Within minutes of learning about the new iPod I was clicking the “Place Order” button on the Apple Store website. Like any gadget freak I’ve been waiting to get my hands on this product for a years.

The 1-click purchase was later supported after I received a bonafide, hands-on report from a friend who works at Apple. He has been playing with the new iPod for about a month and had nothing but good things to say about it.

(Note to Apple’s legal team: the aforementioned friend told me about the new iPod after, long after, Steve told the world)

Excited by this purchase I did what comes naturally for a man who has just purchased a new “tool”: I bragged openly to friends, most of whom view Apple as the anti-computer and really couldn’t care less, but still I had to get my digs in somewhere.

Next I purchased all three episodes of Lost to make sure I had content ready to go, nothing was going to stop me from watching video on an iPod. That is until I read John Gruber’s brief observations about the new product announcements, in which he publishes the fine print about Apple’s newest creations.

At first I was overjoyed when I came upon this:

Battery life of 60 GB iPod: 20 hours of music

Fantastic! I could fly to Singapore, Arab Emirates, or Madagascar on one charge! But wait, 20 hour of music? What about video playback?

However, battery life for video playback on the 30 and 60 GB iPods is a mere “up to two hours” and “up to three hours”, respectively. That sounds sort of skimpy to me, but perhaps it’s just a reinforcement of Jobs’s statement that the iPods are still primarily about playing audio.

Three hours? The sound of Pac Man dying played over and over again in the internal iPod in my head. I was hoping for at least five-to-six hours of play, enough to get me through a flight across the country.

I couldn’t cancel the order fast enough.

The Sony PSP would be a natural option, at least you can change the batteries. Unfortunately the protective high-gloss cover makes a better mirror than a screen and the sound level is pitifully low when in competition against the jet engines a few feet away from 22G. Maybe that’s all been fixed or adjusted in the latest system upgrade but I haven’t heard or read anything as such.

So for now it’s a no-go for iPod upgrade, unless I can make it on Santa’s good list this year…