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Do Not Eat The Nano

February 14, 2006


I decided Ebay wasn’t a good first choice to sell my 20-gig iPod. Better I should try to sell it to someone locally to facilitate a quick transaction and save the cost of shipping. So I put the ol’ iPod up on Craig’s List. Forty-five minutes later it was sold. You just can’t beat that.

The whole point of this exercise was to get a new iPod, to kind of trade up. So what did I buy? A 4-gig iPod Nano. Black. I like it because it has a color screen, displays album art, displays photos, is feather-light and is totally skip-proof. Those things are worth taking a hit on the storage capacity.

But there is a problem with the Nano: I want to eat it. Really. It’s like a little chocolate bar. And something about it doesn’t seem quite real. When I turn the thing over in my hands it seems like there should be more to it. That screen should have more driving it. Where’s the weight? And how did they make it so rigid, glossy and seamless? Something about it just doesn’t add up, and the result enthralls me.

You might think I’m a bit jaded because I work in the technology field, but sometimes things still take my breath away. The SD card that fits into my Nikon D50, for example. I fundamentally do not understand how a whole gigabyte of storage could be the size of a postage stamp. The SD card makes me say “wow,” but the iPod Nano is different. Just holding it in my hand fills me with wonder.

Yes, I recognize that there’s something wrong with me. It’s a sickness.

I predict, however, that digital music players of this capacity will never get substantially smaller than this. Technology may allow it, but there are human factors to consider. If you have a thousand songs you need a way to navigate them. You need a screen big enough to see and some buttons big enough to push. Thus the size of the nano may be about it for full-featured portable music players. They will never get any smaller.

Note: If I say something will never happen, it’s almost sure to happen.

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  1. I think they will still get smaller.

    It will just be in the form of a watch. You could have the headphone wire go up your sleeve (or go wireless?). A touch pad for scrolling could be imbedded on the watch band.

    It could be a pen in your shirt pocket and you would only need about two feet of headphone wire. If you can use ten or fifteen tiny calculator buttons on a watch you can throw some buttons on a pen and touch strips could be imbedded on the barrel of the pen.

    It could be a nice cameo or broach for people who like those, or macho gold Bruce Lee medallions for the playas that are stuck in the seventies.

    It could be a device that goes in one ear and has a wire just long enough to hook around over to the other ear

    They can take about any form you want because if the form they take gets to small to work buttons and pads the controls can be put in a cheap and easy to replace keychain fob that can hang next to the one that goes with your car. Hang it on your belt or wear it as a bracelet or you can make the controls so tiny you need other controls to operate the controls, the controls could be put hooked to your inner ear and the wearer could punch themselves in a certain place on their head to stop, fast forward, Rewind, pause or skip (the song, not like a scratched LP because it would use anti skip technology, the ad could be Mike Tyson punching someone in the head till the wearer holds up a hand indicating that the theme song to Rocky skipped a beat) or better yet there could be a motion sensor in the device and you could forgo that whole surgery/Mike Tyson thing.

    Man I sure hope we are not coming to the end of a wonderful period of technological growth for regular people because that would suck

    People like the Neocons and Christian conservatives are just the type of people to do it. In Iraq the only thing artists were allowed to do were pictures of their ‘Fearless Leader’ (Rocky & Bulwinkle fans know what I am saying) and some people in America will not be happy till artists can only create art that glorifies Christ or scenes of children playing or your cat and/or dog. I am not against those expressions of art but they alone can not nurture growth and creativity.

    Sorry about going off topic there Scott, I really should get my own site so I don’t clutter up your place with my own ramblings. I think I will look into that later today.


  2. Might want to check out typepad and wordpress.com!


  3. I want one of the new 30GB ones that plays music and stores photos!


  4. Mine does play music and show photos! The big 30 and 60 gig ones do those things plus video.


  5. Yah, but 4GB for $249 vs 30GB for $299 at the iPod store, the choice seems a bit easier for me. If I could afford one, that is.


  6. Those prices only make sense when you realize that miniaturization is a feature in itself! I specifically want something small and light and that doesn’t operate off a hard drive. I’ve been running with the 20 gig velcroed to my arm for a year. I want light this time!



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