iEcosystem iPod nano

Customize Backlight settings on your iPod nano: On, Off, or Seconds timer

Your iPod nano automatically switches on its display (LCD screen) when you activate the Click Wheel; how long the screen stays turned on (lit) depends on your current Backlight settings. You can customize your nano to leave the screen's back light off all the time, leave it always turned on, or make it automatically turn off after a few seconds (the default behavior). In this tutorial, we will show you how to access and change your nano's Backlight settings, with recommendations for each option. (Since Backlight duration has a major impact on battery life, recommended usage will vary based on situation.)

Change the Backlight settings of your iPod nano

To access your iPod nano' Backlight settings:

  • Click on the menu button (top of Click Wheel) until you reach your home screen ("main menu")
  • Then, scroll all the way down and click on Settings
  • Scroll to and select the "General" options
  • Select Backlight to access all available choices (discussed below)

The 7 Backlight settings

The 5th generation iPod nano offers 7 different Backlight configurations, including 5 timers. On one hand, you have convenience by leaving the screen's back light turned on while you are using your iPod, but on the other hand, battery life is a concern. Here are the best scenarios, trying to reconcile convenience and extended battery life. The Current Backlight settings:

  • Off — With this setting, your iPod nano's displays stays turned off all the time: you can still use your iPod, but no back light means that you will have to have plenty of daylight or light in the room to be able to see the screen.
  • 2 Seconds — Your nano's screen will remain backlit for 2 seconds following the last time you scrolled the Click Wheel or clicked on one of its buttons; in our experience, this is too short to go through albums or audiobooks or searching for content (trying to read anything, really). If you use your nano without looking at the screen (like carrying it inside your pocket), you can use either the 2 Seconds setting, or Off - which will really save battery life.
  • 5 Seconds — The best setting, in our experience: it is long enough to quickly read whatever you need on screen, having now and then to scroll to keep the screen from turning off, but short enough to avoid draining your battery.
  • 10 Seconds — If you prefer or need a bit more time to read on screen, leaving the display backlit for 10 seconds fits the same types of cases as the 5 Seconds scenario.
  • 20 Seconds,
  • 30 Seconds — The 20 and 30 seconds settings are more than enough; you may think of useful scenarios for such a long (and short at the same time) interval, we generally did not find these long timers too useful.
  • Always On — This will kill your iPod nano's battery life (and dramatically increase the frequency with which you will need to recharge it) if you are "on the road", or disconnected from a power source. But if your iPod is connected to your Mac/PC or laptop (not using battery life), leaving the LCD screen always turned on is really nice: no need take your hands away from the keyboard to see whose song is currently playing, look at the time, etc.

There you have it! The pros and cons for each of your iPod nano's Backlight settings. To get even more mileage out of your battery life, make sure to read our tutorial on changing the screen brightness on your iPod nano.

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