Right now, I own four iPods. This is curious, since I don’t actually like listening to music on the move. But then, I didn’t intend to own any of these things. Here’s the litany:

iPod 1: 15Gb ‘3G’ iPod
The ugly one with the separate buttons. Bought in lieu of rent for a chum, only he didn’t like it so I ended up buying him a telly instead. This beasty has actually been quite useful, in that it’s full of music and when plugged into a Tivoli PAL it’s been a perfectly good portable sound system when I’m working away from home (London, Dublin). The battery has always lied about its charge, but since I only ever use it hooked up to the speaker that doesn’t matter.

iPod 2: 2Gb ‘1G’ nano
The svelte black plastic one. At one point Apple were flogging these off as refurbs for a crazy low price. I bought one for Flossie and mis-clicked; couldn’t be bothered to send one back when two turned up. When I was commuting to Dublin this was set up to hold podcasts (mostly Melvyn Bragg, geek that I am), and I loved it… but I haven’t used it since. I’d intended it to be plugged into a car stereo, but then I gave up the car.

iPod 3: Touch
Bought very quickly last week, while trying to debug podcast video formats. It’s a brilliant piece of kit – amazing screen, and Mobile Safari is just lovely – but it skips too many of the useful bits of an iPhone for me to really love it. Worst of all, it exhibits different video format quirks to the iPod Classic and (3G) Nano, so it’s more-or-less useless to me for its intended purpose.

iPod 4: ‘2G’ nano
The tall silver metal one, not the new squat video one. I’ve just found out that I’ve won one of these for filling in a science careers project brand consultation exercise. The poor project manager has been trying to get rid of them for months but so many people have failed to respond to her emails, she’s worked her way down the list to… er… me. By complete coincidence, we met each other at the ASE conference last week. So it’s completely legit, even if it feels dodgy as heck. “Give it to the next person on the list,” I suggested. “Oh, please take it,” the poor lass groaned, “You’re the first person in ages to respond.”

So: four iPods, none of which are used for listening to music on the move, and I can’t use any of them to test… er… iPod video. Next Wednesday I have an appointment with the local Apple Store to try to debug my compression settings. I’ll be taking the Touch, and most likely returning it for a video-capable 3G nano.

Except… Tuesday is Jobs’ keynote at MacWorld, so…

I’m going to end up with five iPods, aren’t I?



  1. As the Touch is a different size from the video Nano, you’ll want to keep both for testing.
    Also, the video Nano is such a nice little artefact. I use mine to listen to Melvyn Bragg and Radiolab while cycling, but I have some videos on it to demo to people how watchable it is…

  2. The screens are different sizes, but in principle they both play H.264 at up to 640×480 pixels and similar bitrates – so my goal is to offer people just two ‘high quality’ video formats. WMV9 for Windows and H.264 for everything else, both at 640×480 and around 150Kb/sec. Neither of those will play on a PSP or mobile phone, so maybe maybe I’ll have to add another delivery format, but if I can keep it to a choice of two there’s a chance my users might pick one rather than none.
    Point taken about having all platforms for testing, though. I only wish we had a sane budget, heh – at the moment, this is all out of my pocked, hence the desire to have as few unwanted iPods as possible! Also because the video nano I found squat enough that I kept dropping it in the shop. Oops.

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