The all-knowing Internet tells us:
SanDisk to debut 8GB player for $249
Samsung debuts 8GB music phone
Other than indicating that we writers of the web prefer “debut” to “unveil,” “unleash,” “reveal,” “inaugurate,” “introduce,” “premiere,” or “launch” in our headlines, these stories hint that whenever Apple deigns to debut/unveil/unleash/reveal/inaugurate/introduce/premiere/launch or otherwise strip the wrappings from the next-generation Big Ol’ iPod, a tiny asterisk will also appear next to the iPod nano, transporting us to this smidgen of small print:
* Oh, and these things can now be had in 8GB flavors. Yum!
Because, of course, the stories reveal that SanDisk and Samsung—two of the world’s largest manufacturers of flash memory—are confident enough in their 8GB flash memory modules to begin stamping them out in bulk.
Granted, San and Sam are taking advantage of their employee discounts and flinging the first modules into the devices they make. But keen as one division may be to corner the market on 8-gig music players by withholding these chips from the competition, that keeness is unlikely to influence another division whose mission it is to sell these chips by the metric ton to anyone with cash in hand. Come on, people, holiday bonuses are at stake here!
And huzzah, say I. This puts the nano a couple of steps over the previous top-of-the-line iPod mini, which offered 6GB of storage.
Before I’m serenaded by the So What Chorus, let me state that I understand
64GB flash memory modules can be had for the low, low price of a couple of limbs, so in the little picture, 8GB is hardly the cutting edge of technology. But from the point of view of a regular ol’ iPod owner, a 8GB nano crosses well over an important perceptual line. Much as it did with the 6GB mini, a 8GB nano would make the iPod middle child “more real” to me.
That extra 4GB lifts it up over the 5GB line, putting the 8GB nano three gigs ahead of the original, completely-bulky-by-comparison, 5GB iPod. For those of us who’ve been with the iPod from the beginning, this inspires those “who would have thought then that one day…” moments.
It also means we have to be far less choosy about the data we put on the nano. To this point my 4GB nano has been mostly picture- and podcast-free, as I’ve found that 1,000 music tracks is just about the number of songs I like to carry. Give me twice the amount of storage I currently have on that iPod and I won’t mind hauling around some more obscure items in my music collection as well as the most flattering pictures of wife, kid, and cats along with a complete collection of podcasts.
Bring on the asterisk, Apple. I’m ready to rock.