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Nike plans iPod nano-compatible heart rate monitor

In addition to a built-in pedometer, the new fifth-generation iPod nano will be compatible with an upcoming Nike-branded heart rate monitor for fitness-minded users, AppleInsider has learned.

Evidence of the device exists in the latest Nike+ iPod user guide, posted on Apple's Web site. The 28-page document includes a section entitled "Linking a Nike + iPod Compatible Remote or Heart Rate Monitor." It states that only the fifth-generation ipod nano, announced Wednesday, is compatible.

In addition, people familiar with the matter told AppleInsider that the accessory was initially expected to launch alongside the next-generation iPod nano, but it has been delayed for an unknown period of time.

The manual states that Nike+ compatible heart rate monitors are sold separately. The device can be connected to the new iPod nano under the hardware's settings. It does not appear that the heart rate monitor would work with the iPod touch.

The latest iPod nano has a built-in pedometer that will sync to the Nike+ software. Previously, the system required an external transmitter to track steps. The system keeps track of milestones like running distance, as well as calories burned.

Other features exclusive to the new iPod nano with Nike+ are the ability to listen to FM radio, playing "PowerSong" playlists during a workout, and reviewing workouts. According to the user manual, the latest hardware provides users daily totals of Nike + iPod workouts, pedometer steps, and cardio workouts using Nike + iPod compatible gym equipment.

Thanks to reader Adam for the Nike+ manual.

Beyond the workout-related additions, the new iPod nano has an integrated video camera, allows users to pause live radio, and can create Genius Mixes for automatic playlists of songs that go well together. The tiny device, with a size of 1.1 cubic inches, costs $149 for the 8GB model, and $179 for the 16GB offering.