Having played around with my Nano 3G for a couple of months and loving it, I was totally unprepared for the sudden pang of regret followed by a flash of good old jealousy when the iPod Touch was palmed on to me for a long term review. While PMP shopping, I had told myself I could do without the allure of the large touchscreen; was I fooling myself?
Day 1: Change the World—Eric Clapton
The package’s nice—USB cable for data and charging, typical Apple earbuds and transparent plastic stand—all accessories present. Still no iTunes bundled. The Touch is rather heavy for a PMP, courtesy the steel back. The chrome finished rear looks hot, but scratches easy.
Day 2: Many Rivers to Cross—UB40
I upgraded the firmware to version 1.1.3; syncing anything still requires iTunes (sigh), though you can interrupt the process with the swipe of a finger. Unlike the Nano or the Video models, you don’t have to disconnect the device from iTunes to interface with it (play music, watch videos etc)—a serious plus for me, since I listen to music while my device is connected.
Day 4: The Look—Roxette
I ripped my copy of Beowulf to the Touch. Syncing movies is painful—iTunes creates another copy of the movie in the relevant format, and then the syncing occurs. Video playback is good—nearly as good as on the PSP (PlayStation Portable)—high praise indeed!
Day 6: Can I touch you there—Michael Bolton
Played with the touchscreen some more; it works well, for the most part. Very gimmicky, and once the initial glamour dies down, it’s just another PMP. I love the finger-swipe browsing and the two-finger stretch to enlarge photos—nifty and ultra cool! Browse through albums, tracks, and videos with just a finger—and the Touch works much better than most touch devices I’ve worked with.
Day 9: Meadows of Heaven—Nightwish
A few favourites have been playing—Jim Morrison (The Doors), Eric Clapton, Dire Straits and U2, and I’ve caught myself unabashedly tapping my feet. Music is spot on, vocals have a very natural timbre, Jim Morrison sounds rustic, and Clapton’s guitar in Layla and She’s Waiting comes to life with realistic mids. Apple’s default earplugs are crap as usual, and you’re better off dumping them straight away than punishing your ears.
Day 14: Another day in Paradise—Phil Collins
Thanks to the gorgeous screen, all photos look good on the Touch; just don’t zoom in—graininess and loss of detail will greet you. It seems they’re optimised for full screen viewing, and that’s it. Battery life nosedives when you fiddle around with the screen. I got 8 hours of MP3 playback with moderate touchscreen use—mostly around albums, playlists and such. The new firmware (1.1.3) was supposed to add 3 hours to music playback—I got 1.5 hours; not too bad.
Day 19: Life in the fast lane—The Eagles
Safari—the Web browser—is a little slow. WiFi transfers work well, and the Touch makes for a great companion at congested airports with open WiFi access. For me, this puts the Touch into a league of its own.
Day 22: Feels Like Heaven- Peter Cetera
This is a great PMP, good video playback, a very good music player, and a functional and funky touchscreen that will get you envious glares on the street, trains and buses. What’s not to like? The price, for one—Rs 14,500 is a little expensive for my tastes. Besides, the Touch is a little heavy to jog or work out with. That’s it; no more complaints.