Soundtrack on the run

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 04 June, 2006, 12:00am

People have been taking portable music players on runs since they were invented, but Apple and Nike are now taking the concept of working out to your favourite tunes to the next level.

Now, you can turn your iPod nano into a training companion that not only plays back music, but tells you the distance you've covered and how much further you have to go.

You also have the option of selecting that one song, dubbed 'PowerSong', that will motivate you in the last stretch of the course.

The system is called the Nike+iPod Sport Kit and consists of a sensor that you place under the insole of your left shoe and a wireless receiver that you plug into your iPod nano.

More importantly, the set up is designed to hook up to iTunes on your computer and through that, to the internet and a service on Nike's website.

Once set up, the sensitive accelerometer in the shoe senses the activity you've completed, and tells the iPod nano, which then uses voice prompts to tell you the information, all the while pumping out tunes to fuel your workout or run.

The system will only work on Nike shoes, and only new Nike+ models (first model available in July). It allows you to download music repertoires from Nike's site, called Sport iMixs, which are 'professionally' selected soundtracks for working out.

You'll also find out the favourite workout music of famous athletes, including seven-time Tour de France winner, Lance Armstrong, and Brazilian football superstar, Ronaldo.

Starting mid-July, the software that accompanies the Sport Kit will also be part of a new Nike+ Experience service, which allows you to log your runs in an online database managed by Nike.

This means you'll be able to set goals to track your improvement, or compare your performance against others in the database.

The Nike+iPod Sport Kit retails for US$29 in the United States with no release date set for Asian markets.

PROS: provides music to match your workout, internet integration, performance tracking

CONS: limited to Nike+ shoes and iPod nano, focuses primarily on running