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on September 15, 2009
This review could be summerd up in a short sentence: You are looking at the current killer appliance for personal entertainment. But I never, ever, do short reviews... So here's the long story. Grab a cup of coffee, as this review answers questions you never knew existed.

I have to admit that there have been few items that have captured and kept my enthusiasm for as long as the iPod Touch. Two years ago, I purchased the original Touch, last year I upgraded to the 32 GB, and now I have the 64GB version. Was the upgrade worth it? And what are the things yet to be imroved? Because even though the Touch is close to perfection, there are still many small things that can be improved.

Hardware
Physically, the new (64GB) Touch is identical to it's 2nd generation brethren. It's polished crome backplate is slightly curved, making it fit your palm perfectly. As before, the fact that it's made from polished chrome will guarantee that it attracts fingerprints and scratches almost magically. I'm no friend of any kind of protective covers, and my last (32GB) Touch had to live in my pocket with my keys, coins, and other stuff I threw in with it. After a year, the backplate did pick up a lot of scratches, and I expect that the 64GB to fare no better. Personally, I would have preferred a brushed finish for the backplate. This may have caused problems with the readability of the customized engraving that Apple applies to the Touch on the backplate for no additional charge (a nice 'touch' that becomes increasingly important as the Touch becomes more ubiquitious). This custom engraving you can only get if you order the Touch through Apple (it's also not available in the Apple Stores).

The front plate is made from one of the most impressive glass enhancements I've ever seen. After a year of heavy abuse, my old Touch's glass front has not a single scratch - not one. I don't know how Apple does it, but this is really impressive. Remember, I don't use any protective covers or films. The screen itself is brilliant, bright, and can easily be read outside, wich is a feat in itself. The Touch has an ambient light sensor, so it can dim the screen when the surroundings are darker.
This time around, the screen's color temperature has remained unchanged (the 2G shifted all colors from a blueish to a more golden tinge). Movie playback is simply astonishing. The image is crisp, and the on-screen controls natural. Again, there are niceties such as double-tapping the screen to change aspect ratio, or placing bookmarks etc. You still can't set a movie's contrast, but beyond that small issue, movie playback is perfect. Viewing movies on the Touch simply works great, but personally I think that the screen is too small to watch a full movie. Last week, I tried watching a TV episode while on a plane enroute to Hamburg (a 75 minute flight), but quickly decided against it, opting instead to play a game of 'Luxor'. Somehow I prefer a larger screen for consuming video, while I have no problems doing something interactive on it. Still, video plays great on the Touch.

Button and interface lay-out has remained the same from the last generation: volume controls on the left side, top holds the 'exit/on' button, buttom has dock and phones connectors, and the front holds the single home button. There is one thing that can be improved here: I would have preferred the audio connector to be on top (or either side), as the current configuration precludes the use of many applications (e.g. News- and eBook readers) when you want to place it upright -- for example in the Gym. Some apps do use the accelerometers and can be used positioning the Touch upside down, though.

The built-in speaker is unchanged from the last version. It's weak, tinny, mono, produces horrible sound, has no volume to speak of -- and yet it's one of the best additions to the Touch (the original didn't have it, the 2nd gen did). It simply makes casual gaming so much more fun. I don't care about the bad sound quality, I just love the fact that it's there.

The signatory white earphones that Apple sells with the Touch may look good, but I don't like them. In my ears they are too uncomfortable. Since I'm no audiophile, I can't comment on their audio quality other than that it's good enough for me. Anyway, I replaced them with my favorite non-Apple version. The hitch here is that Apple now delivers the 64 GB (and 32 GB) with earphones that sport a built-in mic and remote. And my head phones don't have that. While the remote is nothing much to write home about (the way it works is just too complex), the mic works well, and has just the right fidelity to pick out voice over the background noise. So, for now, I keep the white buds with me in case I want to use the IP-telephony capabilities.

Battery life appears to have been reduced somewhat from the 2nd gen - at least on paper. During the past few days the new 3rd gen Touch certainly performed as well as or even better than my 2nd gen - but then again, that one's battery is already one year old. One fact that I've become very fond of is the quick-charge ability, which works really well.

The built-in wireless connectivity is really nice, with astonishingly well executed integration. The touch does all it's wireless networking over WiFi and Bluetooth. WiFi works really well (especially here in Switzerland where Hotspots are particularely dense), and Bluetooth integration (which I tried on the 3rd gen for the first time) is flawless. WiFi reception (range) lags somewhat behind that of a Wintel laptop (no doubt due to the metal backplate) and is pretty much on par with that of a 15" Macbook Pro (which is also somewhat lacking in WiFi reception range). WiFi is still the 'g' variant though [interestingly enough, the built-in hardware does support 11n, but so far Apple has chosen not to activate it, presumably to conserve battery. This is interesting also from the fact that in the 2G Touch, Apple initially included Bluetooth capabilities, but only activated it with a later OS release. Perhaps the same can be expected for 11n]. Bluetooth now also works with headphones and BT-based car integration kits (works well in mine). I would have loved to try out BT-based printing from the Calender or Addressbook app, but hit a snag: it appears no Touch app supports printing...

