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We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano this week. Apple threw the gauntlet down against the Flip in the battle to get stupidly simple video cameras into the hands of consumers. But how do the two compare […]

We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano this week. Apple threw the gauntlet down against the Flip in the battle to get stupidly simple video cameras into the hands of consumers. But how do the two compare when used literally side-by-side? We got our hands on the nano to find out.

First, Liz walks you through the basics of the new nano. In a nutshell: odd camera placements ruin the otherwise svelte package that’s perfect for any pocket.

We got the new nano while at our sold-out GigaOM Mobilize conference earlier this week. I always have my Flip on me, so we pressed the two next to each other and shot some outdoor, indoor, quiet, noisy footage. (Note: the audio from this comparison is only from the nano, not from the Flip, mixing the two was getting too complicated in the editing). Overall — the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way more detail in the image. The Flip microphone was also a little more discerning in our test, able to distinguish our subject’s voice in a crowded room much better than the Nano. (Update: I was remiss in pointing out earlier that I was using a Flip Ultra SD.)

  1. Apple should just buy Pure Digital Technologies, LLC.

    Their product line looks like Apple products and Apple could eventually extend their product line and provide more video options for their user base by integrating it into everything from the Iphone to the nano. Just think about an IPhone with the video quality of the Flip Mino HD.

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  2. Well, that might be a bit more difficult since Cisco bought Pure earlier this year.

    http://newteevee.com/2009/03/19/cisco-to-acquire-flip-maker-pure-digital-for-590m/

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  3. good gracious that was a great side-by-side comparison. I was thinking of getting rid of my ipod 2g nano for this new one because of both the radio and the camera but geesh that camera really is not as good as the flip

    just to confirm – that flip is an older model flip non-hd model?

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    1. @Allen – yes, it is a standard-def one Chris bought on Craigslist a couple years back. A few models out of date but it still does the job just fine.

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      1. So the comparison is 2007 tech vs 2009 tech & the 2007 flip still beats the 2009 nano at video?

        Doesn’t say much for the Nano.

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  4. This is useful – very well done comparison video – but really, did anyone expect anything different? The larger size of the Flip obviously means it’s better at taking in light & distinguishing in variations than the Nano.

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  5. Excellent post. I used the video on my iPod nano review.

    iPod nano: Poor Design and Missing Features http://offonatangent.blogspot.com/2009/09/mobile-post-sent-by-stevegarfield-using.html

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    1. Thanks, Steve! So… is there a problem with the camera being on the bottom? :)

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  6. Apple doesn’t care about comparing with Flip. The know the nano sucks but that’s not important. Apple is throwing video along the low end YouTube specs with the ease of iTunes sync.

    http://pestaola.gr/apple-vs-flip/ since this is going to be all Greek to you, the main point is this: YouTube Help > Getting Started: Optimizing your video uploads

    Resolution: Recommended: 1280 x 720 (16×9 HD) and 640 x 480 (4:3 SD)
    Video Codec: H.264, MPEG-2 or MPEG-4 preferred
    Aurio Codec: MP3 or AAC preferred

    This is what the iPod nano serves.

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    1. If they don’t care about comparing it to the Flip then they shouldn’t have in their keynote. Doing so was a mistake IMO since most hand-held video cameras purchased in the $150 area are HD now.

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      1. IMHO they mentioned it for creating buzz

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  7. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [...]

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  8. I have a Flip Mino but still my old Flip from Feb 07 when it was still not called Flip still works like a charm.

    I am happy to see this comparison, no words can say the story among all the Apple-love-hype.

    Now if you can compare the flip with a Zi8, I can sleep easy.

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  9. Nice job, Chris & Liz! I want more of this. :)

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  10. [...] unintuitive. I guess someone wasn’t quite thinking. Any how does it stack up against Flip? Chris and Liz did a side-by-side comparison of the new iPod Nano with Flip SD and are underwhelmed by the new Nano. You can check out their [...]

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  11. [...] friends at NewTeeVee not only got their hands on the Nano right away, but they shot two videos of the little iPod in action. The first is a good overview of the Nano, and the second is a great side-by-side video [...]

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  12. I think the point that is being missed is almost too obvious – it’s a reduction in cargo. If I don’t have the iPhone, I probably have an iPod. If I have an iPod, why not add FM and camera (and pedometer, for that matter)? That way, if I’m listening to tunes on the go, and some dudes get in a fight up the street, I have my video camera at the ready, to give to the police/evening news/etc.

