For the first time in words history, readers have requested a post on a specific topic. As a writer, there are very few compliments more flattering than a request for a commissioned work. Now, I'm not being paid for this, but it's still pretty nice to be wanted. And so, without further ado, the words commentary on the new iPod nano:

Shortly after the iPod mini mysteriously disappeared from the Apple website early yesterday morning, CEO Steve Jobs unveiled the newest addition to the iPod line: the ridiculously tiny and curiously named iPod nano.

Nano is short for nanotechnology, which is the branch of technology that deals with dimensions and tolerances of less than 100 nanometers. One nanometer is equivalent to one billionth of a meter. While the iPod nano is undeniably very small, relating it to a science that deals mostly with the manipulation of individual atoms is more than a little presumptuous. I mean, you can still see it1, after all.

The first thing many have noticed about the nano is the lack of capital letters in the name. Yes, the newest iPod is apparently too diminutive to even associate itself with such enormous, ungainly typeface characters. A capital N would probably add 3 or 10 square feet to the iPod’s dimensions, rendering it completely useless in nearly all circumstances. You could, however, still use it to beat a hamster to death2.

The tag line for the original iPod was “1,000 songs in your pocket”. Thanks to the nano, you can now put 1,000 songs into the coin pocket of your jeans, or alternatively, in that space behind your ear3.

In a conversation with rapper Kanye West and Madonna after the announcement, Jobs admitted that Apple had originally hoped to have the nano’s click wheel installed on the back of the user’s left hand, with the color screen on the back of the right. Road blocks sprang up when very few test subjects could be found who did not object to bleaching their hands according to the iPod’s solid white color standard. Also, the nano’s 30-pin usb interface became somewhat of a minor safety and health hazard4.

[Incidentally, Madonna appeared at the event to coincide with the addition of her music to the iTunes music store. A single tear slid down her cheek when a sixteen-year-old in the back of the room yelled, “No one cares! Bring on Kanye!”]

Comments on photos of the release published on ranged from “yummy” to “tasty”. While the nano is surely thin enough to bite through and looks like it would be especially delicious when covered in peanut butter and chocolate syrup, do not be tempted to eat it. First, it would almost undoubtedly lead to indigestion and ulcers, some test subjects experienced solid-state-memory-related death5. Secondly, it would be quite an expensive snack. At 1.5 ounces, the 4GB nano is priced at $166 per ounce, higher than the price of gold during the fourth quarter of 2004.

When asked how the nano might affect the iPod’s competitors, who are all currently chasing the now defunct mini, Steve Jobs merely chuckled. He denies having thought, “Take that, haters! Who’s your daddy? Say my name, B, SAY MY NAME!”

1 - Until you drop it behind the couch. Then you can just kiss that sucker goodbye.
2 - The incident in question has been deemed self-defense by the 9th Circuit Court of the State of California.
3 - A valuable piece of real estate that normally stores only dust, hair trimmings and tiny gnomes.
4 - While adamantly denying responsibility, Apple hopes to have the test subjects’ lawsuits settled out of court before the year’s end.
5 - Effects were similar to those seen with a placebo.

For more information, visit

For serious reviews, read Playlist or Walter Mossberg.

11 Responses to “on demand”

  1. # Blogger Fuzzball

    This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.  

  2. # Anonymous james

    Probably the most humorous thing I have read on your blog yet. I would just like to say that when I found this new turn of events for the iPod I immediately came to your blog to see your comment, thats why I asked. I love you brother. SAY MY NAME!  

  3. # Blogger r.fuel


  4. # Blogger r.fuel

    By the way, I'm really glad you liked it. This may have been the most stressful post yet. Since you requested it, I really wanted it to be good. You know. For you.  

  5. # Blogger Joe Fuel

    what kind of placebo is that exactly? A freaking log?  

  6. # Anonymous aimee

    quite humerous, if I do say so myself  

  7. # Anonymous james

    Thank you so much.  

  8. # Anonymous Jacques

    I watched the intro to the nano on Quicktime before I read your post, and everything you said about Madonna was true.  

  9. # Anonymous anne arkham

    They need to come out with some sort of Double-Reinforced Hummer H2 Edition iPod for guys like Joe.  

  10. # Anonymous The OneTrue Anonymous

    where is Fuzzball? where did she go? has anyone seen Fuzzball?  

  11. # Blogger r.fuel

    Actually, Joe just needs to come to the realization that he doesn't need to work out quite so hard. I mean, crushing iPods with your bare hands is a little excessive.  

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