While the rest of the blogosphere is looking forward at the new iPods launched Wednesday, I want to take a look back and say goodbye to the now-outmoded version of the iPod Nano.
Today's newly launched edition of the Nano is squat and ugly, but now plays video, a feature that will surely delight many. (I have a theory that the new Nano design violates the laws of beauty that are defined by the Golden Ratio, but I have not been able to fully investigate that idea yet.)
However, as thin as it may be, it is larger and clunkier than the original Nano, and this is a real problem. For me, the true revolution of the iPod was that it brought audio into my life in a portable way. The original iPod rocked my world, and as progressively smaller devices were introduced, I became even more attached to the latest version right on down to the Nano. As a busy working mom, my life is all about multitasking. Much of the household work that I have to fit into my schedule each day is mind-numbingly routine, and the ability to play my own personal soundtrack is truly life-enhancing. This harkens back to my days working in a lab where we listened to NPR all day long. Now that I am no longer chained to one spot on a lab bench, I appreciate the ability to take my favorite music and news podcasts along with me. No more "driveway moments"--I can always hit the pause button and resume later.
My adventures with the iPhone this summer have confirmed that as cool as the concept of a video iPod is, the reality is that I almost never have time to sit down and watch a show on the iPhone. The ability to run around with my Nano on a lanyard is much more important to me on a daily basis.
I don't want to be too hard on Apple because it is still one of my favorite companies. But I am left with the sense that this summer--between the iPhone launch and the loss of the original Nano--Apple has veered off its steady path of offering new products that represent an onward-and-upward series of improvements. (Can we all agree to overloook the Newton?)
With Wednesday's launch, I am very glad to see that Apple has released the "iPhone without a phone." I think a wireless-enabled video iPod is a great idea. My bone to pick with Apple is that they released the devices in the wrong order. They would have done their fans a big service by rolling out the iPod Touch first, or at least making it clear in June that this new version was coming along the pipeline. I don't care if my request breaks the rules of product launch protocol: as a customer I am not happy that I was roped into choosing an iPhone without knowing what all my options would be a mere 10 weeks later.
I still have my trusty old Nano, which I will appreciate even more now that it's operating on borrowed time. I'll try to wait out the gap until the next wave of Apple products launches and hope that they'll find a way to cross the Shuffle and new Nano to create something even better.