Apple iPod Touch MP3 Player | Review

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Apple iPod Touch Review - The touch has developed with a lot of features beyond MP3 playback that we can no longer call it just as a music player. Some choose Touch for its wonderful mobile browser and email support, whereas others see it mainly as a handy gaming tool and only some flock towards the Touch for good old school video playback and music.

iPod Touch 3rd Generation

In 2010, Apple's fourth-generation iPod touch got two cameras—one for shooting HD videos and photos, one for FaceTime chats. In 2011, the changes to the iPod touch are all based on the new iOS 5, which brings with it iMessage, iCloud, notifications, and Game Center enhancements. Physically, the player is unchanged, except now it's offered in white. The high-res Retina display remains crisp, colorful, and highly responsive to touch. Since the iPod nano ($129, 3 stars) no longer supports video, the 8GB touch is the least-expensive video-playing iPod, starting at $199 direct—a $30 price drop from 2010. The other two models remain $299 (32GB) and $399 (64GB). Despite the hefty price, the iPod touch is still, by far, the best portable media player you can buy—and it retains our Editors' Choice.

There's a new white model, which is white on the front face and mirrored on the back, but the touch retains its 2010 dimensions: 4.4 by 2.3 by 0.3 inches (HWD) and 3.6 ounces. Apple's custom A4 chip powers the device, and the super-sharp Retina display remains 3.5 diagonal inches and 960-by-640 pixels (at 326 pixels per inch). The touch's left-hand panel houses two Volume buttons. A headphone jack, a speaker, and a 30-pin connector for USB computer syncing are on the bottom of the player. The Power button sits up top, and the Home button remains below the display on the front panel. There are two camera lenses—one toward the top of the display, and one on the back, in the top left corner, which is accompanied by a mic. The mirrored back panel is excellent for checking your teeth on the sly, but it picks up fingerprints very easily.

