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Review: iPod Nano, 2GB

Product Image: iPod Nano, 2 GB

iPod Nano, 2 GB

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.

  • iPod Nano at Apple.com
  • iPod Nano on the 43F Amazon Store
  • Details (via AMZN)
    • Retail price: $199 (currently $194.99 on the 43 Folders Store)
    • Item model number: MA099LL/A
    • Only .27 inches thin and 1.5 ounces, with a bright color display
    • Up to 14 hours of music playback; up to 4 hours of slideshows with music
    • Compatible with Windows 2000 with Service Pack 4 or later, or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 2 or later; Mac OS X v10.3.4 or later
    • 2 GB model stores up to 500 songs; supports AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC, MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple Lossless, WAV, AIFF
    • Comes with earbud headphones, USB cable, dock adapter
Mark Grimes's picture

LOL I made the same...

LOL I made the same observation about the nano form factor wrt ical/todo/voodoopad and is the essential reason I find the nano appealing. On another note, now that the latest Kinkless GTD exports to iCal this sort of accentuates the process, sync, next action list to go.

One feature I would like out of iPod's todo list is a simple check box (which befits a scroll wheel and button nicely) to say this task is completed such that a sync back to the computer would address this in iCal... in turn this would cause Kinkless GTD to line it the action.

I have been disenchanted with carrying around PDA bricks as they just don't go everywhere the nano can without looking like an IT dork with the communicator strapped to the belt loop.

It is clear that Apple could do so much with the iPod in terms of productivity extras if they'd take advantage of the simple input mechanisms they do have for doing things as simple as boolean changes to todo list. Ideally there's no reason they couldn't make further input by revising a due date with scrool wheel across a calendar/time or provide a slider for determining what percent of a project has been completed.

I am strongly attracted to the nano, not so much the video ipod -- true be told watching video requires devoted attention and drags your battery life down to next to nothing.




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