And the music plays on (very briefly)…

Today I was feeling all nostalgic up in the hizzy and dug out two old music players, my 7th generation iPod nano and a Sansa Clip. Here they be:

iPod nano 7th generation and Sansa Clip

The Sansa Clip is the older of the two. It was the first MP3 player I got for running and it worked well, being extremely light, compact and having a clip that let you easily attach it to your shorts, shirt or gorgeously braided hair. I believe I got it in 2009, the same year I started jogging (I ended the year by doing my first 10K run and can’t imagine I would have done so without musical accompaniment). The one downside is the storage was a mere 2 GB, so it could only hold a hundred or so songs–enough for a run, but not a whole lot of variety.

The iPod nano I got in 2012 and replaced a 5th generation one. It featured some nice improvements:

  • Lightning port instead of the 30-pin connector
  • Bluetooth, although I never actually used it
  • Super light and thin, yet sturdy in construction
  • 16 GB of storage, which couldn’t hold my entire music collection at the time but got close enough that I felt I wasn’t really missing anything I’d like to listen to while on a run
  • Built-in Nike+ app that no longer needed a foot pod to track steps/runs
  • It looks like an adorable miniature iPhone (running iOS 6, though it didn’t actually run iOS)

I used the nano (which was the last one Apple made, discontinuing it in 2017) until I switched over to using a smartphone to track runs, the first being an iPhone 5c. I quite liked it, though the touchscreen would go wonky when it got wet, making it less than ideal for soggy runs (not to be confused with having the soggy runs–ew). To be fair, the Apple Watch I now use has the same issues in the rain, although you can turn off the touch to prevent phantom taps and such. In the nano’s favor, it could transfer music about a billion times faster from my PC vs. transferring music from my phone to the Watch, a task that takes so long I have given up on doing it.

I kind of miss these dedicated single-purpose devices. Because they only did one thing*, the UI and buttons were very focused on driving that experience. This was especially appreciated for activities like running where you don’t want to fiddle with multi-level menus and excessive clicks.

Both devices still power up, as you can see from my pic. The Sansa Clip battery appears to be almost completely dead, though. It only stays awake for a few moments before warning the battery is low, even after charging. The nano is better, but even it looks like it would only last a fraction of what it normally might. Not surprising for something 10 years old. I wonder if the battery can be replaced? Hmm.

* Technically the iPod nano could do more than play music, as you could listen to podcasts, watch videos or look at photos, I didn’t do any of these things with mine, however.

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