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891 of 934 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. 'http://mintel.local/myDoc.pdf'). 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)
194 of 209 found the following review helpful:
What a fun toy! Oct 04, 2007
Well, let me start by saying that I ordered the Touch on a lark. Got it direct from Apple with free engraving on the back. I must say that this is a really fun toy, at 8GB its just big enough to hold my music collection (6GB), a couple of videos and still have space to cache some video streams, barely! As mentioned elsewhere, the interface is quite cute and innovative. I love a touch screen and I love how big the screen is. Ok, here's the things I love about the Touch so far:
1) Big beautiful screen
2) Touch screen interface
3) Wifi connectivity with Safari, iTunes and YouTube built right into the main screen.
4) Changeable background, finally!
5) Sleek form factor slides nicely into my pocket.
6) Don't have to use it as a cell phone.
7) Flips back and forth from landscape to portrait modes depending on how you hold it or what you are viewing.
8) Power button, thank you Apple for finally deigning to put a power button on an iPod!
9) Automatic brightness adjustment, absolute genius!
10) Seems to remember where you left off on every video on the unit, awesome feature I love it!
11) iTunes: for any iPod you have to count the flawless relationship with iTunes as a big plus, you just can't beat it for reliability, ease of use and great features (and believe me I've tried!)
12) Great Now Playing music page, the album art fills the whole screen and by tapping the middle you get immediate access to repeat and shuffle buttons. Now you can now easily shuffle just a playlist, a feature that has been hard to find on previous iPods.
13) Like any other iPod, accessories abound and are easily purchased just about anywhere!
14) Apple customer service is good imo, they stand behind their product and will replace without much hassle as I know from experience.
15) For only $20 you can get extra stuff like Notes, Weather, Calculator, and stuff like that.
But of course, nothing is perfect. I give this a 5 stars because it is such a great innovation for Apple and a great product, but that doesn't mean that its without flaws and here's the ones I've noticed so far:
1) Touch screen can be a bit frustrating, often doesn't feel me and often I miss the button I'm aiming for with my fat fingers (they feel fat when trying to hit keyboard buttons on that screen anyway!). I understand that this is a "Capacitance" screen which means you can't use a stylus or your fingernail, you have to register firm contact with your flesh on the screen.
2) Screen flipping: although this is a cool concept it can be annoying sometimes. Occasionally the screen flips as I'm moving around and I didn't want it to. So I sit there twisting the thing to and from trying to get the alignment I want. Wouldn't it be nice if you could lock it into the perspective you want and it would just stay there (is anybody at Apple listening?)
3) Hard to operate "blind", as I walk around I like to be able to pause/play or adjust volume without having to look at the screen. Very easy to do on my 5.5Gen iPod, almost impossible on the Touch. I have to pull it out of my pocket almost every time I want to pause or adjust the volume.
4) Sound quality is not quite as good as my 5.5Gen Video iPod or my Archos 605, I've tried it on speakers and headphones and the Video has just a little bit cleaner smoother sound especially at high volume.
5) No built in USB port!
Overall, its an awesome innovative product and if you really like having the coolest new toy (like me!) and money is not a major concern I say what are you waiting for?
2 month update: Well of course you can get cases everywhere for this thing now. Still very happy with my Touch, although I did have to send in for replacement unit due to dead battery, took about two weeks but they sent me a new one and even engraved it like my original. What the heck got a shiny new Touch for free :) I have updated my review, added a positive point, removed a couple of outdated negative points.
