Why there's an iPod nano on my wish list - and not a Zune!

Why there's an iPod nano on my wish list - and not a Zune!

Summary: I feel that I should explain why, after years of resistance, I've finally added an iPod to my Holiday wish list.  Yep, it's true.


I feel that I should explain why, after years of resistance, I've finally added an iPod to my Holiday wish list. 

iPod nano - Black - 8GBYep, it's true.  This year there's an iPod on my wish list.  An 8GB iPod nano to be exact.  Kathie, my wife and business partner, nearly fell off her chair when she saw it listed on my Amazon wish list.  After all, I've said some pretty nasty things about the iPod over the past few years (some of it on this blog) and in previous years I've resisted all attempts to have iPods thrust upon me. 

So what made me change my mind?

Well, partly I blame all you iPod owners who read this blog.  You've softened me up over the past six months.

Partly it's Apple's fault.  The designers and engineers did such a good of updating the nano line - increased capacities, better shell, brighter screen, longer battery life.  Apple has also encouraged and developed a huge ecosystem of third-party add-ons.  You can "pimp up" or "James Bond" an iPod more than any other gadget out there.  That means more gadget lust in the future.  What's not to like about that?

Partly it's Microsoft's fault.  As much as I like the Zune, it has one fatal flaw with it that means it won't work for me - it's not compatible with Audible.com audio books.  That's a serious drawback for me.  While it is possible (but not legal) to convert Audible files to MP3s, I don't want the hassle of it.

Partly it's Creative's fault.  If it had a small player that had 4GB or more of capacity then I'd have probably gone in that direction (after all, my Creative MuVo TX has been a faithful friend for a number of years now, but at 256MB it's just way too small for my needs).

I know that there are some things about the iPod that aren't yet perfect.  There's no built-in FM tuner, no built-in recorder feature, the battery is non-removable (in the general sense of the term - when the time comes to replace it the iPod will pay a visit to my personal operating theater!), and the earphones are, well, not to my liking.

I almost added a SanDisk Sansa e280R Rhapsody to my wish list instead, but the thing that swayed me to the iPod nano was all the add-ons and the fact that I'd heard that the Sansa doesn't like lossless files.

Now I just have to wait and see if I get one on Christmas morning!

Topic: Apple

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  • How should I put this...

    How about...




    Humph...blaming others for your own weaknesses. Suppose that's why you get the 'big bucks' doing what you do, too.

    I'm sure others have far more, ahem, colorful adjectives that would apply...

    As for dissing the Zune: I wouldn't sell that device so short, at least from a music standpoint. While it does introduce yet another ecosystem, reports are that Zune's DRM-specific content may not be so Zune-only as MSFT wanted it to be. Play For Sure devices apparently can and do play Zune DRMed songs. And as for all that third-party crap that you can bling an iPod with; does most of that garbage really make an iPod [i]sound better[/i]? For all of the Zune's deficiencies, it [i]is a great-sounding device[/i] that plays all of my [i]non-DRMed[/i] AAC content, plus the leftover WMAs from my Nomad Zen daze. For a device to listen to, I'd have no problem picking my Zune over my 5.5G iPod unless I needed the extra battery charge the iPod can afford.
    • Selling the Zune short

      "As for dissing the Zune: I wouldn't sell that device so short, at least from a music standpoint."

      Why not? I agree, it's a nice design, but it dumps Plays For Sure users. On top of that, it doesn't support Audible.

      Doesn't work for me ...
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
    • PlaysForSure using Zune DRM....

      That's great and all but it's a reason not to buy a Zune, not a reason to buy one. Any player I've seen will play non-DRM files and if PlaysForSure players can play Zune-DRM files as well as PlaysForSure, why would you every buy a Zune over a PFS device? It doesn't make it more attractive against the iPod and it makes it less attractive against PFS players.
    • There's no reason to . . .

      trick out a Honda Civic, either, but a lot of people do, and they have fun doing it, so don't knock it!!!!
  • Let the Zune DIE!!!

    I say just ignore it and maybe it will go away. If you point and laugh at it, Microsoft keeps coming back with another version. Case in point, Microsoft Front Page.

    I heard they just came out with another HTML Editor for .Net and Visual Studios. This makes what, attempt number 7
  • Extend the Logic

    You've endorsed an integrated solution based on it's merit. You've agreed that
    vertically integrating hardware and software may have some advantages.You've
    also endorsed a vendor that has a consistently high level of customer satisfaction
    a record of secure and stable products, and a history of innovating in the
    consumer space. You've decided to vote with your dollars for a company that first
    brought the personal computer to market and continues to exhibit superb
    engineering and software design talent. Believe me, there is nothing to be
    embarrassed about.

