Friday, February 09, 2007

I've Finally Joined the iPod Nation

Over the holidays I got a little gift for myself -- a 2nd Gen iPod Nano. I resisted the idea of getting a music player because I just don't listen to that much music. I am more of a talk radio fan. I'm totally hooked on podcasts, and even before there was such a thing as podcasts I would record streaming audio on my PC and download it to my PDA. But I had my PDA that could play music and do all these other things, so why would I want to buy a separate device that only plays music. The trend is to combine the functionality of multiple devices into one. If anything, I should get a new cell phone that takes over the duties of my PDA and plays music. And that is what I looked for, but there just isn't a really good MP3/PDA phone out there that is a reasonable size, at least until the new iPhone comes out (drool).

My PDA is showing its age. It takes forever to sync audio files. Sometimes I will put it in the dock when I get home in the evening and by the next morning it still would not be finished syncing. The controls are also barely usable as they require the use of a stylus. It is certainly not something I can do while driving.

Enter the iPod. I was considering getting an iPod shuffle just because it is so small and cheap, but I finally decided that I wanted a screen to select what tracks to listen to, and that it was worth another sixty dollars, so I went with the 2Gb Nano.

Now what do I think about it after using it for over a month? Awesome. First of all the controls are great. That touch wheel is even better than I though it would be. All the options you might want are in one simple control. I can change tracks, fast forward and change volume, all without even looking at the device. It has plenty of memory for podcasts. People might want more if they want more music selection on their device, but if you are going to listen to something and then delete it, 2Gb is really more than you need.

Did I mention that it syncs really fast ... yessiree! Download the audio files themselves can take a minute or two, but putting them on the iPod literally takes seconds! I boggles my mind how fast it is after enduring the slow downloads to my PDA. The battery life also seems really good

The device is really small. Almost too small. it can easily fit into a pocket, but is slick and it is easy to drop because it is so small. So I tried to find a protective case for it and nothing is really exactly what I want. The silicon skins are great because they protect from abrasion and moisture and also have a nice feel in your hand, but their drawback is the slip cases are hard to get on and off. I also wanted an armband to use the Nano while running and none of the armbands will fit the Nano with the silicon case. I would have to take the device out of the silicone skin to put it in the armband, and that is just too much of a pain. I hope it is just a matter of time before someone comes out with something to solve this problem. In the meantime I'll just have to use my pocket.

On the training front I cannot help but get excited because it has been three days of solid traing. I think I'm finally serious about getting faster. Today was 1800 meters in the pool followed by a 4.8 mile run. My legs even feel sore, and it has only been 12 hours. Awesome.

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