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894 of 938 found the following review helpful:
Almost perfect, needs some minor improvements Sep 30, 2007
By C. Franz
I'd like to make one thing clear from the beginning: this device is the best portable media player I've held to date (I received mine on Sept 25th). *This* is how it should be done. That doesn't mean that it can't be improved (this review shows a number of misses), but in the iPod Touch so many good things come together the right way, it's embarassing how clumsy suddenly all the other devices seem (other iPods included). I have extensive experience with a myriad of other players (I own(ed) *lots* of those: Nomad, iRiver, Zen, Rio, iPods, Zune) and now that I'm holding it, it's blindingly obvious how much better the new interface works. I am really happy with this iPod. Still, there are some annoyances, idiosyncracies and downright silly limitations in this device.
So, let's begin:
First - unless you've recently held a new 'Nano', you won't belive how thin the Touch is. The glass surface feels different from my iPod Classic (yeah, I'm a *serious* MP3 player addict, and have that one, too). I can't really put my finger on it (it's hard to resist puns like that), but it feels somewhat softer when tapping it with your finger nail. Surprisingly (for me at least) the Touch does not respond to finger nails - you need to touch the surface with your finger's skin. This can initially be confusing when you are used to pressure-sensitive touch-screens, and can become difficult when using the virtual keyboard. The touch-sensitive font plate has (so far) proven to be scratch-resistant (i've been carrying it around in my pocket for the past three days).
In my hand it feels surprisingly hefty (sonsidering it's sleekness), and it is noticeably longer than the Classic. Like most other iPods, the Touch has a polished backside that magically attract fingerprints. This backplate also holds the customized engraving that Apple applied free of charge to my iPod.
The headphone connector is on the bottom, and accepts any normal headphone jack (unlike the iPhone). The position of the connector would have been annyoing if you wanted to use it upright in a gym (natch, iPod nano!). But movies are viewed in landscape orientation, and the iPod's interface automatically detects it's orientation. Now that's design for you. The earbuds are the same that come with other new iPods (classic). They are ok, but unlikely to be your first choice. I use the those earbuds for running (with my shuffle), but third-party (B&O) earphones with the classic and touch. I'm no audiophile, so sound quality usually is good for me (this holds true for all my devices). But then, according to some people I'm only listening to trash anyway. I therefore recommend that you look at other reviews if you are in search for a tone perfect device. I like it.
Controlling the iPod is a strange - great when you are looking at it, annoying if you can't see it (i.e. if it's in your pocket). As with all touch-interfaces that have no tactile feedback there is no way to 'blindly' control it, and sadly the Touch does not have a remote nor real buttons except 'sleep' and 'home'. The Touch desperately needs some hardware volume control.
Looking at the screen I have to say that I am amazed at the clarity of the image. 3.5 inches is still too small for me to comfortably watch a lengthy movie, but the 320x480 pixel wide-screen display is stunningly crisp. I re-ripped some TV shows that I originally ripped for the Classic and watched them on the Touch. The problem is that files ripped for the Touch's resolution are roughly twice as large as for the Classic - but the Touch has only a fraction of the available storage. Thus, I can't envision myself using the Touch for lengthy movie watching - but it is excellent for watching shorter clips (while I'm no youTube fan, I do have a lot of short clips shot with my handheld camera). The Touch's sceen is very bright - I can't confirm initial reports of 'inverse black' or other artifacts. It appears to have a light sensor built-in that dims the screen when in darker surroundings, and brightens the screen when in the sun. One small annoyance though: there is no way to control a movie's contrast. The docs claim that the Touch can play 5 hours of video on a single charge. I'm prepared to take this on face value - I'm certainly not going to stare into that small screen for so long just to verify this. It's long enough for one-and-half normal movies, but won't last a transatlantic. Nor would my eyes, though.
Coverflow is drop-dead beautiful, and a real show-off. It requires that you add artwork for all your CD-ripped tunes, though. Otherwise missing covers are replaced by generic grey ones. It's a great way to browse your music if you don't know what you want to hear next. It's a silly way to look for a particular album, though. For this, however, you can still (luckily) use the normal artist/album/song browser with the (again drop-dead intuitive) new gesture-based interface. It works reall, really well.
Like all iPods the Touch can play a large variety of file formats with the (expected) exceptions of WMA (protected and otherwise) and Ogg. I don't have to add that it plays AAC protected (iTunes). It can also display an impressive array of image and movie formats, even though I have the suspiction that some of the listed formats are transcoded on-the-fly by iTunes during sync.