    Try the Nano, give it a chance. If you find it to be a superior product in use, do me
    a favor. Extend your logic into the desktop space and give a Mac a serious try.
    Harry Bardal
    • Desktop or notebook?

      "Extend your logic into the desktop space and give a Mac a serious try."

      I think it'd go for an Apple notebook first ...
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes
      • Either One?Post Macworld

        Wait for Macworld announcements then decide based on your more immediate
        requirements. It's good gear whether it's a laptop or desktop. I tend to think
        portability is a bit overrated in a hyperportable age and usually opt for the better
        price performance of the desktop. Having said that, the macbooks are brilliant. Be
        prepared for a platform conversion regardless. Users are switching left and right
        and they are not going back. Point being, it may eventally be both desktop &

        Leopard will likely be the posterchild for Intel's parallelism. OSX has been running
        for 6 years, free of the consequences of secuity flaws, on half the system
        requirements of Vista. Boot camp/Parallels provides choice where it counts, in the

        There is a penalty you pay for the ease of use and flexibility. You will be forced to
        use arguably the best designed and engineered hardware available.

        Congratulations on this move. You are moving away from hobby kits, beta testing
        and license language. To put a fine point on it, choose Mac, and you will purchase
        your first modern personal computer. In the bargain, you contribute to a
        redistribution and balance in, what is now a top-heavy tech market. You are
        channeling money back into a company that has been the wellspring of the
        personal computing experience, and an incubator for real innovation.
        Harry Bardal
        • The scary thing about you...

          is that you actually believe the stuff you are typing. <shiver>
        • free of the consequences of security flaws?

          Just because Apple patches its security holes without telling you about it doesn't mean they didn't exist. And, of course, the more people you convert, the more enticing it will be for people to exploit them, yada yada yada. I'm not the first to say this to you, I bet. But, seriously, you have to see the irony in convincing the masses to use Macs by explaining that they are not targeted by malicious programmers because the masses don't use them.

          I think your point that a move to a Mac is a move away from hobby kits and beta testing is exactly what keeps me on a PC. I like hobby kits, and I like beta testing. To me, these things mean power and control. Building and modifying to my heart's content, and shaping the tools available as the authors write them. Yay. It's like anything else in life -- if you get into something enough, you start to want to tinker. Cars, boats, computers, cell phones. Not just with the wallpaper, but with the innards.

          P.S. (yes, I'm drooling over TextMate)
          • Free of the Consequences

            Like it or not, that is a very accurate statement. We've heard about flaws within OS
            X, but they are always patched up long before they are exploited.

            Saying that OS X's security record hinges upon it's obscurity might be partially
            right, but it seeks to minimize the OS X's strengths and tries to drag it down to
            the same engineering level of Windows OS's. Window's experienced their security
            plague mainly because of poor engineering and out-and-out bad design. (Active X
            anyone?) Microsoft came out with their OS's thinking they could improve upon the
            stodgy old permission systems used in the industrial strength UNIX systems. They
            wanted to add more 'usability,' and 'ease of use' to their bright new offerings, so
            they let too many api's hook directly into the kernel space. They let their own
            corrupt competitive fervor go to their heads and the started integrating everything
            into the OS, Internet Explorer being the worst! And we haven't even started talking
            about how exponentially kludgy complex their code base has become. It's all one
            big 9 billion line hair-ball.

            Microsoft may have cleaned up much of the worst code, but they'll never clean it
            all up entirely. OS X on the other hand is a clean, new and modern, and built from
            the ground up for secure networking. It's not perfect by any means, but it has
            good engineering and design on its side. It might get exploited from time to time
            in the future, but it will never be as vulnerable as Windows has been over the past
            10 years. It will always be more secure until Microsoft does a ground up re-write
            of Windows.

            I understand your love of hobby kits, but be careful of becoming too hardware
            centric. I think a true understanding of the power and control of computers comes
            from understanding the entire machine and the relationship between the hardware
            and software. Using screw drivers to swap out parts and mod your box has it's
            charm, but you're never really going to truly 'feel it' with regard to computing until
            you also start writing code.
            Len Rooney
        • I doubt that . . .

