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Review: iPod Nano, 2GB
Merlin Mann | Oct 19 2005
While I don’t really “move” much except to place orders for food delivery or to occasionally evacuate my bladder, my girlfriend runs a lot and for long distances. She loves to have music with her but hates lugging the deck-of-cards-sized 40 Gig iPod I bought a couple years ago (for, I don’t know—like, $1800 or something). She has an iPod Shuffle, but it recently started acting really squirrely plus it never had quite the capacity she’d have liked. But, friends, the iPod Nano I got her for her birthday has been an especially huge hit. Big time. And now I want one, too.
You already know all the high points: it’s thinner (in depth) than a #2 pencil, it weighs less than 2 ounces, it’s got a beautiful screen and purportedly long battery life, plus it looks like something from the same future that was supposed to bring us moving sidewalks and rocket cars (whatever happened to them, by the way?).
A lot for a little
What I missed was that it also has built-in photo capabilities that let it autosync with iPhoto. So, I can create a custom album of Madeline’s friends and family back in RI that auto-syncs with the Nano. So she’s not only got the entire catalog of The Hold Steady, Ted Leo, and Sloan, but she can now quickly show her co-workers what her parents, six siblings, and endless nieces and nephews look like. Reminds me favorably of the accordion-style pack of photos my Dad used to keep in his ginormous wallet.
Complement to the HPDA
So why is this on 43 Folders? I’ll tell you why. One entirely reasonable criticism of the Hipster PDA (particularly from the singularly humorless flying monkeys who love PocketPCs) is that you can’t look up your contacts and your calendar and all your little notes and whatnot with an index card. Fair enough. But, with something like the Nano, I think the long-available iPod file sync capability finally comes in the right form-factor and at the right price. Your Address Book, iCal, VooDooPad exports—you name it—are all ready to go every time you unplug and hit the road.
You get an assload of music, your favorite photos, all your important data, plus you can presumably throw on things like your keychain, work files, etc. That’s a hell of a package. And while it doesn’t play Galaga or let you run your PowerPoint deck, it will keep you from looking like Chewbacca, plus it’s just fun and stylish as all hell.
Stylish little unit
I suppose a lot of this goes the same, in spades, for the Video iPod as well, which I’m dying to get my hands on but have never used (and thus feel, um, unqualified to review). Plus it's still a little pricey for the piecemeal wages of an electronic hobo.
But for someone who likes to exercise, loves music, and hates toting a fanny pack just to corral all her electronic crap, the $200 Nano is right in the pocket.
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