The Touch provides video out signals that can be set to either NTSC or PAL. For Europeans like me this is very important, but may be of limited use for people living in the US. What *really* annoyed me was the fact that Apple chose to change the video out cabling, and thus forced me to purchase new cables to connect the Touch to TV sets or beamers. On the up side, the Touch does work with my (Audi) car integration without any changes.
iTunes integration is exemplary, as expected (this is the part that break most other digital music players: integration with your media library). Synching the Touch with a computer works like with any other iPod: Plug it in, iTunes starts, and you select the stuff you want synched. A strange relict from the 5G iPods: I found out that unlike the newer iPods, the Touch can't use playlist groups. Annoying (my best playlists are built from smaller lists).
While synching the Touch I encountered my first big disappointment: no wireless synching. I would have expected this ability, or at least the ability to connect to a shared iTunes library on my home network (I have a wireless access point at home). Alas, no. The iPod must be physically connected to synch and cannot wirelessly connect to a shared iTunes library. When you synch you can choose to synch music, movies, photos, contacts, web bookmarks, and calendars. Sadly, you can't sync notes (why the heck not?). Synching is done with USB 2.0 (sadly not FireWire) using the Apple-provided USB Dock Connector (no standard USB connector).
When looking for the 'enable disk use' checkbox I was baffled to find out that the Touch can't be used as a mass storage - unlike any other iPod I own, and with the exception of Zune unlike any other digital music player I own. Why? (I suspect this is to lock down the device to prohibit tinkering with it. It feels like an arbitrary, spiteful limitation, though).
The interface is largely similar to the iPhone. It's not as ghastly colorful as the new (G6) iPod interface, but still uses a little too much colors for my taste (I *really* liked the G5 color interface). The gesture/finger-based interface is easy to learn, and is even more intuitive than using a mouse (it took about one 'pinch' and one 'flick' to convince me). As I mentioned above, the drawback is that there is no tactile feedback, so you must always look at the screen while changing a setting (e.g. volume, skip, rewind). The virtual keyboard is OK to use, and I'm happy to see that it automatically changed to Switzerland's 'QWERTZ' layout. So far, fingerprints on the surface have been a non-issue for me (they do look ugly on the back side, though). The keyboard has an optional 'clicker' that provides (very welcome) aural feedback when you press a key (as the other iPods, the Touch has a small clicker built in that can produce simple sounds).
As iPods before it, there are some additional applications provided, updated for the touch interface: Calendar, Calculator (this one is new), Contacts, Settings, and Clock. Calendar holds one the most unfortunate, narrow-sighted and arbitrary product decisions Apple has made in a long time: you can't add new Events. The reason this is unacceptable to me is because the exact same application on the iPhone *has* this ability, and it was taken out as a concious decision; it was not an oversight. Clearly this is an attempt at artificially differenciate the Touch from the iPhone. Shame on Apple - I really hope that subsequent updates will rectify this.
Another disappointment is that there is no Notes application, as this would have been a natural for the gestured-based interface and virtual keyboard. Again, this application exists for the iPhone, but was removed. Sad, sad, sad. In the same vein, it would have been great if I could load PDF documents for off-line viewing onto the touch -- Safari comes with an *excellent* PDF viewer (presumably the Touch's version of Preview). I'm using this feature through a work-around: convert a document to PDF, publish it on my home Mac's web server, and then load it in the Touch's Safari (e.g. '[...] That way I can read this document offline (did so this morning while being driven to a meeting) - but only this one PDF document can be in-memory. I tried to open a second browser window, and the first document was not retained in the cache, forcing a re-load. So a document viewer (and PDF management from iTunes?) would be a great addition.
Also, the games that I had to re-purchase for my Classic (yes, re-purchased because the Classic can't use games for the 5.5G iPod) will *NOT* run on the Touch. Arrrgh! It looks as if I'll have to re-re-purchase those games again (I'm addicted to Bejeweled and Sudoku).
Up until here, the Touch has been a natural evolution of the iPod -- the first, and long-awaited 'true video iPod'. But the Touch offers one more thing that I feel makes it a killer product: productive WiFi integration. I'm not talking about some half-baked song sharing feature (although that would have been welcome too) but actual useful net access.
