The New iPods: Nano or Nono?

Apple unveiled their latest versions of the iPod last week. One of them, the iPod Touch, looks pretty cool. It appears to have some of the same features and controls as the iPhone, and allows users to download new songs from iTunes via wi-fi. It also has technology that senses whether it is being held vertically or horizonally, and it will automatically switch the orientation of pictures as it moves.

I was less impressed with the latest version of the iPod Nano, which now is shorter and wider and plays video. The main problem is that the Nano still only has either 4 GB or 8 GB of memory (and part of that is taken up by the operating system), and since video files are much larger than music files, that's just not enough memory. The main difference between the "classic" iPod and the Nano is that the Nano uses flash memory, and thus has no moving parts, while the "classic" iPod has a hard drive, which does have moving parts and thus is more sensitive to being dropped, etc. Because flash memory is so much more expensive, the costs are roughly the same, but the "classic" iPod has several times more memory at the same price point (and also is bigger and weighs more; life is full of little trade-offs).

I think in this case, Apple has misinterpreted what the Nano customer wants. In my case, I have no desire to watch videos on a dinky little screen. I want a light-weight, durable music player with good battery life, that allows me to carry around a lot of music in my pocket at work. The Nano I bought last year was perfect for that purpose, although I would have been happier with 16 GB rather than 8 GB. The new Nano doesn't offer more memory, but does have a bigger footprint. I don't know how much more it weighs; probably not a whole lot. But there's nothing there that makes me want to get one of the new Nanos. Now, if they'd come out with one like the old ones, but with 16 GB of memory, I'd be more interested.