Missing Hardware
There is some hardware that I expected, or whished that it was included in the Touch - especially as (some) of them are now present on other iPods:
No camera. I was somewhat ambivalent about this. No camera means no pictures and/or movies. But it also means that I can keep handling it rough, as I do not have to worry abou the lens. Also, I don't have to worry about taking it to the Gym (my Gym has very strict rules towards camera-equipped items). All things being equal, the addition of a camera (still and/or video) would have been nice, but I don't miss it much (truth be told, I yet have to use the camera on my mobile phone).
Unfortunately, there is also no built-in mic. This is much a more significant omission than having no camera. The Touch is a first class audio voice recorder and (more importantly for me) a first class Skype client. There are third party solutions for this (a mini-micro that directly plugs into the headphone connector), but if the touch had a built-in mike, it would make using world-class applications like Shazam (and Skype) so much easier
Likewise, there is no compass, nor a GPS receiver present in the touch. I understand that these are left out to better differentiate the Touch from the iPhone, but I would have welcomed them in the top-of-the-line (64GB) version of the iPod.
And, finally, there is no radio receiver. I'm definitely not a radio man, as I next to never listen to it. Still, some people do (as the ton of nicely selling IP radio applications shows), and anyway, the Nano has it now - even with a nice Tivoesque pause feature! Why not the Touch? Strange design choice.

iPod & iTunes
The original iPod's strength was the sheer brilliant ease of use - and the touch-based interface represented a mile-stone in improving on that. To date there simply is no better multimedia interface than that of the Touch/iPhone. It's natural after just a few seconds. It's drop-dead beautiful, with muted highlights, and cleverly accentuated by small (if flashy) animations that convey the different metaphors of the interface (e.g. the rubber-banded bouncing when you reach the end of a playlist). Like no interface before you can instantly use it to accomplish even complex tasks with just the flick of a finger. Using it is sheer, unadulterated fun. The 'Coverflow' album browsing may be one of the least useful, but it's definitely the most natural (and fun) way to flip though you music. And it is jaw-droppingly well executed (note: when you use coverflow you should make sure that you have installed the all cover art from any music you did not purchase from the iTunes Store).
At the base of all iPod music playing is the Playlist, and using playlist on the Touch is a joy. The interface whileplaying is also mature, offering niceties such as displaying a song's lyrics on a single tap, along with singularily simple controls for repeat and shuffle play. Unfortunately, this playlist feature also still has one of the most glaring shortcomings: the Touch is unable to play playlist groups. I usually group a small bunch of songs into very short playlist (e.g. '10 best Springsteen'), and then mix these playlist into larger ones by simply dropping a playlist into a group. Although iTunes supports this, all versions of the Touch have stubbornly refused to do that.
Also somewhat strangely missing on the Touch is the ability to search for an Artist or music title. Considering the fact that more than 10'000 songs fit onto the device the need for an ability to search for something would seem obvious (note: the Touch *does* have a global search function, which will also turn up songs - along with contacts and mails that match your search phrase. Having to leave the iPod app simply to look for a song is against everything Apple's ease of use is about, and it's not what I would expect). And while we are at it, I'd love the ability to also search the lyrics, but that would be the icing on the cake.
What is present, and what continues to amaze me is a function that I initially dismissed as some way to sell song: Genius Playlists. What it does is that given a song it finds other songs you already possess that would play nicely together. Since I have lots of songs (else I wouldn't be purchasing the 64GB), this feature has helped me to get an incredible amount of additional joy out of my music. There are lots of gems hidden that mass of music I never knew I owned. Of course, if you want to, Genius will also recommend songs you don't have but can buy right now on iTunes. That, of course, is the 'sell song' angle. But at least it's incredibly well executed (and yes, I've used it)
The 64GB now also supports voice recognition - and I'm sure it's a marvel of technology. But (much like the auto-correction system for text) it mostly only works in English. If you have set your system to German, you must pronounce english band names as they would be read aloud by a german-only speaker. Do it once, and everyone in the room stares at you. You'll never do it again. Plus, due to the greater complexity of the german language (I am german speaking), the commands only work half the time. A nice idea, and a boon while driving or typing. But *only* when set to english.

