...was an iPod Nano. I received a free iPod Shuffle from the Ragnar Relay in 2008, and it opened me up to the wonderful world of podcasts. I listen while out on runs and doing work around the house, but can also plug it into my car stereo. The problem with the Shuffle is that there is no screen to pick out what you want to listen to. Since I was primarily listening to podcasts, I had to continually set up playlists and sync the Shuffle to my computer. With 1GB of storage, there wasn't really any room to add in music.
I was originally looking at the Microsoft Zune HD. In addition to being an MP3 player, it also had an FM HD radio. It also had wifi as well as video, but I was really just looking for a music player. My old MP3 player had an FM radio, and I used enough that I was hoping to have it again in my new player. I hesitated to buy the Zune because podcasting is so slick in iTunes, and I read it wasn't quite as easy on the Zune. Before I pulled the trigger, Apple came out with the new iPod Nano, and it included an FM radio as well. Sold!
I have been using the Nano for about a month now, and it is a great improvement over the Shuffle. With 16GB of storage, there is room for not only all the podcasts I listen to, but quite a bit of music as well. I can decide on the fly what podcast I am in the mood for, and I can watch the occasional video podcast as well. And another slick feature of the Nano is that once you listen to a podcast, it will be removed from the Nano the next time you sync with iTunes. This frees up memory for all the new podcast episodes that are queuing up to take their place.
The FM radio also has a Tivo-like feature in that it constantly records the last 15 minutes being broadcast. For those that have become so accustomed to rewinding their tv shows that they try to do the same on the radio, the Nano is your kind of machine. The Nano also shoots video, but this is one of those thrown in features that I may not use anytime soon.
Last fall, there was so much running and housework, that I was running out of things to listen to. I ended up subscribing to more podcasts to get more material. By December, the housework and running came to a stop, and I ended up with a backlog of over 150 podcasts. The road trip last week helped me get back down to double digits, but I may have pare down the list of podcasts I can keep up with.
So, two thumbs up on the iPod Nano