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I am an iPod junkie. I admit it. The latest addition takes me to eight, of varying size and vintages that go back to the original iPod mini and 512k shuffle. They all serve different purposes.

iPod mini to 5th gen nano


I have three shuffles that are used strictly for audiobooks and podcasts. The mini is permanently docked to speakers on my night stand and contains the soothing stuff to put me to sleep at night. The 1st and 3rd generation nanos contain a bit of everything from pop and jazz to Metropolitan Opera recordings, and as I have lanyard-style earbuds for them, I'm usually listening to one or the other when I'm out shopping and running around.


That brings us to my 1st generation touch and the new 5th generation nano. The touch is my mini computer and is always within reach. As long as I can find a wifi connection, it gives me full access to my email and web browsing. It's also my Kindle substitute. I chew through 5 or 6 books per week, and the Kindle reader app let's me drag an entire library with me. Now, I've played with both the original and the current Kindles, and I still prefer reading on my iPod touch. And while I admit that I'm tempted to claim Amazon as a dependent on my tax return, they do offer a fair number of free books. I check their best seller lists every couple of days and usually manage to spot a new freebie.


My latest acquisition is the new 5th generation nano. I love it! Apple has included a lot with this new version. The video camera is surprisingly good. Voice recording is also nice and clean. The built-in speaker isn't much, but in a pinch will do. It works with everything except the FM radio. I'm guessing that the cable from earbuds or headphones acts as your antenna. The screen, in addition to being bigger than the last generation, is also sharper and brighter. I've been having fun with one of the little "extras" Apple added — Voice Over. Voice Over can speak menus, and additionally tell you the name of the current song and artist. It's passable but stilted in English, but the Italian voice (for all of my Italian music, no Soprano jokes, please!) is more pleasant and the pronunciation is smoother and better.

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