I just bought Ana an iPod Mini for her birthday. It's a fantastic device, just fantastic. Truly lustworthy. Everything about it is just *nice*. The box it came in is nice. The link with my Windows PC is nice. The wires are nice. The touchpad is flaky, but nice. The "telephone plastic" that Apple uses is nice. The menu and integration with iTunes is just fantastic. For a techno-nerd like me, fondling this thing's design is like a shot of heroin - it's so amazing, but lasts such a short time. I may need to score me a iBook to get rid of these shakes. ;-)
You can see from the pic above, it's actually quite a bit smaller and thinner than my Nokia 6600 and it even is smaller than the SonyEricsson T616 as well. This isn't that surprising as the iPod has so much less functionality. But for Ana it's perfect - this present is obstensibly for her weekend jogs when she has a chance to go without Alex and just general relaxing. I bought the $30 arm strap and everything.
This will definitely be the last dedicated portable music device I ever buy. From the frist Sony Walkman to my DiscMan to the iPod, it's been an amazing ride, but it's coming to an end. Just like in a few years, almost no one will be buying digital cameras, instead opting for the 2+ megapixel camera in their phone instead, most everyone will be listening to high-quality music on their phones as well. If it wasn't a present and if it wasn't Apple, I probably wouldn't have even bought this one. Such is the power of those industrial design gods of Cupertino.
Nokia (and the other handset manufacturers) really should have realized the power of stereo playback long before now. My 6600 doesn't even have stereo sound (though the N-Gage and upcoming 6620 do) and MMC cards are woefully behind in capacity than SD cards. That misstep opened up the market for Apple to come in and fill it with something like the iPod Mini. Think about it, if all these Camera phones from last Christmas had 500MB of music playback capability, would there be a market for the Mini? Maybe, but I doubt it. As it is, the phone manufacturers are a year behind in this area now (though they're waaay ahead on mobile video... look at those screens above as proof).
Anyways, my jet-lagged wife is now lying in bed listening to random songs from her four Enya CDs and completely relaxing. I'm sure she'll only last for another 5 minutes or so, but such a nice 5 minutes it is...