    I’m not saying the flip is bad, but you need to leave the house with “videographical intent” to pack the thing, and most people tend to leave the house needing some portable music than they do needing a video camera.

    Disclaimer – iPhone 3G and Flip Mino here. In a perfect world, I’d have timed things to get the 3Gs, again to save on what I lug everywhere. And while I’ve mentioned phones, I’d prefer a comparison of the iPod video to other cellphones with video capabilities, maybe weighted for ‘contract price’.

    The real signal here is simply that single function devices are “dead at the consumer level”… Turning this argument on its head a bit – does anyone really think the iPod would’ve had a chance going forward as ONLY a digital music player?

    In the future, I see a lot of people having a single device that is “good enough” at doing just about everything, that they buy/receive free with a service plan… Which still leaves plenty of room for dedicated hobbyist/pro-am and up level devices for people who get the photography/videography bug (one example).

    Finally, as someone who studied film in college, and bought a REALLY nice 2CCD Hi-8 (yeah, I’m old) camera to learn on, I can say unequivocally that I would’ve been better served with the crappiest equipment possible to start with, until I was able to get my shooting-brain levelled up enough to get the most out of a good camera. Maybe I give Apple too much credit here, but it may be a stroke of unintended genius to get video hardware “dumbed down” and so totally accessible/available… And yet so familiar when I think of what they did with iPhoto/iMovie on the software side.

    At any rate, it’ll be interesting to see how this unfolds, both in terms of new iPod sales, as well as in pricing pressures on the Flips of the world.

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    1. You do realize most geeks ignore any analysis that smacks of actually knowing something about business or marketing.

      But, thanks, anyway.

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  13. [...] comparar a espessura e o volume entre os dois aparelhos. Por isso, o pessoal do NewTeeVee resolveu colocar o novo iPod nano lado a lado com um Flip SD, um aparelho totalmente dedicado à tarefa de filmar vídeos. Aliás, como o próprio Steve Jobs [...]

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  14. The camera placement is only a bother if you’re shooting in portrait. In landscape it all works very together for a device so tiny. If you wanted better control over your video, you would have bough a proper video camera, right?

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  15. [...] unintuitive. I guess someone wasn’t quite thinking. Any how does it stack up against Flip? Chris and Liz did a side-by-side comparison of the new iPod Nano with Flip SD and are underwhelmed by the new Nano. You can check out their [...]

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  16. [...] Hands-On- iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [NewTeeVee] crunchgear419:http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/09/13/flip-camcorder-ipod-nano-video-quality-compared/SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "Flip camcorder, iPod nano video quality compared", url: "http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/09/13/flip-camcorder-ipod-nano-video-quality-compared/" }); Meebo.exec("makeAllSharable", { rootElement: "post-112148", minWidth: 10, minHeight: 10, url: "http://www.crunchgear.com/2009/09/13/flip-camcorder-ipod-nano-video-quality-compared/" }); Previous Post [...]

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  17. [...] very unintuitive. I guess someone wasn’t quite thinking. Any how does it stack up against Flip? Chris and Liz did a side-by-side comparisonof the new iPod Nano with Flip SD and are underwhelmed by the new [...]

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  18. Michael A M Davies Sunday, September 13, 2009

    I think Deano’s got it mostly right: you’ve got to think about both function or functions, and what devices someone already owns, or is prepared to carry. I’ll concede challenges with the camera placement, but they’re not enough to drive people to keep buying the Flip unless (a) they don’t care about music playing and (b) don’t already own a 5G nano

    http://blog.endeavourpartners.net/2009/09/13/why-flip-the-flip/

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    1. Michael A M Davies Sunday, September 13, 2009
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  19. [...] compared to the the flip sd. you be the judge [...]

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  20. [...] > Nano 13 09 2009 NewTeeVee has a side-by-side video comparison of new iPod Nano against an old Flip. In short, the Nano muddies the details while the Flip has quite good video quality. I don’t [...]

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  21. [...] reality applications are quickly appearing on the scene. We also took a close look at the new video iPod which could give Cisco’s Flip Camera (which I used to create this video –which Cisco gave to me to [...]

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  22. [...] 9/13/09: Chris Albrecht of NewTeeVee put the new iPod nano through its paces against a Flip Ultra SD. The Flip took better video but [...]

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  23. [...] • Review: Apple’s fifth-generation iPod nano (2009) and Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [...]

