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Customer Review

57 of 66 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars curvier, lighter, cheaper, iPhone-ier, September 9, 2008
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This review is from: Apple iPod touch 16 GB 2nd Generation (Black) (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Wireless Phone Accessory)
The 2G iPod Touch is a solid update, with some nice new, er, touches. If you have the existing 1G Touch, you won't find a compelling reason to upgrade unless you use the Nike+ fitness device, as this new Touch has that support built in. If you've been waiting for the price to come down, good news: the new devices are about $100 cheaper than their predecessors, so the 32Gb Touch can be had for under $400, and the 8Gb for a little over $200. The 16Gb device strikes me as the sweet spot at $299.

Improvements include: iPhone Firmware 2.1, which opens access to the AppStore and fixes some of 2.0's bugs; an internal speaker (not terribly loud, but it'll do in a pinch); the Nike+ support; a new form factor that is lighter and curved for easier holding (though if you use it on a flat surface it's not as stable as the 1G); 6 hour video / 36 hour audio battery life; support for the new iTunes 8.0 Genius playlists (similar to Rhapsody Channels and Pandora, but limited to your on-device music collection).

If your primary need is for an audio player, especially for podcasts and audiobooks where the device sits in your pocket for hours on end, I'd recommend you consider the iPod Nano. The new 4G Nano tops off at 16Gb, which works out to nearly six months of spoken-word content. And at $199, you get twice the storage for less than the 8Gb Touch.

Where the Touch shines is in its interactivity - a gorgeous video-viewing experience that won't strain your eyes like the Nano, full Safari browser and other Internet-enabled applications (with a WiFi connection), gorgeous 2D and decent 3D gaming, PDA-like functionality. It's called Touch for a reason - it screams out to be looked at, touched, played with, caressed, even licked. It's a full-blown computer in your hand; to use it as a mere digital audio player makes Steve Jobs cry.

I wouldn't toss a 1G Touch for this device, since you can upgrade to the 2.1 firmware and get most of the goodies in software. But if you're looking to upgrade from a smaller device and want something with the additional potential to replace your Palm, PSP or Nintendo DS Lite, this is a compelling option.
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Showing 1-8 of 8 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Sep 9, 2008 5:08:01 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Sep 9, 2008 5:08:21 PM PDT
C. Gill says:
your battery hours are exactly what apple states, which i feel is probably not accurate to average usage...but the rest is informative, thanks for the info

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 9, 2008 6:22:29 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on Dec 15, 2008 8:52:16 PM PST
Jim Wright says:
Correct - I used the Apple numbers for battery life, not actual test results. Thanks for the feedback!

[update] After several months' use, my observations show more battery life (nearly 19 hours) when I turn off the wifi and leave the screen off (long audiobooks) and closer to 10-12 hours under "normal" constant use: a mix of audio (screen off or reading ebooks), video (2-3 hours), ebooks, Internet use, etc. In short, the only time I run the battery completely down is when it's on purpose, either to see how much I can squeeze out of the battery, or to get a full recharge. Frequently I'm docked for five minutes or less, just long enough to grab new files, so I do at least one full cycle a week.

Confession: for playing podcasts and my music, it's not a contest; I prefer the Nano. I can pause it without looking and the clickwheel makes it easy to navigate books and podcasts. Move back 20 seconds on the Touch in the middle of a book? Good luck. But for video, ebooks, and dead-sexy web apps, the Touch is my new BFF. The 2.2 firmware upgrade that allows direct podcast downloads is also terrific if I'm away from the home PC.

Without the appstore, I wouldn't have bothered with the Touch. But now? Color me a believer.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 10, 2008 1:18:29 PM PDT
It may be a great device, and maybe I'll want to hold and caress it. But lick it? I think not!

Posted on Sep 11, 2008 5:54:30 PM PDT
you forgot to mention something that I thought was pretty important. It now has a volume button on the left side of the device.

Posted on Sep 19, 2008 5:55:19 PM PDT
Giuseppe C. says:
As you say the Touch is a mini-computer, so for only a few bucks more than the Nano it seems ridiculously cheap. On the other hand, I use a Nano all the time and am too impatient to work with the Touch's micro-keyboard, web browser and mail. it's almost more frustrating than not having a computer at all. I'm still not sure why the Touch is more expensive than an iPhone, though.

In reply to an earlier post on Sep 19, 2008 8:00:24 PM PDT
Because they are not making money on continuous service contracts with ATT subscribers, but only with the device.

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2008 3:34:47 AM PDT
Jim Wright says:
I agree, Samuel. For daily use, I far prefer the Nano, which is less obtrusive in size and weight. (I'm one of those cubicle chimps who wears the thing around my neck nearly 24/7.) The appstore holds promise, but I haven't found my Killer App yet. Video is pretty, but I've got enough DIVX video to be annoyed that that support isn't there. Sound quality is great with my high-quality music (best-quality VBR192 MP3 - my ears don't notice improvements from higher bit rates so that's what I settled on, though I do have some FLAC content) and my crappy ripped-ages-ago music sounds as decent as I can expect. I'm not around accessible WiFi at work, so the browser and mail don't do much for me (I get more out of my Centro for those apps, ugly as it is).

A few weeks in, it's still gorgeous, but it's not replacing my Nano. Just complementing it. (buying both, however - ouch. expensive.)

In reply to an earlier post on Oct 2, 2008 3:37:34 AM PDT
Jim Wright says:
Perhaps I exaggerated about the licking. (Well, maybe just once.)
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