The Touch has 802.11b/g (but not 'n') WiFi built-in that can connect to the internet through normal hotspots. Since you can expect the iPod to be in many different locations, hooking it up to hotspots is an important feature that must be easy to use. The Touch can (and will) remember hotspots it has connected to, and asks when it connects to a new hotspot very much like your Laptop does. Connecting to open Hotspots is a snap: scan surroundings, pick from list, (enter password when protected), connect. You can turn it off for airplane travel or to conserve battery life.
You connect to protected hotspots (using the virtual keyboard for password entry). Also you can use Safari for those annoying web-page-to-enter-billing-info based hotspots that hotels seem to like (and every one else hates). Connecting to a closed and secure WLAN is a bit more complex. My WLAN is configured to require any device to be known by MAC address, and looking up this info wasn't as intuitive as I thought it would be (I found it in the Info tab). I then entered Network Name and Password, and a few seconds later, my Touch had access to my WLAN.
But what is so special about WiFi? To me, having access to the Web is a killer feature. I'm not talking about music here - but access to Google (but not the Google Apps just yet), Wikipedia, CNN, Amazon, and my web mail account. With just a little tap on the screen I can look at news, check my mail, track a package, fire off a note to someone, or answer a silly question that just entered my head. Anywhere, anytime (when in range of a hotspot. In Switzerland that's practically everywhere). To repeat: this is a killer feature. It turns this digital media player into a nearly fully fledged PDA.
The Touch version of Safari is great (even though Google Docs does not yet support it, and there currently is no support for Flash), and very responsive. Using the virtual keyboard takes some time to getting used to (again the missing tactile feedback is annoying). Navigating the web is quick (provided you have a good connection), and using the gestures to move the obscured parts of web pages into view becomes natural after only a few moments.
The touch also comes with a special version of iTunes, the 'WiFi Music Store'. It allows you to instantly purchase a song (very, very nice). Strangely, once you sync, songs purchased with the Touch will appear in their own 'Purchased on Touch' group (what on earth for?) in your main (iTunes) library. The WiFi store's selection does not provide access to PodCasts (lame!), nor any video content. And don't get me started on iPod games again... Still, navigating the WiFi Store is natural, and the design is intuitive. It's also very robust -- I purchased a 75 track (classic) compilation using the WiFi store. Of course, some time during the transfer the connection dropped, and I switched off the Touch. Later, at home, the Touch resumed download as soon as it re-connected to the net. The WiFi iTunes store is also where allegedly the 'Starbucks Thing' is happening. I'm (somewhat) sorry to say that I havn't tried out this feature beacuse a) I don't frequent Starbucks and b) even if I did, Switzerland is not yet upgraded for this feature anyways.
So let's look at the remaining applications: I'm (again) seriously disappointed to see that Apple chose to cut Mail from the application list (the Touch would have been a great Blackberry replacement - and arguably might be too close a competitor to the iPhone if it had that feature), but at least I can use web mail as a work-around. Apple does include a dedicated youTube application which I have to admit I never used. I simply don't "get" youTube.
The Touch is (currently) the best flash-based media player around, with a stunning (even revolutionary) new gesture-based user interface that works. I would have welcomed a significantly larger main storage, but it's very good as it is now. As a media player it's main drawback derives from the purely touch-based interface: it could have profited from a tactive rotary controller for 'blind' control. The feature that separates the Touch from the rest is the addition of another killer feature: WiFi web browsing. WiFi based music purchase is a nice bonus.
The Touch also comes with a number of (sometimes artificial) limitations that I hope will be resolved in the future. All in all I'm very, very satisfied with the Touch, even though the Touch experience can clearly be improved (e.g. by removing application restrictions, being able to pull in shared iTunes Libraries, sharing songs wirelessly, syncing wirelessly etc.).
- great "video" iPod
- WiFi web browsing with Safari (killer feature)
- wide range of supported file formats (audio, video, images)
- great display
- phenomenally sharp images
- drop-dead gesture/touch interface
- both NTSC and PAL video out (important for us Europeans).
- iTunes store wirelessly
- TV PAL and NTSC out
- no playlist groups
- difficult to use 'blind'
- no contrast control for movies
- no disk mode (huh???)
- non-standard AV connector (again!)
