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MP3 Players

Which new iPod should I buy?

I have no idea which of the new iPods are right for me. I like the look of all of them but they're all so different inside. What type of people are the new models aimed at?

I really like all of the new iPod models and definitely want to upgrade to one of them. Thing is, I don't know which one! Back in the day there was only really the choice of one; now there are four!

Although I can afford to buy the most expensive model, the most expensive now isn't necessarily the right one for me. Can you tell me what type of person each model is aimed at?

Amy

The entry-level iPod is of course the shuffle. The £49 shuffle is ideal for joggers and those who frequent the gym. It's small, lightweight and inexpensive. It's also a good choice for use as a second MP3 player. Maybe you have a hard disk-based player for the commute, but fancy something unnoticeable when running. Maybe you're off to a festival and don't want to have your 80GB iPod stolen. The shuffle's ideal. With 1GB of memory though, it's not going to stash many tunes -- 200 realistically. Consider this if you can frequently update your shuffle's library.

The iPod nano is the best selling player in the world. It's affordable, convenient, packed with features and capacious enough for most people. You should consider the £99-£129 nano if you buy most of your music from iTunes or if your library is primarily stocked with MP3s (as opposed to lossless audio). Because it also plays video it's ideal for the occasional video podcast, music video or TV show. Just remember that with only up to 8GB of space, videos will fill up the memory quickly.

If you've got a massive collection of music, heaps of TV show videos and thousands of photographs, take a look at the iPod classic. This comes with up to 160GB of storage, meaning that even if your entire collection is in beautiful lossless quality and DVD-resolution video, you're still bound to have space still floating around. This £159-£229 player is also a great choice to use with a good hi-fi, since lossless audio is, for most people, as good through a nice system as a CD, plus you'll be able to output your video library to any TV (with an optional cable).

Apple's most innovative model is the £199-£269 iPod touch. With just one button and a massive touch-screen display, this player is geared up perfectly for video -- except it maxes out at an irritatingly small 16GB. Full-length DVD-quality movies will look fantastic on the touch, but its limited memory will constrain you to just a few full movies, even if your music collection is small. The person most likely to use the touch to its full potential is a frequent flier, a commuter with a long journey to and from work, or an iTunes Store fan who loves their music videos.

A bonus with the touch is its built-in Web browser. Businessmen in and out of airports will be able to kill time as they wait, students can buy from iTunes while sat in a coffee house and commuters won't feel restricted with 16GB of storage, mainly since it's easy to use smart playlists in iTunes to fill up the touch with new content every night.

Bear in mind as well that the iPhone is out in the UK in November and comes with all the functionality of the iPod touch -- plus a phone, of course.