The iPod Touch debuted only one year ago, and this is the first update. I was excited to pick up the new iPod Touch at the Apple Store because I had never owned a first generation, though I do own iPhones.
I want to concentrate primarily on the new features:
First, physical volume buttons are now placed on the side of the iPod Touch as they are on the iPhone. This is very convenient. It allows you to adjust the volume of your music, without having to pull the entire device out of your pocket and activate the screen. A time saver.
Second, many people requested a built-in speaker for the iPod Touch like is available on the iPhone. Apple listened. However, there is one important point to make on this! The iPod Touch is incredibly small, and Apple is forced to put an incredibly small speaker. The speaker in the iPod Touch sounds worst than the speaker in the iPhone. I have compared it side by side, and it's fairly significant, and the iPhone speaker isn't that great to begin with. However, in a quiet room, the speaker is still useful for previewing a song you might want to buy, or for playing games. However, still, if you want great sound, you need to connect your headphones.
Genius - This new feature is really surprisingly good. When you're listening to a song you enjoy, select the genius option. It will create a playlist for you, with songs that go together nicely with the one you started with. It helps you rediscover great music from your collection with a playlist suited to the mood you're in. I didn't think it would do a good job compiling this list, but it has been quite impressive.
Applications - It's great to have the ability to buy (or get some free) applications right on the iPod Touch. Furthermore, with the software update this new iPod Touch comes with, the Application installation process is so much smoother than it had been even on my iPhone. It now works how you want it to, seamlessly. I like having a weather application that includes doppler radar images, and that is free. I also have several games on it. There is a great variety of applications available from hundreds of third-parties right on the iPod itself, so you are certain to find something that interests you. I really like the new release of Spore, for the iPod Touch and iPhone. Apple is really pushing the games and quietly suggest they are challenging Nintendo and Sony. They are innovative and interesting games, but I think they have a ways to go, to challenge those game makers.
Nike + is now built in too, so if you have the shoes and the puck, the iPod Touch is ready to receive the data from it. Battery life is improved to 36 hours audio and 6 hours video according to Apple. I find the audio number fairly accurate if you don't light up the display much, but the video number is a slight bit harder to achieve.
Of course, the new ipod Touch does look and feel even better than the first generation, from my small experiences with the previous one. I also think it feels cooler than my iPhones, but obviously your interpretation may very. I like the metal back on the iPod Touch. It looks classy, though it is prone to scratches.
One of my favorite features continues to be, when in my home on Wi-Fi, to reach down for the Touch, use Safari web browser and look something up. It's great.
Overall, it was a solid update for the iPod Touch. I wish the speaker could be better on it, but I believe that is due to the physical restrictions of the small device. I could have knocked it to four stars for that, but I think most people realize a built in speaker isn't the way you want to listen to most audio on an iPod to begin with. I'm impressed by the second generation iPod Touch, and I think with the third party applications getting better and becoming more popular, more people will consider the Touch.
on November 9, 2008
Obviously from all these other reviews this is by far the most functional product out there, and I'm not disputing that at all, I loved my Ipod touch, but they have a ridiculously short lifespan. The kicker is that if you as much as sweat on it or expose it to rapidly changing temperatures (as is common in the upper midwest) your warranty is voided and your Ipod might not last long at all.
I just lost an Ipod touch due to moister condensation from taking it from 30 degree weather to 70 degree weather. That created enough condensation to trip the water marker inside the Ipod which voids the warranty and shorted out the screen. To top it off; that one was actually a replacement for another Ipod touch because the first one I got had a phone jack that broke within a month of normal use, and then this one had a faulty screen due to "water damage" and now Apple conveniently doesn't have to replace it anymore.
Just read some of the discussions on Apples site about Ipods and water damage, it literally takes just one drop of water to short it out and void the warranty.
So if your getting one my advice is to live somewhere that doesn't get too cold or put you in situations that allow moisture condensation to happen.
on January 15, 2009
This is an impartial review based on my experience of the iPod Touch 2nd Generation, and other Personal Media Players.
+ WiFi and Safari Browser. Superb mobile browsing experience. For example, you can stream BBC iPlayer to the Touch perfectly. A real joy.
+ Youtube widget for playback of youtube videos.
