was Friday.
First off it looks great and I have shown it to a good few cynical engineers that are known of their skepticism for geeky gadgets, but even they were impressed.
However I have already ran into two problems. Firstly after I loaded up my default playlists and then disconnected from the computer the nano would freeze. It appeared to be some thing to do with the new cover flow application trying to arrange the images. After a few resets of the nano it started to play ball. However any time I disconnected from the PC it would start freezing again. Then this morning when I connected to iTunes it informed me that there is a 1.01 firmware upgrade (bare in mind this device was only release 9 days earlier ) after I updated the firmware the problem seems to have gone away. I have done a search on a 1.01 firmware for the apple nano 3G and can’t get any details on what was fixed so I can only assume that the cover flow issue I was seeing.
Problem number 2, I hate iTunes, I’ve run it on I don’t know how many machines and I find it clunky, buggy and I have successfully crashed many times. I especially don’t like the way it doesn’t dynamically track a folder that has been added to a library. It should be removing files that are no longer present and adding new files (which is usually just me moving files around as I catalog them) which it doesn’t. Winamp I find is a lot better for this and I have been using it for my iPod video for a while. However when I plugged in the new nano, winamp recognised the nano alright, and I copied over playlists. However when I ejected the nano and started trying to browse the music, nothing. I found that strange and didn’t think too much about it.
Then I find the internet alive this morning with the linux community finding the same problem, “iPods reengineered to block synching with Linux“, I’m guessing this is the same problem I’m seeing in winamp. This is a surprise. After Steve Jobs writes his magical letter coming out against DRM to find that they are employing DRM tatic to stop 3rd party apps from downloading to new iPods. Hopefully people can find a way to circumvent this. Apparently the DRM tactic uses SHA-1 hashes to maintain it’s database tables, SHA-1 has been proven to be breakable and maybe that can be exploited (though currently to achieve a successful collision is considered within reach of massive distributed Internet search).
With all that said, I can’t wait to see the iPod touch once it comes out at the end of the month.