237 of 265 found the following review helpful:
Good, not perfect Oct 05, 2007
By Harley Head
I've had it for a few days now (8GB version). I chose it over the 8GB Nano because I figured the extra bells and whistles (larger screen, touch sensitivity, wi-fi, etc.) were worth an extra hundred bucks. I will share a few things I've discovered in my first week of ownership. First, the weak points (which most people want to hear first): Sound quality is on par with the Nano but doesn't seem as good as my wife's iPod video. Wallpaper can only display when unit is coming out of sleep mode, browsing while music is playing causes music to stop, the screen will be a horrid mess of greasy finger prints after only a few minutes of use, there is no visible way to determine charging status without pushing a button because the screen goes completely black when charging. Video seems more pixelated and not as sharp or crisp as the new Nano (They're not lying when they say the Nano has the sharpest display of all iPods.) The lack of accessories hurts, mainly because I'd love to cover the smudge-prone body more than anything. Also, the dimensions of this thing basically scream "drop me" and I'm clumsy enough to do it if I don't get a good belt clip or at least enough protection to confidently slide it in my pocket. As for the good things: Wi-fi was super-easy to configure and I get a strong signal throughout my three-story home. I like the web browsing. Pinching to zoom and adjusting pages with your finger makes surfing the tiny screen much much easier. The Safari browser is quick and efficient at loading pages. The touch screen is very responsive (although big-fingered people such as me will have a difficult time trying to select letters on the tiny keyboard. I had to hit backspace quite a bit for incorrect characters). it didn't require multiple taps or finger drags (not counting deleting mistaken characters). The photo album is really cool. The thumbnails are well arranged and image manipulation with your fingertips is just as fun as web browsing (I just wish the wallpaper could be viewed on the home screen and not only when the device is locked, as mentioned above). The video is pretty good (even if not on par with Nano). Lastly, the organization of everything is really intuitive and well executed. You are pretty much one button-push away from anything you want; much better than endless sub-menus. In my opinion, the bottom line for having an iPod is the music. if you have a huge music collection (over 15GB), I would strongly suggest going with the Classic. Trust me, unless you REALLY feel you'll use the extras such as wi-fi and maybe the PDA features beyond the first day, there isn't much else to justify sacrificing the capacity. Even if you want the touch for movies, the storage limitations prevent any serious mobile collection. The coolness factor took all of ten minutes to wear off for me. However, I've never needed more than a 4GB iPod, (I have a meager collection of music ripped from my CD's. Call me old-fashioned). Therefore, I think I'll keep it, only because my alternative has the same capacity and I actually do plan to ocassionally check my email from the backyard without needing to lug out my clunky laptop. I just figured I'd put that out there for people on the fence about whether to get a Touch or Classic. Also, I like the PDA-like features of the touch. Even though much has been made of the so-called "crippling" of the calendar, I don't plan to use it as a full-fledge PDA anyhow, so the fact that it synchs with Outlook and makes my appointments and contacts readily available is good enough for me. Lastly, much has been made about the "negative-black" screen issue. I have a week 38 model with Corrine Bailey on the box (if you've spent any time at all researching the screen issue, you'll know exactly what I'm talking about. If not, stop by Apple's iPod Touch forum and you'll quickly find out). I've had no problems whatsoever (other than a little blocky video at times). No dead or stuck pixels and blacks look just fine. I honestly think it is a much smaller issue than people are making it out to be.
66 of 73 found the following review helpful:
Great device, intentionally crippled Nov 15, 2007
By Braden Holstege
This is the first ipod I have owned (but not first mp3 player), so I didn't really know what to expect when I ordered it.
The touch has some very innovative features. The cover flow is a nice addition, the keyboard is surprisingly usable, and the built in wifi support is an incredibly useful thing to have.
However, those features cannot overcome the fact that Apple failed to include features that are a standard among every other MP3 player in the market, in some cases including their own products.
1) You cannot transfer songs, pictures, or any other form of media by using the mass storage (dragging and dropping through windows). This means that you cannot use this on any computer without itunes, and you can't use it on Linux or Solaris at all. This feature is present in literally all of the ipods competition.
2) Not only can you not transfer media, you can't use it to transfer files between computers at all. According to my brother, you can do this on even other ipods. I had planned on using this to transfer large projects between home and my school computer lab.
3) Software that came on the iphone was deliberately left out purely to separate it form the iphone. For example, notes is left out of the ipod. Why would you leave out Notes, But keep Calendar and Contacts? This is pure software, their is no reason Apple could not have put it on the ipod.
4) you can only sync with one computer. Since I own 2 computers that I use regularly, this is a serious problem.
5) You can't transfer mp3's between computers through itunes, but you can transfer itunes purchases. The only reason I can come up with for this is to cripple Amazons music service for use on ipods.
6) no hardware sound control. This means you cannot adjust the volume in your pocket. Instead you have to take the player out, turn on the screen, go through the unlock screen, then slide the volume bar.
So while the product is innovative and useful, it was also literally defective by design. And crippling a product for marketing and monopolistic abuse of market share is totally unacceptable.
To add insult to injury, the included headphones did not work in one ear.
94 of 106 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.
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