Customer Review

107 of 116 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Apple's iPod Touch 32 GB - Some Great Updates, Some Updates Still Missing, September 24, 2008
This review is from: Apple iPod touch 32 GB (2nd Generation) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Electronics)
The new Apple iPod touch 32 GB (2nd Generation) has a few improvements over the first generation Apple iPod touch 32 GB. Overall, the improvements make it more attractive to new owners than to existing ones looking to upgrade. I will explain why I chose it, and ultimately whether the changes are enough for you is bound to be subjective.

Apple's 32GB iPod Touch is still the largest you can buy. The Apple iPod touch 8 GB (2nd Generation) model is priced so low that it is very attractive as an entry level unit. So from that perspective, the 16 GB model is kind of the ugly duckling since it's not much less than the 32 GB model. If you just need the WiFi browsing, the 8 GB model will meet those needs. If you want to put a decent amount of music and video on it, the 32 GB model is the way to go. I would recommend those who are considering the 16 GB model to step up to the 32 GB model if at all possible.

The unit finally has volume controls, and even adds a few features that were surprising such as the small speaker. But adding volume controls without track controls was surprising to me. And while the speaker is nice and the Nike integration is also nice, neither of those are deal breakers for me. The battery life improvement is noticeable. And web browsing is still great, though the wireless range has not been improved. Overall the best improvement is probably the lowered price, which is a bigger deal to those who were holding off. This is my third, and I'm still looking forward to the next version and more capacity.

For me, I found that the first generation player became much more of a multimedia device than my other MP3 players. I could live with some of the weaknesses, but the battery life really became an issue. That was even after disabling most power hogging features. I made sure to test this out for at least two weeks before making a judgement on this particular improvement. On the new one, the battery life is definitely improved though not nearly as much as advertised. The other big improvement is the addition of at least a few buttons for volume control.

Safari browsing still rocks, but the fact that they didn't upgrade the wireless is disappointing. I will hope that the next version will have stronger wireless and more capacity. If they can do that, they will be at a nice starting point for future generations to build on.

There is a widely publicized issue with wireless browsing on certain types of secured networks. You may have to reconfigure security at home or wait for an update. I have not directly experienced this and I only connect to secure WiFi, except for rare cases. I have still experienced a long time polling and connecting to WiFi networks however. Depending on many factors, you may need to wait for the next software update if this is a big issue for you.

+ 32GB of storage is a decent size for music and video for most users
+ Nice new lowered prices for each capacity level
+ Safari web browsing and easy WiFi hotspot setup still the best feature
+ Great design with a sleek thin body with slightly more curvature
+ Beautiful 320x480 pixel wide-screen provides pleasing video viewing
+ Turn to the side to view video using the full wide screen width
+ Orientation detection changes view to landscape mode automatically when turning iPod!
+ Brighter screen with great contrast and crisp sharp images
+ Wireless access via 802.11 b/g compliant antenna (still waiting for `n')
+ Wireless searching and video on mode can be disabled to extend battery life
+ Headphone jack compatible with standard phones
+ Genius playlist feature works well enough
+ New apps work great and give you stocks, maps, email, notes and weather
+ Supports both NTSC and PAL video out
+ Unlike iPod classic, all flash memory means less failures and breakage
+ Flash memory also awesome for running / working out, though I use my nano for that ;-)
+ Integration of Nike workout features also nice add-on
+ Cover-flow works better on the Touch with the software update
+ Slightly better sound quality than 2nd generation iPods
+ Small speaker is great for playing games or previewing tracks
+ Apple reputation is probably still worth the premium
+ Plenty of free video and audio teaser content available on iTunes
+ Easy access to iTunes right from your device over your local wireless internet!
+ Apple store provides easy access to more and more apps

- Still not enough capacity to make it a replacement for your disk-based player
- Still no track controls, though the volume controls and hold are nice add-ons
- Accessories such as cases that fit version 1 need to be replaced due to body redesign
- Screen requires "real touch," bad for those of us in cold weather cities
- Data port still seems cramped
- Still not backwards compatible with legacy docks and cables
- Battery life somewhat improved, but not nearly as much as advertised
- Only minimal usage of WiFi and video will allow regular daily usage on one charge
- No expandability or SD card slot like competing players
- Limited native formats (MP3, MPEG4, AAC) and high software overhead (still growing!)
- iTunes attempts to install extra software when updating!!!
- PDA functions such as calendar syncing and contact management still need work
- Still lacking some features such as built-in FM radio & voice recorder
- Missing wireless syncing and song transfer, features already on the Zune
- No Bluetooth for peripherals and accessories (strange considering Nike integration is based on bluetooth)
- No wireless synching or wireless access to iTunes WLAN libraries
- No WiFi viewing of live iTunes PodCasts
- Still no local viewing of PDF or other common document formats
- No mode to use as disk storage?!?!
- Still relatively expensive in GB/ $ terms


Overall this device is enough of an improvement to lure in more converts. Those who own the first generation iPod touch or want to store their entire music collection will probably want to wait. Except of course, if you must have one or more of those updated features (improved battery life, Nike integration, etc). In that case, you can find comfort in the slightly improved sound.