+ Integrated Nike + Support, so that you can use the device as a training tool for exercise.
+ App Store. You can download from thousands of Apps on iTunes, including games, and stream internet radio, for instance.
+ Superb capacitive glass touch screen. Older touch screens use `resistive' technology. These work on a different principle, and are less responsive. (The Archos 5 uses a resistive screen. The Cowon S9, however, uses a capacitive one like the iPod Touch).
+ Incredible User Interface. Beautifully conceived and implemented. Music and Videos are organised with an astonishing attention to the user's goals, and you regularly feel that Apple designers have read your mind when you go about tasks.
Here's an example: you wish to download a podcast. You go to an internet address in Safari. Safari automatically grabs the address, boots you into iTunes (on the device itself), and takes you to the podcast listing within the iTunes store. Two more clicks and you're downloading your content. That's the way things should be done.
+ Advantages over the previous generation include a dedicated volume rocker, slightly more curvaceous design, slightly improved battery life, integrated Nike + support and mini speaker.
- Very, very average sound quality. Now it is a mystery to me why so many users and reviewers overlook this issue. Having owned the Touch, I have come to the conclusion that it is a stylish Swiss Army Knife whose MAIN BLADE is blunt.
It is true that many people will have no issue with the sound quality probably because their only reference point to the world of personal media players is the iPod brand. This is useful ignorance, because I would challenge anyone not to be thoroughly crestfallen with the sound of this device compared to something as cheap yet beautiful sounding as the Sansa Clip.
- Video playback. If you are happy to be locked into the iTunes universe, then you will love this device. You will endlessly pay for movies and will enjoy them on this device. If like me, however, you like to play your own physical DVDs in DivX format,in addition to a range of movie files in various formats and codecs, then the Touch is simply not your friend. It only supports a few video codecs, which means as a device for video playback, it is somewhat paralysed.
- Terrible battery life. Three hours of mixed use, and the Touch is wheezing for a recharge. It's great being a Jack of all trades, but Jack gets tired rather too quickly sometimes!
- Being `locked in' to iTunes. There are some Apple hating brand lunatics who simply disparage anything Apple for the sake of it. For me, I feel that iTunes is an excellent software (especially on a Mac) but it is also limiting. With iTunes organising my device, I can't just drag and drop files onto the Touch, and this is a bit of a pain. But you may feel different, so this one is up in the air...
Conclusion and buying advice:
Having owned it, the Touch is either superb or mediocre depending on whether you wish to buy it as 1) your mini WiFi web browser with an App Store, or as 2) your multimedia player.
1) As a mini browser, it is excellent. Browse the web, download podcasts, stream iPlayer, etc. (But remember, when you're not near a WiFi signal, none of these capabilities count for anything).
2) But as a genuine media playback device, it just does not cut the mustard. Think of it as a second rank device in a field of stellar performers. The sound quality for music playback is just average, and in some cases, embarrassing when listened to devices made by Cowon, Sansa, iRiver and Sony. And its Video playback is equally crippled by its lack of codec support.
So what is the bottom line?
Well, I owned this device but decided to sell it when I bought a £20 Sansa Clip and stopped listening to music on it because the sound quality was so much superior on the Sansa. This is not hyperbole, and I do not hate Apple. In fact, I love Apple, so do take this as objective advice.
I simply realised that my priority was sound and video quality, and that I would get all of the extra features of the Touch most important to me (namely WiFi and a stunning User Interface) when I buy a Macbook in the future.
I have since purchased a Cowon O2, which is a stellar sounding device (admittedly without the Touch's `extra' features) but in a league of its own in terms of sound quality for music playback, and movie playback. (It supports a cornucopia of music and video files and in this regard is a much more accomplished device).
So then, what are you after?
A mini WiFi enabled device with music/video as an extra? Well then buy the Touch! Go for it. You'll love it and enjoy its brilliance.
But if the answer is an audiophile experience of sound and video, do not buy this device. Start investigating a Cowon O2 or S9, or an iRiver Spinn.
Hope this helps.