Rounding out the audiovisual feature set is the Touch's photo presentation ability, really showcasing the touch-based gesture interface. It was the pinch and flick gesture that originally sold me on the Touch, and it still does today. On the Mac, iTunes ties into iPhoto's image management, greatly facilitating the task of sorting out which images to synch to your iPod (on windows, this task is slightly more pedestrian, as you'll have to manually manage the 'My Pictures' folder). A strange quirk, though, is that during synch iTunes seems to downsample your images to a (to me unknown, but definitely) smaller size. Since I'm a photo nut (shooting with DSLR) this 'feature' annoys me somewhat, as iTunes currently does not provide any means to control the downsampling of photos.

The success of the original iPod has left some competitors scratching their heads, while it is blindingly obvious to most users: the tight, seamless integration with iTunes. Now in version 9, iTunes has become somewhat complex and not always that intuitive to use. It now also tries to manage Photos and Movies as well as Music and Applications. But iTunes is still very easy to use, and synchronizing the iPod Touch with iTunes is quick and simple. A small disappointment is the fact that you still can't synchronize your Touch wirelessly, and that it still refuses to mount as an external disk. Another disappointment is that although iTunes now allows you to share your music over the net with multiple Macs, it can't stream your Music to the Touch (A small, brilliant app from the AppStore can do this for you, though).

And while we are speaking of iTunes - there is one feature that I'd love to have on the Touch: the visualizer. iTunes' visualizer is really beautiful, and I would have loved the same functionality on my Touch.

Internet
While by itself the iPod Touch is an impressive and fun device, it comes into real swing when connected to the internet. The always-on nature and graceful handling of connection drops make the Touch one of the best internet devices I've used to day. The included Safari internet browser performs great - unless you try to load Flash-based content, which is not supported. The email client works great for receiving and viewing mail. Writing anything but the shortest of email is annoying, as the Touch is simply too small for comfortably entering any significant amount of text. Calendar and Address Book are well executed (even if entering a new date and merging multiple calenders is slightly more convoluted than necessary). Mail, Calendar and Addressbook can (if you have that service available) synch live to either mobile me (which Apple loves to sell you) or Exchange (which your employer loves to force on you) through a feature that is very similar to 'push' notification. In the past, using Exchange has been somewhat spotty, and mobile Me has had it's own share of problems. All in all, though both work nice, and exceedingly quick. You do need to be in range of a hotspot for this to function, though. Somewhat disappointing is the fact that notes are not synched. Another nice addition is 'Voice Memos' which is an audio recorder. Had the Touch an internal mic, this app would have been even better...

Applications
Next to the 'productivity' or 'PDA' suite (Mail, Calendar, Contacts) the touch comes with some other nice (but somewhat dull) apps (e.g. Maps, Stocks, YouTube) and two killer Apps: iTunes and App Store. While the former gives you instant access to all songs and movies that are currently available on iTunes (Warning: that, plus the incredible 'Shazam' can lead to unintented gross music spending), the latter (App Store) gives you equal instant access to an incredible number of applications that you can instantly download and use. The quality of applications on the App Store is quite uneven, and tends to cluster around some rather puerile topics (as a veritable, uh, heap, of Fart applications proves). That being said, there are a number of jaw-droppingly good applications that are able to utilize the touch interface (and other capabilities such as accelerometer) in new and surprising ways. Just to name a few are the aforementioned 'Shazam' that can identify a song being played and instantly link to iTunes (you have to see it in action to believe it), Flight Control, where you manage an airport by drawing the flight path for each plane, Bloomberg that provides stock information in an exhaustive way, and Wemlin that shows an up-to-date timetable for when the next tram arrives at my station. No matter what, there probably is an application that supports you with it.
And then there are games. Apple had quickly recognized that the Touch represents an immensely attractive and powerful game platform. Performance, screen, connectivity and control capabilities make it the ideal casual gaming platform. Accordingly, games represent by far the largest category in the App store. While inevitably there are some truly awfully executed, or simply dull games, the majority of the available games are at least somewhat entertaining, while some rival and exceed those that can be had for thrice the price on dedicated gaming platforms.

In the past, my Touch quickly filled up with app after app that I simply couldn't live without any more, and an unforseen limitation of the Touch's design surfaced: app management. Applications are arranged as icons on a 4x4 grid per page, with multiple pages that you can flick left and right to navigate. Unfortunately, re-arranging apps, although possible (and quite ingeniously implemented) is still a chore. Apple has done the right thing, and integrated a much nicer app manager into the (PC/Mac) iTunes application.

Speed Improvement
The iPod Touch, although seen by some as the 'iPhone's smaller sibling' was always either as nible as the phone, or even faster. The new, 3rd gen Touch is said to be 'up to 50% faster' than the previous generation. To be honest, I'm not sure that I see that speed improvent translate to much performance increase. That may be due to the fact that my Touch seldom maxes out on processor throughput or (for example when browsing) that WiFi bandwidth is the limiting factor. Some apps appear to be 'snappier' during start-up (smaller apps) or execution (games, mostly), but all in all, the Touch pretty much seems to be as fast as the last generation. This leads me to believe that the real bottleneck is it's internal execution memory (i.e. not the 64 GB storage, but processor memory), and ony applications that are specifically written to take advantage of new technology (e.g. OpenGL ES). Or in other words: the overall speed has not been improved that much.