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Showing 1-9 of 9 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 27, 2008 6:23:44 AM PDT
Ms_Ladi says:
This review started off pretty well, but I have to ask: Why is "missing Zune features" a con? If the Touch were missing different generation features like a good feature of the 1st generation or the mini, then okay. But who cares if one brand doesn't have the features of another brand? That's why they're different brands! :-)

Like saying the Mazda doesn't have the horsepower of a BMW or a Cooper is not the size of a A8. (???)

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 28, 2008 12:13:26 AM PDT
Mark says:
Thanks for the comment.

People who don't own as many MP3 devices as I do may want to know what features others have that this one does not. Perhaps the *con* category isn't the ideal place for that observation. Still, I try to keep the conclusions clearly organized. For some people this will be a con. Some might also think that not having a memory card slot is not a con. I disagree. I think all players should have them, but obviously many companies disagree. Comparing different devices against each other is a part of reviewing. I am tough in my reviews but fair.

To play devil's advocate, the minor nature of the con is why it's listed further down. Seems sad you dug just that one line out of my review. Yet in the interest of completeness, I often point out things completely missing from devices. I find it strange that Apple includes Nike + integration (which is based on bluetooth) and doesn't have real bluetooth functionality for accessories from speakers to headphones. Just because they didn't think of it doesn't mean I can't mention it. In fact, I'm giving Apple valuable feedback I hope they will use.

To be fair, the iPod Touch isn't really comparable to any other music player. The WiFi feature makes it really more of a mobile browser for me, and that's how I use it. That's why I own this one and not an iPod Classic. I use other players for those types of pure *music and video* player features.

Still, this device has a wireless antenna in it. Not having wireless song transfer and wireless syncing are going to make some people scratch their heads.

I don't think your analogy to comparing cars is really fitting here. Still, you are entitled to your opinion. Those who never drove all those models might need a comparison for context.

Hope my response is helpful. We don't have to agree for you to find my observations or opinions helpful.

Thanks again for the comment.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 29, 2008 3:27:14 PM PDT
[Deleted by the author on Oct 29, 2008 3:28:29 PM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 2, 2008 12:19:37 PM PST
[Deleted by the author on Dec 2, 2008 12:20:06 PM PST]

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 2:34:35 PM PST
I disagree with 16gb being the 'ugly duckling.' 100 bucks more is a lot to pay for space I wouldn't use. Unless one has tons pf music or plans to put a lot of videos on their iPod, 32 is a lot. Great review besides that! Would be helpful, but I read it after I got my iPod.

Posted on Dec 10, 2008 2:34:37 PM PST
I disagree with 16gb being the 'ugly duckling.' 100 bucks more is a lot to pay for space I wouldn't use. Unless one has tons pf music or plans to put a lot of videos on their iPod, 32 is a lot. Great review besides that! Would be helpful, but I read it after I got my iPod.

In reply to an earlier post on Dec 11, 2008 1:20:36 PM PST
Mark says:
Thanks for your post.

I understand what you are saying. Perhaps it's not the best choice of words.

For me, though it comes down to $ per gigabyte and room to expand. When you are already paying $300, $100 more isn't really that much. And believe me, the space will get used and fast. :)

Once you buy a 16 GB model, it's never getting bigger. The first 16 GB model I bought was filled up before I even copied any of my albums onto it. Just from a few weeks of new downloads and some videos I had run out of room. Like I said, if I was mainly using it for the wifi browser, then the 8 GB is perfect. You can still get a few playlists on there and some video. But if I'm going to pay $300 for a 16 GB unit, I might as well step up to the 32 GB model for the marginal cost.

Believe me 32 GB is not a lot. These things are designed for video so you would expect people to use it for video eventually. And video takes up a lot of room. Also keep in mind that about 2 GB is lost to the space of formatting and the software to run the iPod Touch.

I would really love to hear back from you in 3 or 4 months about whether still have capacity left over or have to remove stuff to put more stuff on there. I now have several models that I hold different *collections* on because none of these comes close to having enough capacity for all my needs.

Thanks again for your post.

Posted on Sep 9, 2009 8:25:43 AM PDT
"the 16 GB model is kind of the ugly duckling since it's not much less than the 32 GB model"

Maybe to you a $100 more isn't much but to some of us it's out of our price range!

In reply to an earlier post on Mar 21, 2010 1:44:09 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Mar 21, 2010 1:44:41 AM PDT
Adrian says:
I agree with others that the price difference for me was a deal-breaker in me getting the 32 GB instead of what I got, the 16 GB. But besides that, this review was very cool.

Much more concise than mine. :)
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