I have collected lots of iPods, particularly the nano model. The first one I bought about the day it came (1st gen, black plastic) out to replace a crappy other brand MP3 player. Then when I decided the battery life wasn’t holding up anymore, I bought a 3rd gen (squarish metal model). That fell out of my pocket somewhere and was lost, so I bought a 5th gen replacement (back to tall format, metal case). In each case, I used it to listen to music while walking, traveling, working, whatever.
Recently I had reason to use the 1st gen model as a podcast/audiobook player for the car. The battery is now down to about 30 minutes, which was ok with a DC adapter in the car, but started to suck when I tried listening to podcasts in the gym, too. The bigger problem is that it doesn’t necessarily play all the latest podcast and audible formats. And the hold button once got stuck in the on position, which was rather inconvenient. Clearly, the 1st gen had reached retirement age.
I really liked having having a separate player for the spoken word stuff, just for the convenience of never navigating menus to switch between books and music. iPod navigation is easy, but it’s not free. One button play/pause to get what I want is perfect. I saw the new iPod nano touch on sale on woot and got one.
The touch model being the newest, it gets music duty. The 5th gen is now the word player. As far as the new one goes, I was at first a little suspicious of such a small touch interface, but it works. The hold button is now somewhat implicit in the screen on/off button and there’s hardware volume buttons. There’s also now an FM radio that displays song titles (excellent!) and lets you tag them, presumably so you can buy them later. Otherwise, it’s an iPod. Final call: wouldn’t have upgraded from the 5th gen, but it’s a good gadget.