A few weeks ago, I became the proud owner of an iPod Nano. It now accompanies me everywhere. Whether I’m commuting, coding, or cooking, chances are I’ve got my preciousss in a pocket or otherwise on my person.

The only downside is that the shiny black surface gets scratched insanely easily! When reports first came out about this last fall, I figured it was the whining of some perfectionists. But now that I’ve got one myself, I’ve seen the light (and the scratches). I’ve carried cellphones around for years without this kind of scuffing. I used one phone from June 2003 to December 2005, and that phone looks better than my iPod did after just a week of use! During that week, I either carried it in a soft jacket pocket containing nothing else than the iPod and the headphones, but the surface looks like I’ve been dragging it behind a car.

Fortunately, I’m a pragmatic person, and I don’ t much care how my devices look, as long as they do what they’re supposed to. Unfortunately the scratching was beginning to mar the display as well, so I decided to buy some protection in the form of an iSkin Duo. This is a dual-layer silicone “condom” for the iPod. It comes in a range of color combinations, most of them brutally ugly. I chose the brown/orange combo, which I would classify as only “moderately ugly”. A hard transparent plastic bit covers the screen, while the click-wheel is covered by a single layer of silicone and an optional thin plastic bit to make the wheel a little smoother. All in all, I’m really happy with this: