Good and bad of Apple / Nike Nano add-on

I finally succumbed: today I bought an iPod. I had some bad experiences a year or so back with an iPod Shuffle, and I never was a fan of iTunes. But the release of the Nike+ sport kit changed my mind in an instant. I’m a keen runner, and I’ve been considering treating myself to some kind of electronic assistance. Full-on GPS was just too expensive – and this came along at just the right time.

The Nike+ add-on comes in two bits: a ‘chip’ you attach to your running shoe (with bloggers finding innovative ways to attach it to non-official kit); and a receiver which slots into the bottom of an iPod Nano. Then, when you run, the iPod tracks the time you run, the distance you cover, and spits the data out to a website application at the end. And while you’re running, you can get audio updates over the top of your music. All for a ludicrously cheap £19 if you’ve already got the iPod Nano.

It’s a brilliant way to extend the reach of the iPod product: and I’m a case in point. I’ve never felt the need for an iPod – other cheaper MP3 players have been fine, thank you. But this was definitely a have-to-have-it purchase. And it’s fascinating to see a consumer product linking into both cutting-edge hardware and a social networking web app.

Sadly though, my distrust of Apple continues. They failed the sticker test. And I still don’t understand why I have to download a 56MB software updater which: a) takes up a slot in my Start menu; and b) includes updates for every flavour of iPod in circulation, not just the model I have. Actually Apple, why are you selling me a product – from your own official store – which needs an update on day one?

But I’m dead excited at taking my new toy out for a run. Just as soon as the temperature drops below, let’s say, 30 degrees C.

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