I usually do not think of Apple's tiny music players as also being tools for family history. However, the recently-released iPod nano has changed my mind.
The new iPod nano is similar to the earlier iPods produced by Apple: it is a tiny (3.5 x 1.6 x 0.27 inches) device that easily slips into a shirt pocket with a lot of room left over. It weighs one and a half ounces.
Like other iPod devices, this one includes white "ear buds" that you insert in your ears to listen to up to 1,000 songs that you have stored in its memories. Simply turn it on, insert the ear buds, and listen to all your favorite tunes.
This week Apple introduced its latest model. The iPod nano includes one capability not found in previous iPods: it stores and displays pictures. The pictures can be displayed on the unit's 1.5-inch square color screen. Depending upon the amount of memory in the iPod and the size of each digital photograph, the new nano is capable of storing up to 25,000 photographs.
For the past few years I have carried my entire genealogy database in a shirt-pocket-sized handheld computer. When at a courthouse, genealogy library, or genealogy convention, I can instantly look up any record in my database, including source citations, text notes, and all vital statistics. Now any of us can do the same with old family photographs! Simply copy them from your Windows or Macintosh computer to the iPod nano, and then visit relatives or libraries with all your photographs securely stored in your tiny iPod. Planning a chat with Aunt Mary about bygone days and the early family homestead? Pull out your iPod nano and show the pictures!
I'd suggest that this unit is much handier than a slide projector or carrying 15,000 pictures in photo albums.
Of course, you can also use the same device to store your complete collection of ZZ Top songs.
The iPod nano with one gigabyte of memory sells for $149. That's enough memory to store 15,000 photographs or 240 songs or a mix of both. Two-gigabyte and four-gigabyte models are available at higher prices.
You can learn more at http://www.apple.com/ipodnano. You may especially enjoy the QuickTime television advertisements that are available on the same web page.