iPod software update tackles performance

An iPod software update released by Apple over the weekend tackles many of the performance issues noted in initial reviews of the new iPod nano and iPod classic.

Apple revamped its iPod line two weeks ago, and the first reviews of both the nano and the iPod classic —including those published at Macworld —cited sluggish performance in those models. Specifically, when moving between screens, the iPods would sometimes hesitate. Additionally, moving in and out of Cover Flow was a less-than-speedy exercise. And once in Cover Flow, album art didn’t draw as quickly as it could have.

The culprit was thought to be the more graphically-intense interface introduced in the latest round of iPod updates. With the classic performing noticeably slower than the nano, it was also thought that the classic’s hard drive might run slower than the nano’s flash-based approach to storage.

Whatever the cause of the problems, the most egregious ones seem to be addressed by iPod Update 1.0.1 for both the nano and the classic. Although the new iPods’ interface remains slower than on the fifth-generation iPods and second-generation nanos, the longest hesitations and delays when attempting to move through menus with the Click Wheel appear to be gone. The updated iPods are still poky when moving to and from Cover Flow, and one must allow for “spin-up” time on the classic when that model’s hard drive has spun down.

To obtain iPod Update 1.0.1, plug your iPod into your computer, select the iPod in iTunes’ Source list, and click Check For Update in the Summary tab.

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