- artificial limitations on Calendar application
- no Mail, Notes, Games applications
- can't access iTunes shared libraries on WLAN
- can't share songs with other Touch iPods
- no wireless synching
- 16GB can be awfully small when ripping movies for Touch's resolution
- no WiFi iTunes PodCasts
Things I'd like to see in updates
- Wireless Sync
- Access to iTunes shared Libraries
- Off-line viewing of PDF documents
- Third-party software development kit (SDK)
94 of 107 found the following review helpful:
Apple sets a new standard with iTouch Sep 30, 2007
By Living in Budapest
I've had my iPod Touch for over two weeks. I was one of the lucky people who happened to be at an Apple Store on September 13 when a few iPods arrived for sale. I bought an 8GB iPhone that same day, so I've had two weeks to use both. Essentially the iTouch is the iPhone less the phone.
The beauty of the iTouch is that it's essentially the same size as its 30GB predecessor. It's perhaps a tad longer, a little narrower, and definitely thinner. The defining difference is that instead of a small screen and the clickwheel with the 30GB you have basically all screen with the iTouch.
I own a 30GB video iPod that I've used for numerous trips overseas. I didn't mind the small screen, but always wished for something bigger. The iTouch screen is wonderfully big and exceptionally crisp. My 2 year old daughter could only bear the original iPod screen for 5 minutes before asking to watch on my computer or the TV. She really loves watching her shows on 'her' iPod! Also regarding the screen, I have to say that I love turning the iTouch to watch widescreen.
The touchscreen works very well. The scrolling and 'pinching' features are really cool.
I was somewhat skeptical about the keyboad. Admittedly it took me a while to grow accustomed to tapping on it. As a side note, I should say that for some reason the iTouch's keyboard has been more responsive than my iPhone's pad.
I've tried the iTouch's wireless access at home and various other places. It works great. Youtube runs nicely on the iTouch.
I recently upgraded my iTouch to 1.1.1 adding iTunes. The iTunes interface is much simpler than the desktop version, but it works well. I recently bought a song on iTunes using my iTouch.
The other features such as Calendar, Contacts, and Photos work great.
The one thing that I miss on the iTouch is an an external volume control. It's somewhat annoying to have to use the screen to adjust the volume. Another small issue is the amount of memory, but this is a small sacrifice for the great screen and additional features.
Another missing feature is e-mail access. Naturally you can use the iTouch's Safari browser to access POP and other accounts. However, Apple should have included this built-in iPhone feature. Perhaps Apple will add it in a future update.
At $399 + tax the iTouch is a bit pricey, but for my purposes it's worth every dollar. If you're a current video iPod owner, you'll most likely want to upgrade at some point in time.
27 of 29 found the following review helpful:
iTouch - very fun - almost, but not quite perfect. Oct 09, 2007
By J. McWhirter
The first determination you make is - is the video playback and touchscreen worth $400? I say yes.
Video playback was excellent - I rip DVD's via Handbrake to MP4 then import into iTunes - playback on the iTouch is impressive. Colors and blacks are excellent.
In addition, I purchased a few TV shows on iTunes, which played back with no problem.
Unlike other reviewers, I didn't notice a difference between the iTouch and the other iPods I have (4GB nano, 8GB nano, 80 GB video) when it came to playing back music. The music sounded just as good on the iTouch as the other iPods. I have ripped my CD collection at Apple Lossless and I am using Shure e3c earphones.
Touchscreen - the touchscreen is a gadget lovers dream - I can spend hours flipping through album covers - zooming in on photos, web pages - it is just fun. I don't miss the click wheel at all.
Surfing the web - surfing the web is somewhat of a mediocre experience - yes its a small device, etc etc... but I found the response a little slow - I have 802.11g at my house, so I expected a little quicker response - some web pages were quick, but others took several seconds to load - web pages with low graphics were easy to navigate (NY Times) - while others with lots of graphics (ESPN) the iTouch seemed to have a problem with - especially when it came to zooming in to see a link in a title bar - however, as mentioned, zooming in and navigating on low graphics pages was very easy. Overall, surfing the web was still a fun experience.
Syncing - the iTouch synced with my Mac mini with no problem - calendar, and contacts were all there - so were the pictures or movies I chose.
Why only 4 stars?
I am disappointed that I can't add calendar events to my iTouch - I am also disappointed that it doesn't have bluetooth. I currently have a 'technology' loop - MS Outlook at work syncs via BlackBerry to my Nokia 9300 (phone), which synchs via bluetooth to my Mac Mini - I update one device and all the others sync with the new piece of information (contacts, calendar, mail) - it is disappointing that the iTouch has to remain at the end of that 'chain'. In addition, why can I not put notes in my iTouch? There is a keyboard built in - it just seems like notes could have been in there.