          There will be much change on the desktop front. Too much price disparity. The reason you're seeing a change in the Notebook arena, is that Apple's prices are in line with the other MAnufacturer's (except the low-end). But when Apple can get their DESKTOP systems down to the same point as Dell, including monitor, keyboard, mouse, etc., THEN you will see some movement towards Apple. Not until then.
    • If an Apple computer was as cost effective as an iPod maybe.

      Its established as a fact that the only way to make an Apple computer even look cost competitive is to compare it to an overpriced PC like a high end Dell thats currently not on sale or has no coupons available. Then an Apple computer dosnt look like such a horrible buy. Do not get me wrong, Apple makes a very nice computer and I know people who have them, love them, and swear by them...but they are still over priced, cant play most games, are software restrictive generally and damn near impossible to upgrade.

      Its one of the most common fallacies there is in the Apple/PC debate that Windows users just hate Apple and refuse to give it a realistic chance. I for one have zero hardware or software based loyalty when it comes to computers, ZERO. The one that can do what I want for the least price and can easily be upgraded is what I purchase. When Apple makes the cheaper computer that plays all my games and has Apple based versions of all the software I like and takes to upgrades at least as easily as a PC then WIndows will be history for me. But there is no real interest at all in an Apple computer for many very good reasons for the average user.
  • Yup

    Can't share, lousy functionality, stuck in proprietary format -- yes, with iPod. All the reasons to stick with iPod.
  • Something else to consider

    This past Black Friday I responded to a generous offer and purchased a 4GB Sandisk Sensa e260 and couldn't be happier. As a long time iPod user it is refreshing to have a large color screen, the ability to load and watch entire movies, an FM radio, the ability to record either voice or FM, and an option to add 2GB for the price of a micro SD card. It's even more refreshing to get this for about half the price of a 4 GB nano.

    While using WPM/Juice for audio and podcasts isn't quite as convenient as iTunes, it's a small price to pay in exchange for the additional features and the small price to pay. I would even consider paying something closer to the normal price for one if these. I may have to, now that my wife has seen mine and the holidays are rolling around.
    • Exactly!

      You are absolutely right! Why doesn't the issue with the battery bother people more? Never mind the outrageous prices. It is a "cult" thing in my opinion.
  • Creative Zen V plus?

    I have to say to some extent I've been in the same boat. Dishing and bruiting over the Ipod success for years while I watch what I believed to be better players come and go on the market tides. I too have softened to the Ipod as of late for its refinements and improvements but mostly it is all the accessories.
    There is more going for the Ipod right now than any other player and it has nothing to do with Apple. From speaker systems, alarm clocks, car stereos, and the like, IPods can be made to do it all. It just all costs a little extra.
    However, I have to take issue with your criticism of Creative. For a self-reported fan of their products, you seem to be a tad ignorant of their newest products. The Creative Zen V offers all that you asked for in a package smaller and less expensive than the Nano. Further if you go with the Creative Zen V Plus you get FM tuning and video support to boot. No one is going to enjoy epic movies on the 1.5 OLED screen, but it?s great for enjoying or even sharing fun clips or shorts on the go.
    Still worried about no accessories? Well I think Creative and even SanDisk is hearing the call. These companies are starting to develop and market their own accessories for their players. Speaker systems, docs, high-end ear phones, cases, remote controls, FM broadcasters, there is plenty of bling to go around.
    Oh and you don?t have to add FM tuners, line-in recording, or Voice recorders, because these players already do those things.
  • Ipod-NO, Zune-NO!

    To inform you of Creative players, they do make a small unit called a Zen with 6GB, and I bought it for my wife for XMAS!
    It is far less expensive and has an FM tuner as well as PDA features.
    check it out on their (Creative) website!
  • iPod vs. Creative etc.

    I refuse to buy a product that needs to be recharged in a special charger, especially if the rechargeable battery cannot easily be replaced after is wears out, and which only plays proprietary formats. If I want music and FM radio on the go, I want an easily replaceable standard battery I can buy anywhere or carry with me.(How do I recharge my iPod on the plane?) Also, after having two different models of iPods in my family and having both of them fail within two months and less than two years respectively, I don't have too much confidence in their quality. Yes, they do look sleek, but they are not the most portable devices either. the 1GB Sandisk I use works fine, and the 1GB Creative Zen Nano Plus is ultra-portable and has a line-in.
    • That's why I liked the Creative MuVo ...

      ... I can pocket a few AAAs and have hours of play. I can see myself investing in some sort of charger that runs on AAs or something for the nano.
      Adrian Kingsley-Hughes