iPod Nano

January 12, 2011

Five years ago I got my first iPod, a 30 GB model, which has lasted me until now. It's primary function is to live in the arm rest of our Honda Insight where it is hooked, via USB cable, to the car's radio. This works fairly well, with my only real objection being the lack of a full set of controls on the car's dash.

Honda did put a wheel on the radio that you can use to emulate the scroll wheel of the iPod. However, each turn of Honda's wheel only advances the list you are scrolling about 3 entries. Plus it has no inertia, and there's no going backward past the start of the alphabet. If you want to get to ZZ Top from Abba, you have to go through every intervening letter of the alphabet first, you can't go backwards and get there.

Unfortunately the iPod's battery has given up the ghost. Even though it charges from the car, all the device will display now is "Low battery."

So I splurged and got a new 8 GB iPod Nano. It's tiny. It's minuscule. It's fantastic.

I suspect that leaving the original iPod in the car, regardless of heat or cold, may have hastened its demise, so I am uncoupling the Nano and sticking it in my pocket when ever I park the car. A minor annoyance but one I hope will extend the life of the thing.

Since it is in the arm rest while I'm using it, I don't get to see or interact with its touch display. However, one aspect of the new iPod is much appreciated - smart playlists now work the way I expected them to 5 years ago. My first iPod wouldn't ever refresh my complicated shuffle playlist. I had to plug it into the computer in order for that to occur. The Nano refreshes as soon as I leave the playlist for another and then come back. Very nice. Overall it is a wonderful little machine.

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Mark H. Nichols

I am a husband, cellist, code prole, nerd, technologist, and all around good guy living and working in fly-over country. You should follow me on Twitter.