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


  1. Power supply is it I would think (if it in fact comes with a power brick which I suddenly sort of doubt). You Brits use something different from Canada and the US.

    Software is software, you can always wipe it and put it on anew.

    Comment by Electric Monk — 8 September 2005 @ 8:07 pm

  2. The iPod nano is so much sexier than the Ondio. 🙂

    Comment by Thomas — 8 September 2005 @ 11:08 pm

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