Weblog on the Internet and public policy, journalism, virtual community, and more from David Brake, a Canadian academic, consultant and journalist

Archive forSeptember 8th, 2005 | back to home

8 September 2005
Filed under:Gadgets,Mobile phone and PDA at1:22 pm

Ipod Nano
I was all ready to buy myself an iPod nano when I got up this morning. It seemed like events were conspiring to force me to upgrade (gadget freaks you know what I’m talking about here). For a while now I had been getting a little frustrated with my two year old Ondio audio player, mainly because the batteries are prone to shake loose, its controls are a little fiddly and it can’t remember where the ‘last listened’ point is when I stop it. But also more recently because it can’t sync with iTunes so it’s hard to keep track of what tracks I listen to and the other meta-data iTunes tracks which I pass on to last.fm via Audioscrobbler. Anal retentive, I know.

So I told myself I would treat myself to a new iPod once the latest models arrived – either a lower-priced model (once the new models drove the existing prices down) or a new model (if the new ones offered capabilities I wanted) as long as they cost less than £100 ($US183/$cdn218). And what should happen last night? The batteries stopped connecting again and I went to fiddle with the metal battery connector again to make it fit when “bink!” – the connector snapped off.

One part of me felt “if I can’t fix this it would be such a waste – a perfectly good music player ruined because of a simple bit of metal” and the other part thought “now I definitely can get that new player – hope it comes soon!” (at that point I didn’t know that the nano had launched). Then when I got home I found out about the nano but I also discovered that by using the foil from a chocolate bar I can make the ondio work again. Yay me!

Alas, when I rang up Apple UK, credit card in hand, I found out to my horror that I couldn’t get an academic discount at all! I thought “I’ll be damned if I am going to shell out full price (£139) especially when the US$ price is 199 (£108) – and since I am going to be going to the Association of Internet Researchers Conference in the US anyway in less than a month.

So I’m going to hang on a little longer. Is anyone interested in a second-hand, really quite handy Ondio when I trade it in? Read my blog entry about it and let me know what you’d offer for it. I really quite like it notwithstanding its peccadilloes. In fact it has aged very well and it still has features (FM radio, audio recording through built-in mic) that the new device won’t.

P.S. I don’t suppose there would be any kind of compatibility issue around a US nano? Like dates or currencies being hardwired wrongly into the calendar etc?

Update: Turns out the average MP3 player owner only has 375 songs on their device – the average iPod owner has around 500. It’s for that reason I will just be buying a 2Gb nano – even that will be 16 times larger than my current player and to be honest I didn’t find that storage capacity very constraining…