The iPod started off as just a portable music player but it has evolved into a personal media center. As of 2011, Apple manufactures four iPod models, all of which have a completely different design and purpose. IPods also vary in size, weight and features, so choosing the right iPod model is a matter of determining what you intend to do with the device.
The iPod classic is modeled after the original iPod, which was released in 2001. It features a 2.5-inch (diagonally measured) color screen with a click-wheel navigation menu plus audio, video and game compatibility. Games for the iPod classic are specifically designed for this device; iPod touch "app" games are not compatible. As of March 2011, the iPod classic features 160 gigabytes of storage in either silver or black. Extra features on the iPod classic include Genius mixes, notes and calendars.
The iPod nano is the second smallest of the iPod line, with a 1.48-inch by 1.61-inch body. As of March 2011, the iPod nano is in its sixth generation and features a 1.54-inch (diagonally measured) multi-touch screen. It is available with a choice of 8 GB or 16 GB of storage. This tiny music player weighs only three-quarters of an ounce and comes with a clip on the back so that you can attach it anywhere. The iPod nano can play music and display photos but cannot display videos. Extra features on the iPod nano include an FM radio, Genius mixes and fitness features like a pedometer.
The iPod shuffle is the smallest of the iPod family, weighing in at less than one-half of an ounce. It measures 1.14 inches by 1.24 inches and, unlike other iPod models, does not have a screen. As of March 2011, the iPod shuffle is in its fourth generation and is available with 2 GB of storage. It has a four-button menu that is designed to resemble a click-wheel and a battery life of up to 15 hours. Extra features on the iPod shuffle include playlist support and VoiceOver, which tells you the name of a song.
The iPod touch is similar to the iPhone in design and runs the same iOS 4 operating system, which means that apps for the iPhone are also compatible with the iPod touch. The iPod touch has the same measurements as the iPhone at 4.4 inches by 2.3 inches and weighs 3.56 ounces. As of March 2011, the iPod touch is in its fourth generation and comes equipped with a pair of 5-megapixel cameras that can record HD video. The iPod touch also supports FaceTime, Apple's video chat software. It is Web-enabled through a Wi-Fi connection and is loaded with extra features like email, calendars and a game center.
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