- Written by a non-partisan audiophile.
on September 16, 2008
I have to hand it to Apple -- the iTouch is a great device. In addition to playing music, the Wi-Fi internet looks great, and the 3.5 inch screen delivers crystal-clear videos. I have an extensive music collection, but the 8GB model holds more than enough for me at any given time. I mostly use it while working out, and I was concerned that it would be harder to navigate than a Nano or that I might damage the touch screen; fortunately, I had no such issues.
I purchased a 1st Generation iPod Touch a few months ago, and I was hesitant about upgrading to the 2nd. There are no new earth-shattering changes or additions, but it is certainly an improved model. I had three problems with the 1st Gen that drove me crazy; thankfully, two of which have been addressed in the 2nd Gen:
1) An external volume button. Raising or lowering the volume on the 1st Gen required shifting the iTouch upright and then moving the bar across the screen. Doing that while running is almost impossible.
2) An external speaker. The 2nd Generation includes an admittedly quiet, but fully functional speaker. When you're playing a game or watching a Youtube video, it sounds just loud enough.
3) Delay in switching from landscape to portrait mode. This hasn't been addressed, and I haven't seen much discussion about it. It's less of a problem now that there is an external volume button, but it can still get annoying. Laying the device on its side while listening to music brings up the Cover Flow screen almost instantly. But for some reason, moving it back upright to get to the Now Playing screen sometimes takes as long as 10 seconds. It's not a big deal, but it can get a little annoying at times.
As far as the new features, the Genius feature works suprisingly well, as others have mentioned. I've tested it a couple of times while listening to a song, and it generated a playlist of similar artists and songs.
I haven't tested out the Nike + iPod component, but I'm glad it is included. The iTouch is fairly large, but sleek and light enough to not feel bulky in an arm band.
I've also noticed that the battery life has indeed been improved -- I haven't even charged my iTouch in a week. :) The exterior physical changes are subtle but noticeable, as it looks a bit slimmer and easier to handle.
All in all, I had to make the switch. I sold my 1st Gen for $200, and spent the extra $30 for the new model. While upgrading may or may not be worth it for everyone, I'd strongly recommend the new iTouch to first-timers. You won't be disappointed.
on January 2, 2009
First of all, I absolutely love the device itself. Without going into details about all of the wonderful features of this device, which other reviewers here have already done to death, I will just say that this is one of the most impressive gadgets I've ever played with. The things this little device can do and do very well are just mind blowing. Alas, if only it had a reasonably powerful battery to go with it.....
I'm very disappointed with the short battery life. Sure, if you just listen to songs you'll probably get ~35 hours of playtime as claimed by Apple, but who amongst us bought this expensive device just to listen to songs? It's too expensive to be used simply as an MP3 player. For me, it was the Touch's wi-fi capability that was THE main buying point and in that department I found the result to be decidedly mixed. While the wi-fi feature works flawlessly and beautifully, it just saps the life out of the battery in no time. In my experience, using wi-fi continuously drains the battery (to the 20% level) within 2-3 hours. Even if you implement all the power saving features recommended by Apple & other users, you would still be lucky to get 2 days of playtime even under normal usage (1-2 hours of internet and 4-5 hours of music & apps). I don't mind charging my Touch every day but the downside is every charge brings the battery that much closer to its end, which is about 400 charges according to Apple. In other words, this $200 + device will be basically useless within 2 years unless you pay Apple $80 to have the battery replaced. Just think about that. Your beloved Touch will be useless within 2 years, or sooner if you charge it every day, unless you've no problem forking over $80 to have the battery replaced.
Conclusion: A+ for the device, B- for the battery.
[Update: Whether you're a DJ overloaded with equipment or an aspiring one, the Touch could be the answer for your next gig. It occurred to me to take it to a job where "Boot Scootin' Boogie" was sure to be the order of the night, and I had little faith as a musician that I could make the tune come off as an instrumental. Not only did the Touch perform wonders with a P.A. system, but the "Genius" feature enabled me to find just enough other Boogie tunes to keep the line dancers happy. With a C&W band in my Tux pocket, I can even afford to leave the protective chicken wire screen at home.]
This most recent model of the Touch 8GB is currently priced at a negligible premium to the previous model even though, unlike the original Touch, this one comes with an onboard speaker. True, not impressive audio but adequate to get you by in the pinch or to make monitoring what's on your iPod that much easier. The built-in speaker plus the prospect of using the gizmo to download and play tunes during a live call-in radio show are what drew me to the Touch 2nd generation.
