This week's announcement of new iPods piqued my interest not only as a lover of shiny, new toys, but also as a runner. The two smallest versions, the new iPod Shuffle and iPod Nano, are even more perfect for running (and other exercises). Here's why:
- The new Nano is tiny. - At just over 1 1/2 inches wide and just under 1 1/2 inches high, the new Nano is considerably smaller than the previous version - it's almost half the size! And it also weighs half as much as the previous version.
- The Shuffle's buttons are back. - The most recent version of the Shuffle was, in my opinion, a runner's nightmare. The design was sleek, but there were no buttons on the device itself, making it incredibly difficult to use with any other headphones other than the ones that came with the device. Now, the same familiar circular set of buttons have made a comeback.
- No more armbands! - Both the Nano and Shuffle come with clips to easily attach it to your shirt or shorts.
- The Nano has fitness tools built right in. - There's a pedometer on the Nano that will keep track of your steps, and it's configured to work with your Nike+, too. Plus, there's an easy-to-use stopwatch function perfect for training.
- Your Shuffle talks to you. - This feature debuted in the last Shuffle generation, but without buttons, I couldn't use it to exercise. If you enable the function, your Shuffle will tell you the title and artist of any song you're listening to and remind you when it's time for a charge.
- Genius Playlists keep you moving. - There's nothing worse than getting stuck in a music rut during a long run, and now Genius Playlists are enabled for the Nano and Shuffle. If you can't create the perfect playlist, let iTunes create one for you based on some of your favorite high-energy music.
Honestly, I'm hoping to pick up one of each - a Nano to use for long runs and bike rides and a Shuffle to stash in my gym bag.
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