Yesterday, my 60 GB iPod Photo decided that it didn't want to interface with my PC anymore. I plugged in the USB cable and the screen on the iPod changed like it always does to say that it was connecting to the PC. The little USB device manager said that a portable hard drive was connected, but none of the IPod-specific programs would recognize my portable jukebox. iTunes wouldn't work. My Winamp iPod plugin didn't react. Even the factory program that is used to flash new software updates onto the IPod wouldn't recognize the device so that I could try to reset the IPod to factory settings. So, I couldn't update my iPod and I couldn't fix it.
Luckily for me, I have something of a backup. A couple of months ago I purchased an expensive piece of recording equipment on eBay and the seller threw in a free 4 GB IPod Nano to entice potential purchasers. Yesterday, when faced with not having any way to listen to my recorded radio shows in the car, I decided to free the li'l iPod from its shrink-wrapped sarcophagus. I plugged it in and away I went. The computer recognized it and, in no time, I had eight hours worth of programming in my pocket.
Sure, it is perplexing that the Nano had no problems connecting while my ginormous iPod wouldn't connect. (It is even more perplexing that the guy at the "Genius Bar" [blech!] at the Apple Store was able to get it working on one of the in-store Macs.) But that is not why I am writing this.
The reason that I am writing today is that I think we have finally hit the point where the form-factor is smaller than it needs to be. The first thing I noticed after getting this Nano up and running is that it is a burden to carry around, not because it is too big, but because it is too small.