Wednesday, January 04, 2012

iPod nano 6th Gen

Wow. Has it really been over two years since I posted here? I suppose it’s time for an update. In fact it’s quite likely that updates will be forthcoming somewhat more regularly, since I plan to blog more frequently this year as part of my “Resolution 2012” project. So watch this space (if you dare). 

Back in the early days of this blog, I talked about my purchase of a red iPod nano 2nd Gen. At the time, I thought it was one of the most lickable pieces of technology I’d ever owned. Apple is so good at making the old hardware look dated, but looking back objectively, the 1st Gen nano, especially the black model, was even more beautiful—classic in its beauty. I bought one for my wife back in the day, and while it was soon relegated to a drawer, I’ve always admired its sheer elegance. Five years ago, iPods were still somewhat of a luxury item, and that 1st Gen nano had luxury written all over it.

So I was a little sad when Apple recalled those 1st Gen nanos because of a battery issue. But I dutifully sent it back, hoping that Apple would fix it and send back the same model, but not really thinking they would. As expected, when the package came in the mail a few weeks ago, my wife’s beautiful 1st Gen nano was nowhere to be found. In its place was a new 6th Gen iPod—beautiful in its way, but not at all the same thing.

But hey, it’s smaller than the old iPod, and it has four times the capacity and a nifty touch screen. Cool as that is, though, I wasn’t sure what to do with it. Both my wife and I have iPod touches now, mine a 64 GB model, so space was not an issue. I certainly didn’t want to relegate a brand new iPod to the junk drawer, so I decided on a whim to try it out as my workout iPod. 

I’ve recently taken to listening to podcasts again while running or walking, so I just synced it to my podcast folder in iTunes and off I went. Almost immediately I noticed some advantages of the nano over the iTouch. First, you can set the sleep/wake button to act as a play/pause button when you double-click it (the double-click can also be set to skip to the next track if you so prefer). Just that one thing—a hardware play/pause button—makes it a better workout device than the Touch. Also, because it’s wearable, I’ve taken to using it around the house (that hardware play/pause button still comes in handy), where I was previously using bluetooth headphones with my Touch. The hardware volume buttons on the nano are also nicer, it seems to me, than the ones on the Touch. The nano’s weight is also an advantage. While the Touch isn’t exactly heavy, if you happen to drop it while wearing wired earbuds, you’ll experience—as I have done on several occasions—the nasty sensation of having them ripped out of your ears as the whole unit falls to the floor. With the nano, if for any reason it slips out of your hands, it’s light enough that it simply dangles there from your ears. No harm done. 

So I must say that though I’m a little sad that my wife’s old nano is gone, I’m quite pleased that we have been upgraded after four years. This new nano has actually become my iPod of choice for around the house. The only drawback is that it doesn’t have bluetooth, but I’d be willing to make a small wager that that feature will be part of the 7th Gen nano. 

Good on you Apple. Even though the nano is probably not a huge money earner for the company compared with the iPhone or even the iPod Touch, it’s still a great little device. If you’re looking for a workout iPod, I highly recommend it.

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