SDK
So you want to be a geek? Already are? You can write your own applications for the Touch if you like. I've taken the plunge and downloaded the SDK. Note that you can download the SDK and develop for the Touch/iPhone without actually owning one. The development system comes with a iPhone simulator that you can use to test your applications without downloading them unto an actual device (it does have some limitations: for example, the accelerometers are not simulated, and you have no indication of the true execution speed). Well, you do need a Mac for this (although it can be a few years old). The SDK is impressive - overwhelming even if you are not used to Mac programming (and almost prohibitively complex if you are not used to frameworks like Cocoa and object-oriented programming). Still, crunching out your first (very basic) appliction is surprisingly easy, and if you roll that way, you'll get addicted quickly.

Summary:
It's the killer personal entertainment device. Buy it. You know you want it -- especially if you have read this far. If you have the 2nd gen iPod, you may need to ask yourself if the slight speed bump and the additional storage is worth the hefty price tag. To me it was, but your mileage may vary.

pros
+ world class touch/gesture interface
+ best iPod audiovisual experience around (music, video, photos)
+ killer feature: app store and application availability
+ killer feature: internet integration (browsing and push technology)
+ great movie playback
+ really good casual gaming device
+ slightly improved speed (allegedly, only for some games)
+ great integration with mobile me (calender, mail sync) or Exchange
+ really good SDK if you are geeky enough to roll your own apps

cons
- no built-in mic (headphones do have them)
- polished chrome backplate (I would have preferred a brushed finish)
- no gps, camera, compass
- no radio (nano has it?)
- no sync of notes, no wireless sync of music/movies
- spotty voice recognition in languages other than english
- no control over downsampling of photos
- no search function for music inside the iPod app
- no visualizer
2828 comments997 of 1,070 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
VINE VOICEon September 20, 2009
I bought a 64GB Touch direct from apple on the day it came out -- I find it often takes longer to get newly released stuff from Amazon. I replaced my 32GB 2nd generation -- and to tell the truth, the extra 32GB is the main difference I notice. Now I can fit all of my music and video/tv shows and apps besides with room to spare, I love it!

A little about me, I'm a diehard mp3 player fan so I have owned a broad variety of iPods and iPod alternatives: Archos 604/605/5, iRiver Clix2, Sony Walkman X, iPod Classic/Nano/Touch 1,2,3,4,5, Creative Zen/X-Fi, Cowan U2, Samsung P2 etc. I will be comparing the iPod Touch 3rd Generation to all of these other players.

Let me just say that I'm not rating the quality of the update, but rather the unit as a whole. Admittedly, this is a pretty weak update especially if you were hoping for GPS or a camera. I am a little envious that the Nano gets a camera and the Touch doesn't, what's that all about? But ultimately, this is not a video camera for me (I have a Flip for that!) so I really don't care. I am rating the whole package as an MP3 and video player. I am considering how the Touch compares to competing products.

One other comment -- as to sound quality, I can't say that is either pro or con. If you want really good sound go get yourself a Sony Walkman! However, I find the sound (through my UE11 Pros) to be respectable, especially if you tweak the sound settings to your tastes. Neither remarkably good nor remarkably bad so I don't list SQ on either pro or con list.

Lets get to it then, what I loved about my Touch:

1) Beauty -- just raw esthetic pleasure, the Touch is without doubt the sexiest looking MP3 player I have ever owned! And it feels darn good in my hand too.
2) Software/iTunes -- what's the point of even mentioning an iPod without discussing iTunes? iTunes is for sure the best media player/store interface that I have ever seen. Definitely gives every iPod a leg up over the competition -- although Media Monkey is pretty good in many ways and that's what I use for my other players.
3) Apps -- nobody can compare with apple's App Store and the amazing assortment of Apps now available for the Touch.
4) Firmware/updates -- the apple firmware is probably the best out there. Sony Walkman is pretty good too, but I think apple gets top honors. The update process through iTunes is the smoothest software update process of any MP3 player I've ever seen -- although Archos comes close.
5) Play screen -- the Touch play screen really sets the standard that everybody else is aspiring to. I love how they fill the entire screen with the album art. The only other one that even comes close is the Walkman.
6) Accessories -- in the apple happy place there are accessories galore and readily available at your local store. Most of my other players require online shopping to find cases and whatnot.
7) Dedicated volume, home button, power button -- much as I love touch screens, its really nice to have a few dedicated buttons that you can hit without being able to see the screen.
8) Browser -- The Safari is one of the better browsers for an MP3 player, especially the pinch multi-touch interface for zooming is really nice. Keyboard is a little hard to use but can be done with practice.
9) Apple support -- these guys are fantastic about fixing/replacing faulty units. I should know because I've had to send a few items back over the years.
10. Speed -- they say its faster and I do notice the difference when playing with my apps which seem a bit snappier now. At this rate, the Touch is going to replace my laptop...

