New iPod nano: Double-Speed Playback Isn’t 2x

10/06/2010

I was walking today, and I wanted to listen to a podcast. So I touched my iPod nano screen a bit, and started listening to one. The voices sounded a bit fast, and I looked and saw that I had accidentally touched the playback speed button; it’s visible on the second screen when you’re listening to podcasts or audiobooks, at the right-center of the screen:

nano-playback-speed.png

The thing is, touching this button is supposed to toggle among three settings: normal, 1/2x and 2x. Those last two are supposed to be half- and double-speed. But what happened on my nano was different: the speed (I timed it) was actually just an increase of 25%. Interestingly, this is exactly the increase that I have long wanted on an iPod: previous models used a 50% increase for the faster speed.

But this is the incorrect speed. The 2x icon shows what the correct speed should be, and the user’s manual for the nano confirms this. So there’s a bug on the iPod nano, causing the speed to be less than it should, but ending up with what Apple should have used. Because it’s nearly impossible to listen to anything at double speed. I’ve tried, out of curiosity, but I can’t keep up. I did used to listen to some audiobooks, that were read very slowly, at the increased speed of 50% faster than normal. (I checked on my new iPod touch; the 2x button does indeed play at double speed.)

So, for now, I’ll enjoy listening at this slightly-increased speed which is ideal. Until the next iPod nano software update…