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  24. [...] camera will be enough to kill off Pure Digital’s Flip line of video cameras. The editors at NewTeeVee set out to answer that question, and came up with a pretty clear winner: the [...]

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  25. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD | NewTeeVee 〈iPod nano を Flip SD と比較する〉 [...]

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  26. Why would one want to shoot video with it vertical and not horizontal. Seem to me if ya knew how to use a camera the camera placement would not matter.

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  27. [...] which syncs and aggregates social graphs into one location. We also took a close look at the new video iPod which could give Cisco’s Flip Camera (which I used to create this video –which Cisco gave to me to [...]

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  28. [...] more info, check out Newteevee.com which did a side-by-side comparison of the new iPod Nano with Flip SD and are underwhelmed by the new [...]

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  29. [...] Bron: NewTeeVee [...]

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  30. [...] which syncs and aggregates social graphs into one location. We also took a close look at the new video iPod which could give Cisco’s Flip Camera (which I used to create this video –which Cisco gave to me to [...]

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  31. The real points of comparison are relating to the point of capturing video, full stop.
    You wa nt to share it and watch it again and again and discuss it with friends and family. The capture bit is the piece everyone talks about but that is only 55 of the equation.
    The Flip products all have a built in USB arm so you can share with less luggage..like having to carry the connecting lead around.
    The software is on the camera and it is built to make sharing easy. This means anywhere you go you can connect and share on Macs and PC’s.
    If you are going to do TRUE comparisons go the whole 9 yards and you will see the video empowered Nano is just cramming in another feature (video) and not offering the whole service of capture and share that Flip does.

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    1. Michael A M Davies Monday, September 14, 2009

      I beg to differ. Yes, the Flip has a direct USB connector, but when it comes to capture and share, the evidence is overwhelming: the iPhone and its cousins win. Take a look at the numbers on Flickr; although not the most numerous device, the iPhone has the most photos uploaded because the experience – like the 5G Nano – is so easy. Yes, it’s easy on the Flip, but not easier enough to make a big difference.

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  32. [...] what? I think the conventional wisdom is right on this one. Take a look at this clever test from NewTeeVee, which compares the Nano’s new camera with a Flip Utra [...]

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  33. [...] what? I think the conventional wisdom is right on this one. Take a look at this clever test from NewTeeVee, which compares the Nano’s new camera with a Flip Utra SD. The good folks at NewTeeVee [...]

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  34. Whats the point of ipod with camera? How many gadgets people wanna carry along?? hey all phones of this price have videocam and mp3 already, dont they?

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  35. In terms of just video quality, the iPod had better contrast, the picture didn’t wash out as easily, and it had a wider field of view. On the other hand, the color balance was off.

    I had been considering getting a Flip-alike, but got a 3GS this summer and the video it shoots is good enough for me. I also love that I can edit and share the video immediately.

    Also, Flip isn’t the only player in the mini-vid-cam market. They’re quite a few companies competing now. And Flip is the leader in the market. So it’s not like they are some struggling startup that’s the only one making this sort of product. And, as noted, they just got purchased by Cisco.

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  36. [...] NewTeeVee did a video comparison between the new iPod Nano and the Flip Video SD model. While it’s nice to have the camera on the iPod Nano, I was expecting better quality. The video above shows that the Flip is considerably better than the iPod. I would like to see a comparison with the iPod and some cellphones. For the spur of the moment video shoot quality isn’t as important but it would be nice to know if the kids should grab the Nano or the cellphone. [...]

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  37. [...] which syncs and aggregates social graphs into one location. We also took a close look at the new video iPod which could give Cisco’s Flip Camera (which I used to create this video –which Cisco gave to me to [...]

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  38. [...] normal competitive challenge. The first step is to make sure your camera works better than theirs (check). Next, since music players are becoming cameras, you might want to build a camera that can also [...]

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  39. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD We were intrigued and excited about the addition of a video camera to the iPod nano (s AAPL) this week. Apple threw the [...] [...]

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  40. [...] discovered a very cool Nano review and side-by-side Flip comparison on NewTeeVee’s site. There is a second very informative article at [...]

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  41. [...] which syncs and aggregates social graphs into one location. We also took a close look at the new video iPod which could give Cisco’s Flip Camera (which I used to create this video –which Cisco gave to me to [...]

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  42. You forgot one important thing:
    The MP3 Quality of Flip SD is lousy.
    They should build in a better decoder! ;-)

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  43. [...] smarter, with better positions and shinier teeth. In a sense I can’t blame them, since — as shown by Liz and Chris over at NewTeeVee (link) — the Flip actually is a better video camera than [...]

