Will Bueché

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Nano Nano

Posted in Music,Personal by Will on Thursday, October 12th, 2006 ~ 2pm

I’m thinking about getting an iPod Nano. Not so much for headphone use but to be able to connect it to my car’s tape deck via one of those “modern day to antique age” adaptors. But I’ll have to force myself to get the iPod Nano, because although it is available with up to 8GB of storage, another kind of iPod simply named “iPod” (sans modifier) is available with 30GB at the same price. But the iPod Nano is svelte, whereas the iPod is not. I have to force myself to recognize that I wouldn’t carry around the bulky one. I never seem to be on the cutting edge of smallness because I’m always tempted by the greater capacity of larger gadgets.

The 8GB iPod Nano claims to fit 2,000 songs (“Song capacity based on 4 minutes per song and 128-Kbps AAC encoding”, or in other words, closer to 1,600 songs if you figure many songs are longer than 4 minutes). If most albums have a dozen songs, that’d be room for about 130 albums. Some artists who I collect entire repertoires of will take up the bulk of the room. I could do 10 Bowies, 10 Adam Ants, 10 Eurythmics, 10 Sam Phillips, maybe 10 Robyn Hitchcocks if I think I still listen to him. That would leave 80 more album slots open for artists who I own only two or three albums by… Let’s say 3 albums for the sake of argument, meaning about 26 more artists with 3 albums each. Oops I’m forgetting about Paul Westerberg. There’s about 10 albums, taking space even if I don’t play them much.

So, all I can really say is that an 8 GB iPod Nano would have room for about 30 artists total – some with major collections, most with minor. That’s not bad. However it does appear that I’d completely fill this thing from the very start. The 30GB rears it’s massive form again. Must resist. Must stay small! Minor nitpick: the 8GB Nano only comes in black. I’d prefer silver or white.

As much as I like the idea of having a portable collection of tunes, the whole concept of compressed music bothers me, in that the compression results in sound quality that is only meant to be about as good as bad FM radio reception. It does not approach the sound quality of CDs, and it is nowhere near the sound quality available in the next generation of DVDs. I flirted with SACD when SACD came out, and it is true that SACDs sound incredible, and not just because they can be in 5.1 surround sound; the music is just more natural sounding. Technology has advanced enough to give us portable devices, but it has cheated by taking a massive step backwards in terms of sound quality.

I need infinite storage in an infinitely small size.

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