I never appreciated how small, thin and light the item is until I had it in hand. Now that I have it, I'm suddenly aware that I've in effect purchased an entire Apple computer(!) --and for little more than a couple hundred bucks! The internet, e-mail, map locator, applications galore and, of course, gaming are in your shirt pocket. And let's not forget the movies, videos, and photos not to mention podcasts, dictionaries, stock quotes, social networking, and on and on. My wife, who has a Treo, readily and intuitively caught on to a number of the functions while I was still painstakingly looking through the accompanying 100+ page manual that I felt compelled to immediately print out. I'm still finding the learning curve fairly steep.
Unless you're a digitally talented teen (or my wife), this gadget may not be worth the investment of time required for some of us to master all of its potential. Especially with the limited (and limiting) keyboard on the Touch, you might do well deciding on no more than a couple of dedicated uses and then practicing those until you're good at them. This entry model, especially, is priced reasonably enough to justify saving it for the things that it (and you) do best.
One caveat re: Apple's entire new line: I don't recall the company making more fuss out of so little than its hype about the "Genius" feature (sad commentary on the intelligence of the public?). Were it not for the absurd raving about this non-substantive "improvement," I'd feel like even more of an out-of-tune klutz for being so technologically challenged in the presence of yet another shrunken "smart device." I tried it, but am happier to have it turned off. (And, after a lifetime of collecting records, able to come up with just as many and better choices.) Time better spent reading a book (or Kindle).
So far, I'm finding navigation of the internet, answering e-mail, and even downloading of iTunes excessively slow and cumbersome for my purposes on the Touch, enough to steer me back to my Macbook. In sum: the iPod Classic and Nano 3G are still my top vote-getters, smaller even than the Touch yet manageable to aging eyes and unsteady fingers (especially when under time constraints). By not pretending to be "micro-computers" but merely intelligent storage drives, they serve "me" instead of vice versa. But for those seeking a world in miniature to escape to for extended periods, the Touch offers such a universe.
In sum, the Touch is an amazing gadget and cutting-edge technology, guaranteed to impress anyone within range (I'll probably use it next time I show a movie to a grand child). I'm still hopeful of learning how to stroke its magical screen to ensure timely downloading and playing of music files, even though this maiden voyage has convinced me that I'm not the ideal customer for an iPhone. (Nor, for that matter, for any of these miniature all-in-one phone-camera-GPS-media centers, including Google's new one, which at least has the advantage of being coordinated with Amazon's collection rather than iTunes).
on October 15, 2008
Many people criticize Apple for thier lockdown system of exclusive content, but let's face it, the quality of the content of the iTunes store is brilliant and this player is the perfect companion for it.
Even if you don't buy a single thing from the store this is the best mp3 player there is. The navigation thought the multi-touch screen interface, the apps bundled, the wi-fi make this device top of it's class.
I've been so thrilled to use it as an internet radio streaming device. I'm currently using the last.fm and AOL radio apps for hours and hours of uninterrupted music and the best of all, it's FREE.
Plus the games and internet capabilites have me so entretained I can;t seem to put it down. Totally recomended.
on June 2, 2009
When I went to a digital PDA (a Palm Pilot) some ten years ago, "moving up" from a paper based calendar/contacts system, I did so reluctantly.. but for one compelling advantage in the digital system: SEARCHABILITY. To be able to search my contacts and calendars and notes and EVERYTHING was incredibly attractive, and has proved invaluable over the years.
WHen my Palm device died recently, I upgraded to an iPod Touch, looking forward to the added functionality of wireless internet access, not to mention the music player capabilities.
I was stunned to discover that the iPhone / Touch operating system, already in its second version, has almost no search functionality. It's unbelievable that the primary advantage of digital storage - global search - is not incorporated into the Touch (and iPhone) operating system! Other very basic functionalities - like copy and paste - also are absent. I've been a Mac advocate for twenty years, and must report severe disappointment in this supposedly innovative device.