One last gripe - why only 16GB? A movie is just under 2GB - that is only 8 movies - whats up with that? I have 350GB of music and video - why limit this device to 16GB? Not sure who's idea that was...
In summary, it is a fun piece of electronic equipment. If you have the $400, buy it!
31 of 34 found the following review helpful:
Excellent gadget, needs some improvements Oct 13, 2007
By Nishant Agarwal
I have had the ipod touch since 1 week. I have been waiting for it since 2 years because I knew one day Apple would release a widescreen player.
- design, very cool, have to use it to believe it. Leaves others far far behind
- mac os based, potential for great enhancements by firmware upgrades
- Has Wi-Fi, [...] can be used for using some web applications like sudoku. Although I think in future, apple will release native games for it for 9.99 each
- value for money is not there. At 399 bucks, they give you crappy headphones, cheap quality shameful attempt of plastic dock, cheap plastic stand, no electric charger, supplied usb cable is short, no case. You have to be prepared to shell out 50 to 150 bucks on good headphones if you want better quality music from same device, have to buy a good dock or electric charger, a case etc. Can be very expensive in total cost.
- cannot search for songs by typing in name of song, artist etc... But I think this they will add in future update or maybe I have missed this feature so far
- space is less. But can't blame apple. I am sure at this time next year for 399 they will have a 32gb player with force sensitive touch etc.. that is nature of technology. If you keep waiting you will never buy anything
- does not come with any games, useful applications like even simple notepad
- 16gb is not available completely as some space is taken away by OS and installed apps, you will have like 14.8gb or 15gb available
- the wallpapers it comes with, those even though you set, you wont see them because that wallpaper is applicable only when device is locked and you double click the home button
26 of 29 found the following review helpful:
PRICEY AND SUFFERS FROM BUGS... Dec 09, 2007
By Anton Tobias
As a dedicated iPod owner I was thrilled to learn that Apple was coming out with a new touch screen model of iPod. The commercials for the new iPod Touch do a great job of making this product look sleek with its slim, sexy design with beautiful glass widescreen. They also boast that this new era of iPod has convenient WIFI capabilities with a built-in Safari web browser. To the average consumer this looks to be an exceptional MP3/Video player...that is until you see the price tag and storage capacity.
At 16GB it would seem Apple has shot themselves in the foot from the get-go. I understand that they wanted to keep the iPod Touch a flash memory player but lets be realistic, 16GB isn't enough space to do anything with now-a-days. The undersized storage capacity seems to completely counteract with this new iPod concept in general...why have a gorgeous glass widescreen to view movies on when 16GB isn't even enough to satisfy most peoples music needs?
Moving on to the iPod touch's WIFI capability that has been the subject of much hype. This (from my experience) has been the biggest disappointment so far. After connecting the iPod Touch to my home WIFI connection (and three other public WIFI hotspots) it continues to crash (when I say crash I mean it returns to the home/menu screen unexpectedly) making it impossible to surf the web. Incidentally, I have also experienced the unit crashing several times (although not as much compared to using the Safari web browser) when using the coverflow feature and when trying to watch videos. After quite a few factory resets the device seems to run smoothly again but manages to start crashing once more after just a few uses...leading to more factory resets in order to run the device properly.
After searching the web for answers (on my PC of course) on this crashing issue I quickly discovered this seems to be a common complaint among iPod Touch owners. It seems this unit has issues with being "overworked" and crashes as a result of it. For example: when using the internal WIFI antenna the unit's processor has problems keeping up with all the action, chokes then restarts. The same thing occasionally happens when watching videos and scrolling to fast through album art. Which brings me to my next point...why at the ridiculous price of $400.00 does this unit lack the proper power to accomplish the tasks it promises it can?
The iPod touch isn't all bad...it still has a very decent interface and the potential to be something great but I can't help but feel this product was just too rushed and slapped together quickly in order to make the holiday shopping deadline.
I have personally owned five iPods over the years and have been completely satisfied with everyone of them (including the new 3rd generation iPod nano) until now. I'm hoping these issues with the iPod Touch will be cleared up with the 2nd generation release next year.
At $400.00 this is far too much money for a product so plagued with bugs. I will be returning mine and waiting patiently for next years release.
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