10 solid marks gives the iPod Touch 5 stars for being top of its class in so many categories! However, being an engineer, I always see room for improvement (I sure hope apple is listening!)

Things I don't like so much:

1) Play button? No dedicated play button means this is almost impossible to pause/play by touch. My first Sony Walkman had the best play button ever, the Archos 605 had a nice dedicated play button even though it was a touch screen. I just don't think touch screen should have to mean everything has to be done with the touch screen!
2) Battery -- its not pretty if the battery goes bad on this thing. Unfortunately, removable or even accessible batteries are becoming a thing of the past with MP3 players! Luckily they keep putting out new ones every year so I never use the battery up :)
3) Dock -- seems to me that the apple dock options are pretty weak compared to the Archos DVR dock.
4) Video cable -- if you want to watch those tv shows/movies you buy on iTunes on your TV you're going to have to buy a special video cable -- mine cost like $50!! Just keep that in mind...
5) Stylus won't work -- since this is a capacitance touch screen you can't use a stylus as much as you (or I) might like to. Looks shinier, but hard to use -- I like Archos better here.
6) Onscreen keyboard -- not great, Archos is definitely better for me partly because you can use a stylus if you have to.

Well there you have it -- 9 big pluses, 6 small minuses makes for about 4.7 stars by my calculations! If you don't need huge storage space or HD video resolution this is a great MP3/video player, not necessarily the best in every category but I would say it is the best overall unit available today.

My recommendations depending on your personal preferences:
- iPod touch if you just want an all around great music player, browser, video player, game playing, or if you are an App head (I'm rapidly becoming one myself!). It does everything!
- Sony Walkman if you want really good sound (the best I think) and/or you like Rhapsody
- Archos 5 if you want a big HD screen, great DVR capabilities, stylus friendly touch screen, and/or a big hard drive (500GB coming soon!)
- iPod Nano if you want a really small sleek player in fun colors and a @$*()^)# video camera!
0Comment95 of 101 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on October 5, 2009
Everything I wrote earlier still applies and more. I still give it a 4,5 star ranking because of the battery life.

But I've been using my ipod as a pocket computer (came in really handy when I was in Toronto in the fall break) and (as a surprise even for myself) as an ebook reader (reading in bed) and video player more than as a music player.

There are several apps for ebooks like 'free ebooks' and 'ebooks'. And i've been rereading Anne of Green Gables while flying to Toronto (how appropriate). Sitting somewhere with free wifi, calling people with skype all over the world, writing about the vacation on facebook so that your friends and family are up-to-date. It's really great.
As sad as it may sound, I'd really miss my ipod if I wouldn't have it now. It was never that way with my ipod classic. And I have my addressbook on hand all the time without having to carry around my (heavy) paper diary. I discovered a lot of really good apps, like lonely planet travel books (hate to carry around weight on vacations) and free courses on foreign languages (ever tried chinese?) etc. even bought Jamie Olivers recipes, which is a really great app btw.

Only complaint might be that 64 GB is not enough storage (I need 128 GB) and battery life of course. However you use your ipod btw is highly personal of course and very dependant on personal circumstances, but I think you might get addicted to it like I have.

Old review:
I've had my ipod touch for almost two weeks now (played with it for days on end and as happy with it as can be). Since there are many, many reviews written about the technology etc, I won't write about that. Let me state first that I did some reading on the subject before I bought the ipod and that my main goal was to have an MP3 player with enough GB to contain all my music and some of my video's and have a small portable 'computerlike device' for internet and mail (at home, at work and on vacation since most hotels have free WiFi for guests now).

I'll write a review from a user's point of view. And more important, I think I'm just an average user and a first time Ipod touch user, so there will be no comparisons in my review between this generation pod and older generations (I already owned an ipod classic though). This review is for the 64 GB third gen iPod Touch which i'd been waiting for, since I thought the 32 Gb had not enough storage for me.

On the very positive side:

I wasn't looking for a cell phone or a camera (could have bought the Iphone then), since I already own fine working devices for both (who wants a 3 megapixel camera on a phone anyway if you own a credit card sized 12.1 megapixel camera, which can make video's in HD quality at the same time and I never use the camera on my cell phone for that reason). Sure, you have to carry more devices in your bag, but that's the choice you make for quality especially as regards the camera and video.