For good or bad, the first ever thing that you will notice after unpacking the iPod Touch packing is that, the design remains unchanged from the 2nd generation model. We bet that you will not be able to make out any difference between both the models in just a couple of looks. Apart from the very negligible distinctions in the print at the rear of the device, the second gen model and the latest one are just the same as the other. If you have a look inside the casing, you will find that there had been a place for camera, which despite the photographic evidence to the contrary never made it to the final product, mainly as the last minute technical problems. There is no change in shape and dimensions either, between both the models and it remains to be (H x W x D) 4.3” x 2.4” x 0.33”. The glass display on the front of the model is flat with a curved steel backing, which feels natural and comfortable in hands, but is wobbly when placed in a flat surface.
User Interface
With the inclusion of iOS 5, the iPod touch now becomes a messaging device. It can also use the new iCloud function, which features iTunes in the Cloud, Photo Stream, and Documents in the Cloud, so you can share content wirelessly between your computer, your iPod touch, your iPhone, and your iPad. Another useful new feature is Notifications, which works with just about any relevant app to keep you informed about updates and friends' responses. For more about what iOS 5 can do, check out PCMag's full review, or read on here to discover some of the nuances that improve the iPod touch's performance.
Audio and Video
Navigating the music menus on the iPod touch is completely intuitive. First off, there are so many ways to do it—using CoverFlow, searching Artist or Song, or perusing playlists. Apple has made everything fast and easy—scroll song or artist lists by dragging a finger or skip ahead to a letter on the scrollable alphabet on the right side of the screen. The Now Playing view is a showcase for album art, and you can play music while you surf the Web, view photos, or even play games.
By itself, the iPod touch is a fine audio device—plug in a pair of good-quality headphones and you won't be disappointed with the frequency range and overall audio quality. To my continuing disappointment, Apple still offers its stock, subpar earbuds. Audiophiles listening to Lossless tracks on the touch will be best served by leaving the EQ off. The settings Apple provides are presets; there's still no user-customizable EQ. Extra features like Shake to Shuffle, Volume Limit, and Sound Check can all be enabled or disabled easily.
The iTunes Store can be accessed via Wi-Fi for on-the-spot music and video purchases. Video looks fantastic on the Retina display. YouTube and Netflix will not look as sharp as video purchased from the iTunes Store, of course, but the speed with which video can be cued up without stuttering is impressive. Again, this is dependent on the strength of your Wi-Fi signal.
The touch integrates Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR and 802.11b/g/n Wi-Fi, though 802.11n only operates on the 2.4GHz band. Nike+ iPod support is also included for those who want to use the touch to help keep in shape.
CameraThe rear-facing camera records video in HD (720p), up to 30fps, capturing audio through the rear panel mic. Still photos max out at 960 by 720 pixels. This amounts to less than a megapixel, and compared with the iPhone 4S ($199.99-$399.99, 4.5 stars) and its 8-megapixel rear camera, the quality in images is stark. (See the slideshow for a side-by-side comparison.) The front-facing camera, intended for FaceTime video chat, offers lower resolutions: VGA-quality for photos and videos, again, up to 30fps.
Camera operation couldn't be more intuitive. An onscreen slide control toggles between still and video camera modes, and an icon in the lower left takes you to your gallery, where you can peruse your photos and videos. Video footage plays back onscreen with a scroll tool that shows a thumbnail timeline of your footage, making skipping to a certain spot easy. You can trim your footage on the player by dragging your finder over the thumbnail timeline of the footage and selecting segments to cut.
Capturing video is achieved by pressing the red Record button onscreen when in video camera mode, and tapping it again to end recording. The screen acts as your viewfinder and everything moves along in real time without stuttering. Low-light situations will make for some noisy footage, but in well-lit scenarios, the touch's video looks colorful and crisp. Uploading your video to YouTube or sending it as an email attachment, provided you have a Wi-Fi connection, is made easy with a button in the lower left-hand corner of the screen that walks you through a streamlined process to do either.
Unlike the iPhone 4S's camera, the iPod touch's has no flash, which makes low-light—particularly back-lit—scenarios rather challenging. You get 5x digital zoom for photos, which is activated by moving the slider on the screen above the on-screen shutter button, but zooming in creates noticeable artifacts. Landscape shots in adequate lighting look decent for a camera built into a player, and well-lit portraits look sharper than you'd expect, provided you don't zoom in too far. Like videos, photos can be sent out immediately via email, or you can assign a photo to be your new wallpaper or a friend's contact photo, all by pressing the lower left-hand button when viewing your image.
Battery Life and Conclusions
Apple rates the battery life for the iPod touch at an impressive 40 hours for audio and seven hours for video. We ran two different battery rundown tests. Playing music with Wi-Fi off and Auto-Lock set to one minute, we got a great result: 47 hours and 25 minutes. Playing video with Wi-Fi on and the screen set to full brightness, we got 5 hours, 32 minutes of video playback. At half brightness, we got more than eight hours. That's enough for a good day's worth of use. 
There are very few devices left that you can actually compare directly with the iPod touch, though both Sony and Samsung have announced, but not yet shipped Android-based PMPs. Many manufacturers have thrown in the towel and are taking on slightly less daunting targets, like the iPod nano or the iPod shuffle ($49, 3.5 stars), or are focusing on tablets instead. The only real problem with the touch is its high price—especially if you want a decent amount of storage. But with an entry point of $199, you do get a camera, HD video recording, messaging and video chat, a music and video player, portable gaming, the Web, email, and apps all in one slick, pocket-size package. It was true when it first debuted, and even more so now: No other portable media player can compete with the iPod touch.

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vincent@ sell my laptop said...

The iPod touch has been a really cool device. I personally like it over the iPhone.

jailbreak said...

I think this is pretty fair review of Apple iPod touch. This time Apple added some good features in the latest iPod. The interface is such an user-friendly.

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