I have always been a iPod Nano fanatic. Which already makes me a rare breed. The problem with being a rare breed is by definition you are under represented in the marketplace. If you are under represented then your wants don’t tend to be addressed. Your cell phone is not only your phone but your organizer, media player, baby sitter and someday even your toaster oven. This is a long term trend and it has since claimed the iPod classic ( did not rely on flash memory and routinely had space over 100 GB) , the iPod shuffle and now the iPod Nano.
The iPod Nano had me hooked because there was always a case that allowed me to wear it like a necklace or a wristwatch. When I am not working or talking to someone I tend to listen to podcasts in a Don Quixote type effort to finish them all. I could be walking , exercising, sitting down, lying down , cooking , driving, commuting it did not really matter. I listened to my podcasts on my Nano hands free.
Besides the convenience of not having to hold it I enjoyed arranging my podcasts similar to the way a baseball manager creates a batting order. I set the order in the morning after I downloaded them on my PC when I sync my Nano. Since the Ipod Nano allowed you to see the pictures that accompanied your podcasts, I would remove the boring pictures of the hosts and replace them with works of art to make it even more appealing. The works of art that Don Henley favored in 1985.
I am far from an Apple zombie. My laptop and desktop are both Windows based. My smartphone is an Android. I do own though an iPad as well as well as an iPod Touch. I do not salivate every time Apple announces its new line but it doesn’t take Nostradamus to foresee that Nano was eventually going the way of the dodo bird. The Nano did not see any hardware changes since 2012.
The Nano was officially left for dead September 2017 when the only iPod left on the Apple roster was the Touch. I originally thought that the iPod Touch would eventually takeover as my workhorse mp3 player when my Nano would eventually give out. I bought a Bluetooth headset to try to replicate the comfort I have enjoyed all those years with the Nano.
Both the iPod Touch and the cheapie Samsung Bluetooth headset proved to be high maintenance. It was not the fire and forget experience I always enjoyed with the Nano. It was hard enough finding a stall that even had a protective case for the iPod Touch let alone trying to equip it to be hands free like the Nano. The Touch like the headset both had to be charged frequently. At times I had to redo the Bluetooth handshake procedure. You can make a playlist that plays in order in Itunes (during or after sync) but does not play in order when the unit is disconnected. To make matters worse, my current iPod Nano offically became useless less than a week after the 1 year warranty expired. To solve this quandy I had to go back to the future.
I remember my dad 38 years ago being an early adopter with the Sony Walkman. Of course there were tape players similar in size but nothing with that kind of sound. I still remember being amazed listening to Meco’s Empire Strikes Back and how good it sounded. I have no vivid memories when the brand name Walkman made a comeback in the form of an mp3 player almost as small as a lipstick applicator. Not that there is anything wrong with that.
The Sony Walkman NWZ-B183F is a reasonable substitute to an iPod Nano. It is about the same when it comes to comfort and battery life. Since my primary focus is podcasts I have not been too focused on sound quality. I did use the iPod earphones and I gave U2’s Achtung Baby a whirl and I did not notice a drop off in fidelity.
Of course there are a few drawbacks. You can play .wma files but you can not play .aac files. So some of your library will be useless here. There is no video playback or even a picture display. If you listen to podcasts similar to what Nintendo World Report produces, they divide their show to chapters and they have a different illustration for every chapter. A nice touch ( no pun intended) but wasted on the Walkman. There is no memory that bookmarks where you left off in a podcast should you decide to play something else or even add or subtract from your player. There is no scroll bar to move around within a four minute song or a fifty minute podcast. A fast forward or a rewind like the original Walkman will have to do. Without the use of a pencil though.
I could not figure out the custom playlists on the iPod Touch but I did figure out how to make a playlist behave on the Walkman. The problem with the Touch playlist is it grouped the podcast in order of the author and not the batting order I wanted. I still have my 5 year old Sony Walkman and for some reason you could make a playlist using Windows Media Player with that model. Who knows maybe this was pre Windows 10? Note the Walkman does not seem to run on a Mac.
As bonus content and for anybody looking for the answer in Google like I was, I will show how to make a playlist that the Sony Walkman will comply to.
Look for your player in Windows under Devices and Drives.
Create a folder in the device directory and name it what you would have named your playlist.
Using Windows and not any other program drag your podcasts to the new folder. Should you want to order them in anyway you can put a letter and / or numbers. Your player will play the contents of the folder in numerical or alphabetical order based on the file name.
When you turn on your player and it asks for how would you want to sort through your music whether it is artists, albums, genres etc choose “folders” .
Goodbye iPod Nano. You were a casualty of convergence. A specialist that the market saw as redundant. Would have loved to have known you but I was just a kid. Your candle burned out long ago. But your legend never did.
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