The problem with multi tasking small devices in my opinion is that normally you have everything in a poor to reasonable and nothing in excellent quality. Not so the Ipod Touch 3rd gen.

First I think it is a great gadget and more. I've had no trouble whatsoever to install and use it, without having to refer to the manual at any time. I am lucky to have WiFi everywhere I'm in a building (at home, work, hotels, my parents etc), so e-mail and internet is no problem. I installed skype, which works fine and I even free installed software for traffic news and since I live in the Netherlands, something called 'uitzending gemist'. I can watch missed TV programmes on streaming video, which to my surprise really works great. I've tried everything I could 'click' on and while I won't use everything on a regular basis, it all works fine except for some (minor) points you can read in my review further on.
You can listen to the music without the earphones (it has loudspeakers, though don't ask me where they put it), which is quite nice (but don't expect great sound quality, just good enough to listen to video's and TV, music quality is much better with earphones).
And since I have small hands, I have no problems entering a text. But I imagine someone with bigger hands could have some problems there (but hey what do you expect, we want devices as small as this and expect them to do everything and anything??).
Loading internet pages, sending email and getting e-mail: very fast! One of the many surprises.

Compared to the ipod classic it is great to have this big screen and it is easier to use.

On the negative side:

I tried the microphone which works fine for Skype etc, but not for the use of voice control (name a musical number??). The only composer it recognizes seems to be Mozart. But if I want Verdi, all I get is some rock song. I dont know if this works better in English, since I have the Dutch language installed on my pod. Anyway, a small negative for me since I did not intend to use it much. But I think the problem might be in the pronunciation of words. It probably expects me to pronounce words like it is spoken in Dutch, which might be a problem if all you listen to are foreign composers and singers (but I had a blast listening to the music I have and didn't know I had on my pod). So this is not a problem because of the quality of the mic, but just the inner workings of voice control that doesn't seem to adjust well to languages.

The battery, that could be a more serious problem if you like to watch video's, say on vacation (of course at home i'll use my TV). Here is where my knowledge of technology fails, because I don't know if it's possible to have a longer lasting battery in a device this small. I'd have liked it though, if the battery lasted longer than it does now. Especially if you use the wireless, that seems to 'suck' energy more than anything.

I have a radio on my Ipod classic which requires no internet, just a radio accessory I bought. Why not on this pod? I can use streaming internet radio (which also works fine), but that requires internet access which I have a lot of the time, but not always.

On the whole: not sorry to have bought this, even at these prices. There are some (minor) negative points, but then what do you expect from a device this size (and the size I definitely consider an advantage). It does have it's limitations and to say anything else, well, I think that would not be totally honest. And I could probably have written a lot more, but I think for everyday use, it's about the music, video's, internet and e-mail.

Viewed from that point I think the positive sides far outweigh the negatives.

PS I've used Skype for several days now and it's really great to be able to speak to relatives on another continent via internet FOR FREE.
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on October 12, 2009
I've been keeping up with all the reviews posted here since the 3rd generation was released. I've read them all, and quite a few have done a lovely job describing the specs, technology, etc. They've put it into better words than I can muster, so I will focus my review on my experience instead.

I'm a 20 year old college student, and I'm not a very big spender. This is my first investment in a single item so expensive, and I'm very satisfied about my decision. I've had an iPod classic 60gb for almost four years now. Both my parents have the 120gb classic, so I've seen how the classic has been improved since my own. Even though the newer classic models have the capacity to hold an insane amount of songs--I thought 15,000 was an insane amount four years ago--, I really wanted to get an iPod touch because of the newer technology it offered. However, I did not want to sacrifice so much storage space when, even with an older iPod classic, I could hold far more songs than a 2nd generation 32gb touch. So, I was absolutely ecstatic when I heard they were going to be releasing a new 64gb touch and did not hesitate to purchase it. It holds just about the same amount of songs as my 60gb classic, but even though I did not progress in the amount of storage space, I love the addition of Wi-fi, apps, and other cool aspects the classic or nano does not offer.

I've noted that the majority of negative reviews complained about no camera installment and no vast updates from the 2nd generation. While this is true, I personally do not believe updating the same type of iPod so quickly is such a wise move (unless there was something wrong with the older iPod). I mean, the 2nd generation is still pretty new--why would you want to get a new one with the same capacity after only one year? Yes, it would have been nice if they installed a camera or a radio or a GPS, but I hope the 2nd generation users were aware that this was not the case before purchasing the new generation touch.

As for me, my iPod has been through a lot, and I'm glad it's still cooperating with me. I will continue to use my classic, but I've been spoiling my new touch since it arrived. I am not a camera person, so a lack thereof does not bother me. Also, since I've never owned a 1st or 2nd generation touch, the 3rd generation is completely new to me and, quite frankly, I'm having a blast messing around with it.

