Monday, June 9, 2008

Which iPod am I?

I'm afraid my 20-gigabyte, circa-2004 iPod is on its last legs. Sometimes it works perfectly, other times it freezes when I try to sync it with iTunes. I often have trouble rousing it from a deep slumber. Luckily, my 2-gigabyte nano, which I use as my portable car stereo system, works fine. But I can only fit a tiny fraction of my music, podcasts and audiobooks on it.

Unfortunately, I'm not a big fan of what Apple's done with the shape of the iPod. When I hold them, the Classic, pictured above, seems a little big, the nano seems a little small. And there's nothing in the 20-gigabyte range anymore, which was the perfect size for me. I never really came close to filling it up.

But you can't cry over last year's models, much less the models from four years ago. So, I went to Apple's "Which iPod Are You?" page, to determine which iPod I am. Let's review my choices:

Shuffle: No screen, largest capacity is 2 gigabytes. Forget it.

Nano: Like I said, I'm not crazy about the flat, square shape, and the nano almost seems too tiny to hold. And it only comes in 4- and 8-gigabyte models. Too small.

Classic: An 8-gigabyte Nano is $199. For another $50, I could get an 80-gigabyte Classic, which is plenty big enough for me. Plus, I'd be able to upload movies and tv shows from iTunes. Again, I'm not crazy about what Apple's done to the shape. It doesn't fit as nicely in my hand. Not that I ever actually hold my iPod in my hand for any length of time. When I'm using it, it's either in the cup holder in my car or the bottle holder on the treadmill.

Touch: This is cool because it has Internet access. The drawback is, you're paying a lot of money for not very much capacity. For $299, you only get 8 gigabytes. The most expensive model, which costs $399, only gives you 32 gigabytes. While it would be nice to have Internet access with me 24/7, I don't really need it. I'd much rather have the extra gigabytes for loading up my music and podcasts. I've used the Touch at my local Apple store, and the keyboard is really small. It took me quite a few tries to type in "CNN." I kept hitting the wrong letters because my fingers are too big or something. It was very frustrating.

iPhone: This does everything the Touch does, plus it has a phone. It would have the advantage of allowing me to combine two gadgets currently taking up space in my handbag. And Apple just announced a 3G model: $199 for 8 gigabytes and $299 for 16 gigabytes. (I'm hoping this announcement means a price cut for the nano and Classic). The 8-gigabyte model would be a good choice if I were looking to replace my nano. But I want to replace my main iPod, the one I take to the gym, where I want to have as many entertainment options with me as possible. And what happens if the pod part breaks in a couple of years but the phone part works fine?

I guess it boils down to how much I'd use the Internet and e-mail features in the Touch or iPhone. Right now, I don't think it's very much. The keyboard is too difficult for heavy-duty 'net surfing. And where am I going where I can't check my e-mail for hours? Nowhere. Having the extra space for my rapidly expanding collection of show tunes is more important. So I guess I'm a Classic. Somehow, I just knew.

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