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  44. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD- Eftersom jag skrivit mycket om Flip:en innan – här en jämförelse med iPod Nano, så du slipper göra den själv [...]

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  45. [...] Infos gibt’s hier. Tweet This!Subscribe to the comments for this post?Share this on TechnoratiShare this on [...]

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  46. [...] content by 2013, a jump from 116 million in 2008. Devices like the new iPod Nano with camera are enabling more than passable content creation in a small, cheap package. Places to store that content are needed. But people aren’t [...]

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  47. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD [NewTeeVee] – The new iPod Nano with video-recording offers a direct challenge to the Flip market. Testing a new Nano versus a Flip HD, the results: "Overall — the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way more detail in the image. The Flip microphone was also a little more discerning in our test, able to distinguish our subject’s voice in a crowded room much better than the Nano. [...]

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  48. [...] pool. CDMA telephony arrives in Android 1.6. Matt’s hands-on with the ZuneHD. iPod Nano has a pretty capable camera. Opera 10’s Turbo Mode is made for 3G connections. Tabbed browsing comes to the Opera Mini 5 [...]

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  49. [...] pool. CDMA telephony arrives in Android 1.6. Matt’s hands-on with the ZuneHD. iPod Nano has a pretty capable camera. Opera 10’s Turbo Mode is made for 3G connections. Tabbed browsing comes to the Opera Mini 5 [...]

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  50. [...] smarter, with better positions and shinier teeth. In a sense I can’t blame them, since — as shown by Liz and Chris over at NewTeeVee — the Flip actually is a better video camera than the [...]

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  51. Zi8? Are you serious? The Zi8 is a 1080p camera. If it didn’t win easily then Kodak is in really really bad shape.

    That being said, I agree that video seems like just a throw in feature that Apple put in last minute (although I find that rare from them). I’ve heard the new iTouch has room for a camera from the tear downs people have done but Apple decided not to include a camera… seems like they’re not willing to sully the high end with this camera?

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  52. [...] NewTeeVee has a side-by-side comparison of video shot by the new iPod nano and video from a standard definition Flip camcorder, determining that the Flip offers the better picture quality. [...]

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  53. [...] NewTeeVee has a side-by-side comparison of video shot by the new iPod nano and video from a standard definition Flip camcorder, determining that the Flip offers the better picture quality. [...]

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  54. [...] Video: NewTeeVee [...]

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  55. [...] the reviewer from NewTeeVee found that “…the Flip offered a MUCH better picture both indoor and out, providing way [...]

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  56. This was a great comparision. Loved your work. It helped me make a better decision. Hope to see more in the future.

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  57. [...] normal competitive challenge. The first step is to make sure your camera works better than theirs (check). Next, since music players are becoming cameras, you might want to build a camera that can also [...]

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  58. [...] iPod nano v.s. Flip HD 呢,看来还是 Nikon D700 [...]

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  59. What is the best iTunes alternative application for ipod classic 6G. I tried gtkpod. It worked but only for music and mp3 files. gtkpod doesn’t support uploading and downloading video files like mp4 to ipod classic 6G. I am enjoying here comparative review on ipod neno vs flip SD. So here sharing my experience

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  60. [...] more phones are trying to serve as compact camcorders like the Flip models, as are MP3 players like the iPod nano. But few — if any — offer the same video quality and ease of use that you’ll find [...]

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  61. [...] more phones are trying to serve as compact camcorders like the Flip models, as are MP3 players like the iPod nano. But few — if any — offer the same video quality and ease of use that you’ll find [...]

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  62. [...] Liz Gannes, co editor of New Tee Vee, walks us through the video features of the Nano. [...]

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  63. [...] the Droid, iPhone and iPod Nano. As we learned earlier this year, the video quality of the Nano doesn’t quite match up to the Flip cam yet, but that’s a big yet. Will people want to carry around a dedicated video [...]

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  64. ITHINK THAT THE IPOD NANO IS THE BOMB IREALLY LIKE IT AND IT BEATS THE FLIP SD…..WELL THATS MY OPINION!!!

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    1. ThIs PeRsOn Is RiGhT!!!!ipod IS THE BeZtt!!!

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  65. [...] Liz Gannes, co editor of New Tee Vee, walks us through the video features of the Nano. [...]

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  66. [...] Hands-On: iPod Nano vs. Flip SD by Chris Albrecht, published September 12 [...]

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