So what it comes down to is this--if you already have a 2nd generation touch, do not upgrade if it's still a perfectly functioning iPod unless you want the new 64gb storage space. If you're a nano or classic user like me and are considering purchasing your first touch, I highly recommend. It was delivered on-time and in perfect condition, and I've had no problems whatsoever. However, if you're anything like me, beware--buying this may cause you to procrastinate completing your work and assignments. ;)
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on January 28, 2010
I have previously owned MP3 players by Archos, Dell, Sony, and Cowon, and I prefer all of them to the ipod touch.

First, the good: It does look very sleek, and the touch screen and the web browser are both far superior to every other phone or mp3 player I've tried.

But I primarily need a device for listening to music, not surfing the web in starbucks. And that's where the ipod is a disaster. The sound quality is pretty bad - my old Cowon iaudio X5 sounds much better. Good quality headphones only further expose the poor sound quality of the device. The EQ presets are lousy. I am by no means a high end audio snob, but in this case the difference is stunning. I-Tunes is an abomination. Its only function is to allow you to transfer things you bought from the app store to the ipod. Any other content management task you might want to perform is out of the question. It doesn't detect additions or deletions in your library, so you have to use 3rd party software to update its database. Apple seems to hate hierarchical structures and tends to organize things in flat structures. I guess navigating a hierarchy is too complicated for their typical user. So I-Tunes doesn't allow the list of songs to be viewed a hierarchy. It displays them in one flattened out, gigantic list that you have to scroll through. Also, I-tunes will also not run on Windows XP64.

Navigation on the ipod can only be done through mp3 tags, like artist, album, title, etc. You cannot navigate by folder, as I like to do. So if your tags are a mess, you're screwed. If you fix the tags, I-tunes doesn't detect this and won't update the ipod. If you have a compilation of different artists you like to keep stored in one folder, each song will appear separately under its own artist's name in the ipod. So your artist list is cluttered with a bunch of one hit wonders and "who's that?" names, making browsing much more tedious. You can create playlists for all your compilations so you can at least have some way of grouping them, but it would be so much easier to just browse by folder.

The ipod interface itself also has a number of quirks. Since I have 60GB of songs, it takes a while to start up and load the database, and frequently allows me to start navigating the songs, but then freezes or crashes out to the main screen. When browsing the music, you cannot start creating a playlist on the fly. You have to go to the playlist editor for that. When browsing songs from the playlist editor, you lose the ability to jump around the list of artists by the first letter of their names. I have no idea why. Also, there's no way to delete a song, so you can't clean up your library while on the go.

I've wasted many hours trying to figure out how to work around these issues, and the most common answer I've gotten when researching a problem is "you can't do that." I've also learned of many more horror stories from people who've had other problems with itunes and ipods, including cases where a user would update i-tunes to the current version, only to find out that that version was no longer compatible with their older ipod, and there was no way to roll back. This is apple's way of forcing its users to keep buying their latest crap. I have no idea why they're so popular or why apple ever has a repeat customer. They seem hell bent on sucking every last nickel out of the consumer and forcing you to do things their way or not at all. They make Microsoft look like nice guys.

To sum up, if you are dazzled by pretty things, have a small collection of music purchased exclusively through i-tunes and are indifferent to how the music sounds, the ipod touch may be adequate for you. For anyone else, run like hell.
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on November 28, 2009
I just bought the 64GB model 2 days ago to replace my 8GB 2nd Gen model that I owned for barely over a month. I just needed the space!
First off I like how cheap it is on Amazon compared to buying it from the Apple store. Apple store = 399+tax which takes it to close to a 450$ here in California with the crazy ass 9.5% tax.
I mainly wanted to write this review to let people know that the iPod touch 32GB and 64GB have an annoying problem. The external speaker plain sucks compared to the 8GB model. I guess you could call this a subjective opinion. When you out the same song on both the iPods, turn off the EQ and sound check and play the song this is the difference : The 8GB is nice and clear, and is distortion free. But the damn 64GB makes the song sound like it was recorded in a concert off a mobile phone that could not deal with recording the bass. This is easy enough to fix in a way by going to the EQ and turning on the bass reduction EQ. But here lies another problem. This turns on the bass reduction EQ for even the headphones. I don't want this. And I'm way to lazy to keep switching between the two.
Anyway just thought I'd let you guys know. This is the ONLY reason I gave the iPod 4 stars and not 5. I would have given the 8GB model a 5 star rating. Apart from this annoying problem, the iPod touch 64GB is ACE! Love having a touch with such a large amount of space to play with!
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on September 21, 2009
I traded up from my first generation iPod because the G1 pod didn't have the processing power that iPod OS3 demanded. Since the recent operating system upgrade, my G1 ipod seemed sluggish and Apps like Apple Mail, and the NT Times would hang-up or crash. The 3G software was demanding too much of the G1 processor. The G1 lost much of the electronic fairy dust magic of the Apple experience. I am so happy with my 3G ipod... the magic is back... it loads web pages & Apps so much faster. Apple has also improved energy management/battery life in the G3. Sure I too am disappointed that Apples Digital Swiss Army Knife with 75,000 tools, isn't also a camera... but what it is... a powerful mini computer thats smaller than a box of Chiclets is so... so... sweet!
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on October 18, 2009
Sadly, my 32gb Touch disappeared- and by that I mean it was stolen. I had reached a level of wanting to have it with me at all times, so doing without wasn't going to be possible, in my mind. The 64gb G3 had just come out, and I was fairly surprised at the reviews here. So many people said they didn't see any change in functionality at all, but I must disagree. I bought one anyway, and it's noticeably better. The sound without headphones is quite a bit louder (although the quality of that sound still isn't going to win any prizes), the screen seems brighter and a little crisper, and my 2G didn't have a GPS unit built in, but this new one definitely does. It's pinpointed my location in two or three apps without my having given any location information other than time zone. And the processor is faster, there's no doubt about it.

