I was in a discount store in Manhattan that sells fake iPod nanos. Two of them were out of the box being charged and I got to fondle both.
Although they looked the same — white plastic face, fake “wheel,” silver metal back, color screen (one had CSTN, one claimed OLED) — the distinguishing feature between them was that one had M instead of MENU at the top of its fake wheel. I guess this was an attempt to avoid any legal action from Apple.
Both had a very cheap feel. The plastic felt fragile and wouldn’t last ten minutes on a child’s toy. The metal back is probably frikkin polished tin. The buttons will probably fail within a month, if they last that long. The CSTN screen had a narrow viewing angle. The alleged OLED screen had an interface with ugly, garish colors — and looked like just a 256 color pallette too (despite its box’s claim the unit could do video!).
The first one had its FM tuner on screen. And I couldn’t find any damned way of exiting it! The tuner interface was very cluttered and I couldn’t make any sense out of it at all. Going to the menu put me in a loop between an unhelpful FM tuner sub-menu (one of its options was “Japan Band”!) and the FM tuner interface. I could not find any way to get to a top-level menu. This was the one that had MENU at the top of its “wheel.”
The second one belonged to a store employee. I had some better luck with that one.
But not much.
I could get to her list of music. That in itself was bad news. Very bad news. The list began with a folder called ROOT. Just seeing that made me nauseous. It’s probably Linux-based. And after using The Biggest Piece Of Shit Known To Man — the Nokia 770 — which is also Linux-based, I want to avoid Linux as much as possible for the rest of my days.
Selecting music was slow. It was press-press-press-press the damned button to move between each item. This device had one gig of memory. Imagine having to press-press-press-press through a gig’s worth of files! It was telling that even though this a massive-memory unit (well, I still think 1GB is a lot!), she had only ten songs on it!
Just like the first fake nano, once I’d gotten into her music, I couldn’t find a way to exit to a top-level menu. Yes, I could have asked her, but after seeing that ROOT folder, all I wanted to do was flee without further details!
These fake nanos are cropping up everywhere. This particular store was selling it for $60. I’ve heard of them going for as low as $40 in some areas. They’re probably about that price direct from China on ebay too.
My advice is to stay the hell away from these things. My brief fondle tells me they’re nothing but utter shit. Anyone who gets one of these as a gift is being told the person giving it hates you. Anyone buying one for himself is a fool who’d be doing the world a service by sending me that money instead!
There is no getting around the current price of entry for a good and pleasing MP3 player. See my previous post, How To Buy An MP3 Player.
Update: Great article about these fake nanos with pictures (yep, that’s what I saw!) is here.