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Protect your iPod Nano’s screen…

Apparently the new iPod Nano is very susceptible to screen scratches (The Register article, Apple Discussions). My wife and I just bought a white Nano to replace her Mini, so these stories concerned me quite a bit—the last thing you’d want is to have the already-dimunitive screen scratched to the point where text and images are hard to discern. People are talking about returning their devices, class action lawsuits, etc. I really like the Nano, and would rather not return it. And since ours isn’t yet scratched, I thought I’d try some preventative medicine.

Knowing that it will be a while yet before any customized Nano screen protectors and/or cases ship, I took a (very minor) risk and thought I’d try to make my own. I started, of course, with someone else’s handiwork—these Treo screen protectors. These are probably the best screen protectors I’ve seen for the Treo; they’re basically invisible, and they don’t permanently mar your Treo’s screen if/when you remove them. I had a couple left over from my Treo (as the protectors come in a three-pack), so I did a bit of measuring and got out the scissors. A minute or so later, I had my completed Nano screen protector. I peeled off the backing, stuck it to the Nano’s front, and it worked perfectly — it basically disappeared once placed (though I intentionally cut the border slightly larger than the Nano’s screen). It’s hard to take pictures of, but I tried my best; click on either image below for a larger version:

Nano unlitNano lit

As you can see, the protector is nearly invisible (and yes, the perfectionist in me has since gone back and re-centered it horizontally) whether the Nano is on or off. Since I did leave a slight border around the screen area, that edge is visible in the shots above (but it actually looks sort of natural there). Had I chosen to make the cover the exact size of the screen area, it would be even less visible. However, by leaving a border, I’ve made it easier to remove the cover in the future without risk of scratching the screen itself.

One of the reasons I like this screen protector a lot is that it’s easily removable and cleanable. The instructions state that you can lift the cover with a piece of scotch tape, but I’ve had better luck carefully sliding the edge of a sharp knife under the plastic, then prying up the corner. Once removed, you can wash the cover off with water to remove any dust, let it dry, and then put it back in place. I’ve had this one on and off a few times now, and (so far) it hasn’t left any marks on either the Nano’s case or screen.

This may not be a perfect solution, and who knows how well it will hold up over time, but for now, it seems like a reasonable investment to keep the Nano’s screen in scratch-free condition. As always, though, your mileage may vary and proceed at your own risk :).

22 Comments

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  1. These sound a lot like the Boxwave screen protectors. However since the Boxwave’s only come one per box they are a bit cheaper.

    I have had a Boxwave on my Tungsten|C since November 2001 and it is still clean and clear. It could use a wash to get a bit of finer stylus marks off, but that is pretty good considering I have never taken it off since my first installation.

    Obviously it worked out for you having the extra one laying about, but in the future it may make more financial sense to get just one as they last so long.

  2. The Invisible Shields are a pain in the ass to install, but offer wicked protection. We install them all the time here and they work like a charm. If you get one, just make sure you follow the steps verbatim, use a little of your inner perfectionism, and you’ll be fine :-D.

    -KM

  3. One cheap and good way to prevent scratches on your nano is to use transparent self-sealing laminating sheets. You can get these at office supplies stores for less than 10 bucks for at least 10 letter sized sheets (more than you will ever need).
    They’re large so you can trim it after putting them on the nano.

  4. These are great music devices.. but after a couple days they get soo scratched up and ruined… and it really sucks because they’re not the chepeast thing in the world.. The back part that has the mirror gets scratched up the most and it looks terrible. :( i want my moeny back.

  5. #8: In iTunes, go into iPod (in Preferences), then click the Photos tab. Uncheck the “Synchronize photos from…” button, and iTunes will ask you if you’d like to remove the previously-copied photos.

    #9: And hi to you, whomever you might be.

    -rob.

  6. i just got the ipod nano and am interested in getting a silicon tube for it becuase i dont want to stick anything to it.
    1) is it the right choice?
    2)will it scratch, damage , or leave permanent dirt on the ipod?

    thanks…im paranoid because i dont want to ruin this thing

  7. i have checked and unchecked the sync photos, clicked yes on the remove photos, and there is still one picture that wont delete….can i manually get rid of it?

  8. create a new folder with no pictures, sync that folder and it will replace the picture with no pictures, and it will be gone =D

  9. How do you create a new folder with no pictures, sync that folder and it will replace the picture with no pictures

  10. Hi. I recently recieved a new replacement iPod (lcd broke on the other one), but there is dirt between the lcd and the front on the new one. Anyone know if it is possible to fix this?

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