In other words, The iPod Touch 3G is clearly a better model. I do wish it had a camera, but can live without it, and don't give a darn about having an FM radio. In fact, I rarely play music on it.

My only complaint is the battery life. It's no worse than the old one, but it still couldn't be called even adequate with the wifi on. I can't keep it on like my cell phone.

One more thing- I wish Apple would pull its head out of its you-know-what and have several cell phone companies selling the iPhone, and not just ATT. I'm locked in to my carrier for several reasons, and would get an iPhone in a second if Verizon sold them. I don't think I'd be caught dead using AT&T as my carrier, iPhone or not. I understand they have a contract to complete, but after that they'd be just plain stupid to continue the exclusive arrangement they have now, even if they are getting a sizeable kickback from AT&T for every iPhone sold.
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on January 18, 2010
As the owner, for four years, of a Creative Vision M, I decided it was time to get something new. The iPod Touch seemed to be the answer. What I liked about it is that it is smaller and and has the touch screen interface.

After I got it home I realized my mistake. The Touch will not even turn on until you install iTunes on your computer and register the device. You must first agree to an agreement that basically says that apple makes no warranty whatsoever.

As other people have pointed out, there are no instructions included, and the web page they direct you to does not exist. This is the latest, and most expensive model, and not something outdated, and the web page they direct you to is non-existent.

After that it becomes a real problem to transfer music and other stuff to the iPod. The only way to do this is with iTunes. With the Creative Zen Vision M I only had to plug it into a USB port and the device would show up in Windows Explorer, and I could drag music and videos and anything else to the player. With the iPod Touch it is a completely confusing and non-intuitive process. There is no way to move files directly to the Touch. Everything must first be imported into iTunes, which means that all MP3s, for example, have to be copied by iTunes into its own local folder. This is a real problem for me because my music library resides on an external hard disc, and I have no room on my C: drive. Nevertheless iTunes will not copy music directly from my external drive to the Touch. It first must copy it to my C: drive, which has no available space.

I have searched for and tried third party software to replace iTunes, but nothing works. It seems that Apple continually updates the software on the iPod Touch and the iPhone to block any attempts to not use iTunes.

And aside from the above mentioned problems with iTunes, what a terrible piece of software. It is completely opaque and non-intuitive. I used to be tempted to buy an apple computer because of hearing that the software is easy to use, but, if iTunes is an example of Apple software, then I believe Windows software is much better.

If you don't already have a lot of MP3s, and you are prepared to be locked into the Apple format and the Apple way of doing things, than this device may work for you. But if you value flexibility and want to actually own your device and use it the way you want to, I think there may be better choices. I think it is a shame that such a nice piece of hardware is so crippled by the required software so as to ruin its functionality.
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on June 28, 2010
Got a fabulous deal on a used one in "very good" condition from an Amazon seller-- fast ship, absolutely pristine condition! This is my first iPod and I am not disappointed. It's just a mini-version of the iPad-- or so it seems to me. Lots of apps and podcasts available to appeal to all tastes and age groups. The only complaint I have is that the earbuds fall out of my ears no matter how I adjust the earbuds. Guess I just need a different type of headphone. I share this with my 8yo daughter so there's plenty of room in it for all her music and apps as well as my own. Its use is pretty intuitive for the most part, but there's still plenty to learn to get the most out of it. If this is going to be your first iPod Touch, you might want to get a guidebook to walk you through all the cool things it can do and how to work with iTunes. The book I used was called, iPod: The Missing Manual, Eighth Edition (Safari Books), and I found it to be really helpful (lots of pix always helps!).
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