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iPod mini: How do I Love Thee? Let me count the ways...

John Federico

I picked up my Christmas present yesterday night: a silver iPod mini.

Wow.

What a major upgrade from my 2G iPod. Some people may find my comment about an "upgrade" to be a bit innaccurate. I mean, my 2G iPod has a 10 GB drive while the mini has only a 4 GB drive.

It's not about the drive.

See, I use my iPod not only for music and audiobooks, but I also sync my calendar, tasks, contacts and reference notes with it. It's basically my PDA.

Yes, I know I can't enter data like a Palm or Windoze CE device, but I realized years ago that I don't really need to enter data into my PDA - recording my notes on paper, then updating my calendar when I get back to my desk has become a habit and works just fine.

With that in mind, the iPod mini form factor just rocks. The form factor, coupled with the most recent version of the iPod software makes the use of this device a pleasure.

I'll sell my 2G iPod on eBay with some accessories and basically the purchase of the mini will be a wash.

When making a purchase like this, you have to take into account more than just the cost of the iPod itself. First, there's the Applecare extended warranty for $59.95 - a must.

Now, I also need a protective case (or two) and a car charger.

For my everyday case, I don't want anything bulky - I want to be able to continue to put the mini in my pocket. The iSkin seems to fit this need well.

For mountain biking. I'll need something more protective, with a clip. The Marware SportSuit mini will work great - I have the original SportSuit for my 2G.

The car charger will definitely be an upgrade. The TuneBase not only charges the device, but also acts like a mount for use while driving. It's much better than sticking it in my cup holder.

And since I can actually now take advantage of the convenience, I'm going to get the new Griffin SmartDeck which will allow me to control the operation of the iPod through the tape deck controls, which are on the steering wheel of my Passat.

There's nothing like a new gadget to excite the senses...