Video playback looks about as good as it gets on a relatively small 51mm (2-inch) screen, although holding your iPod sideways takes some mental adjustment. A maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels packed into a crisp 204ppi display makes watching a full-length movie on your nano a legitimate (but silly) possibility. Compared with the flat screen of the third-generation, the fourth-generation's rounded glass screen makes it difficult to eliminate glare, but images still look remarkably bright and clear.
Like most portable video players, the iPod has specific file requirements for video playback, so you may have to spend some time converting video on your computer before transferring it. Fortunately, the nano's video formats are widely known by purveyors of Internet video, which often arrives preformatted for the iPod. Films, TV shows and video podcasts downloaded directly from Apple's iTunes store will always co-operate with the fourth-generation model as well as videos formatted as H.264 or MPEG4 video in either MOV, MP4 or M4V file formats with a maximum resolution of 640x480 pixels.
If you weren't keen on last year's nano and are still holding on to a first- or second-generation (or possibly an iPod Mini), there's no better time to bite the bullet and get an upgrade. Given its competitive price, attractive range of colours and improved user interface, Apple's fourth-generation nano is its best yet.
If you own one of last year's models, however, there's little reason to make the jump to the fourth generation. The iPod nano 4G's Genius playlists, shake-to-shuffle feature and improved voice recording compatibility are fun features to have. And if you've filled up your 4GB third-generation nano and want some extra room or if you need the additional accessibility features such as enlarged screen font and text-to-speech, the fourth-generation iPod nano is an ideal choice.
Edited by Marian Smith