While the internet connectivity is neat, and the music portability is awesome, as a Personal Digital Assistant organizer - the main reason I would buy a Touch over a music iPod - the device is practically useless. What's worse, due to Apple OS restricitions, none of the thousands of Apps available for the device can provide the missing functionality. (e.g. I tried a really nice looking calendar app, and it couldn't make the Touch alarms work; nor did it have search or cut and paste).
Now I must wait for a new operating system to come out - there are promises of search functionality; but more likely I will sell the Touch and go back to a Palm or Blackberry device.
on November 15, 2008
There is no doubt that the iPod touch is really really cool. It's an amazing little device...
...until you really try to use it. I naively assumed that it would work as a PDA: it has a calendar and contacts, right? After using one for a month, I'm getting rid of it. The cool factor is long since gone, and I realize that in many ways I liked my 1998 PalmPilot better than I like this thing. I have used Palms heavily for a decade.
Things that a 1998 PalmPilot could do better than an iPod touch:
o The iPod is unreliable. The most frustrating is that the date/time/time zone likes to reset itself randomly.
o There is no ToDo app, and none of the downloadable ones sync well with Outlook.
o The calendar has no search capability - indeed, there is no global search. This is a dealbreaker when you have (as I do) a calendar with a decade of information, and over a thousand contacts.
o The auto corrections were clearly not tested: words get trashed beyond all recognition. If you are looking at the keyboard typing and don't see that it has suggested something off the wall, you end up with text that's beyond useless: a typo you might recognize and work around. If you type a lot of acronyms, usability is terrible.
o There is no caps lock - one of these little things that makes life a little bit harder, esp if you use a lot of acronyms.
o No search. I know I said it already, but it's a big problem.
o Memos are not syncable with Outlook.
o No cut and paste
o No block delete
o No zooming of text in long calendar or contact notes: the text is forced to very small
o In long contact notes, the only way to see the text is to edit them.
o There is no usable calendar alarm. I had to use it a couple of times to realize that it does beep, just so softly that you can't hear it from a pocket. Loud Palm alarms were incredibly useful as notifications of meetings and as a customizable alarm clock. (If I have a very early meeting two months from now, I can set a Palm as an alarm right now.)
o The phone #s in contacts can't understand nonstandard numbers. If a number is 123-456-7890 ext 321, the software will try to be clever by changing it to 1234567890321. Thanks.
The PDA apps Apple tries to cover with MobileMe. Don't bother. Friends have had the sync overwrite the wrong data, and backup is out of your hands. But for me it's a bad idea: I am never going to keep my calendar or contacts on a server I can't control, and that's true of many many people.
Over the course of the last month or two, I've asked people who use iPhones/iPod touches who used to use Palms what they use for todo lists, or how they do calendar searches. Answers include using using postits for todos, looking sheepish, and being resigned to not being able to do what they used to do.
Again, it was really cool for a couple of days. But I'm getting rid of it.
on May 8, 2009
I would definitely give this 5 stars anyday. The iPod is so sleek and light and fits into your hand easily without any discomfort or pain. The touch-screen is very responsive and I've never had any problems with it. I don't have very wide or fat fingers, but I've heard complaints from people who did and they seem to all suggest getting a stylus. Once again I don't have any problem with it, so it works out for me. If you're in a good wi-fi hotspot(with high-speed internet) youtube streams greatly, usually never stops to load, and safari runs swiftly, about the speed you'd expect from a moderate computer. The iPod never gets hot while in use. You may see it increase several degrees while charging, but that's normal for most electric devices. Apps I would have to say are the best part of this product. I could spend hours playing them. Hundreds of free ones to choose from, so money isn't a deal if you were worried, but some of the best ones do cost money, but I would say it's worth it. The user interface was very easy to get used to. At first,(unless you've had an iPod touch 1st Gen) you won't know what some of the buttons do, but it shouldn't take more than a few days to figure it all out.
Oh and the videos(at least the ones bought from iTunes) play perfectly and I have watched a full 90 minute movie with my iPod not even fully charged, for those worried about battery life. I've heard 24 of just playing music is the average battery life, but if you're playing with apps or watching movies(especially if you have your brightness turned all the way up) will burn that battery life a lot quicker.
Well I covered what I thought was most important, and hope my review will help you if you were still pondering weather or not you should buy this product. Fully recommend it.