Apple´s iPod grows alongside us



The seventh-generation iPod nano is the perfect tonic for runners, commuters and music-loving grown-ups and teenagers

The first iPod revolutionised how we listen to music more than a decade ago, with its ability to fit an entire record collection in the back pocket of our Levi's perfectly suiting the cut of our jib.

IPODNANO

Much has changed since then: bands and haircuts have fallen into fashion and back out again; and for many being down the front at a gig every Friday has given way to being in front of the telly after a week at the coalface.
But amid such seismic ch-ch-ch-ch-changes we have stuck by the iPod for it has consistently helped match our music to our lifestyles with the fit and panache of David Bowie in a Savile Row suit. And the new seventh-generation 16GB nano is looking more dapper than ever, featuring a larger 2.5-inch touchscreen and coming in a slick anodized aluminium finish.

Designed with on-the-go listening in mind, the device is more slender than ever before - measuring a mere 5.4mm thin. Slim enough to fit into the tightest of spaces, it's perfect for the Tube at rush hour, when personal space really is at a premium. With your favourite tunes on you can reminisce about seeing Nirvana at Reading or Radiohead at Glastonbury, briefly forgetting your surroundings on the journey home - until of course you open your eyes and realise your face is nestled in someone's armpit. The iPod's good but not that good. On the other hand, you may prefer a blast of Chris Evans on Radio 2 with your morning armpit - good job there's a radio function too.

But the new nano goes way beyond the morning commute. If you're among those whose perfect autumn night is squeezing into some serious Lycra and hitting the streets for a run in true superhero style you'll love the nano. Those cool kids of Cupertino have got together with the Swoosh crowd to fit the nano with Nike+, which allows you to record the distance of your runs and measure your performance - just the kind of encouragement you'll need if you're heading out for 5k on a wet and windswept Wednesday.

If you're a bit of a show-off you can also bombard your friends with Facebook updates about how you 'just smashed another run with Nike+'. Admittedly, they'll hate you - but take comfort in the fact that hate is underpinned my jealousy and respect. There's also a neat playlist function so you can make sure you're hearing the songs that get you most pumped as your sweat-soaked body limps towards the final furlong. And the touchscreen technology means you can switch tracks or volume without having to attempt spinning the pinwheel with a sweaty finger.

The latest redesign, in colours such as green, blue, slate and purple means you may have to share the nano with your kids though, who'll fill it with bands who gaze out from the front of the NME wearing eyeliner and ridiculously tight jeans (some things never change). You may even find yourself getting into it, but if not there's plenty of space for your own bands with room for 4,000 tracks.

Whether you're thinking of your commute, your jog or your teenager's Christmas box, the nano should fit the bill.