Technology: Know Your iPods

Since Apple phased out the original iPod and the Mini to make room for two new models, you might be wondering which one to buy. A rundown:

iPod: The fifth-generation full-size iPod holds 7,500 songs ($299; the $399 version holds twice as many), is slimmer than its predecessor and shows crisp video on its 2.5-inch screen. Bad news: watching video eats up the battery time. Also, it now costs extra to buy a charger. Who needs one: those with big music collections, people who want a 'Pod as a computer backup and "Desperate Housewives" junkies who like to watch their show on the road.

iPod Nano: This gem is amazingly compact, with a sharp color screen and a 1,000-song memory ($249; $199 for 500 tunes). Shows photos, but no video. Who needs one: those who don't own much music, fashionistas, workout wonks.

iPod Shuffle: Slightly bigger than a pack of gum and sounds great. Only $99 for 125 songs and--best bargain--$129 for twice that amount. But with no screen, you're really not in control of what comes next. Who needs one: the low-wallet set and big-iPod owners who want one for the gym.

Lots of people still love the colorful $249 Minis, discontinued and now instantly retro. New ones can still be had for modest bargains at Mac sellers, and even better bargains at eBay.com or craigslist.com . Or just be around when someone you love upgrades to a 5g or Nano and retires the jalopy.

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