Patience Isn’t My Virtue (Or, Caving and Buying iPod touch)

Last month, I posted a small piece titled “The iPhone, the iPod touch and me,” which ended with me quoting the adage, “patience is a virtue.” In the time since then, I am afraid to admit that my virtue failed. I buckled and went and purchased a 16GB iPod touch. Price: £269 (currently $547 US).

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Spending a few minutes using one in my nearest Apple Store was the start of the decline in my virtue and after much ruminating on the subject I decided to order one. I had been following the stories of the negative black problem and some reports of poor audio quality on some units, so I was a little apprehensive that I would receive a doubly duff unit. Add to this the stories of dead/stuck pixels on screens surfacing, and I was wondering about the wisdom of my decision.

I can report that the iPod touch that arrived the other day seems to be free of all the problems being reported in the iLounge iPod touch forums. That doesn’t mean that I gave it an easy pass without doing tests. A site called Appleservedup offers a test that seems to be a reasonable way to detect screen issues with the iPhone. I found that the images rendered on my iPod touch were pretty close in ‘quality’ to those displayed on my iMac. No stuck or dead pixels. And the audio (using my Shure E500s) is close to, if not the same, as my 5G iPod.

All in a “week 39” iPod touch. Am I lucky? I guess I am, as I’ve read about “week 40” units also having “issues”.

I am still impressed with the GUI of the iPod touch, and the physical dimensions of the device make it ideal for slipping into a jacket pocket, with less of the bulk of the 5G iPod I have been using. It’s obviously not as small as my nano, but then iPod touch does a little bit more than the nano does.

 

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While slimmer than my 5G, the touch does fit snugly into the older ProClip car mount I have in my car, and connects to the Griffin iTrip Auto with no problems. And this is where the touch may actually earn its keep. The display is so much better for me: I don’t wear glasses for distance/driving, so the easy to see aspect of the touch controls makes it ideal for me to use while driving. Titles are big enough to read without having to rummage for my reading glasses, and scrolling seems to be more suited to driving than the scrollwheel on the 5G. A flick of the finger is all it takes. I can adjust the ProClip mount to allow me to mount the ‘touch’ in such a way that I can navigate through the contents using the Cover Flow method. Having failed to find a decent method of integrating an iPod into my Volvo, this might prove to be a decent compromise until I either replace the car or something else is developed.

My next decision is whether to try the UK Wi-Fi service provided by The Cloud, which is £3.99 a month with no minimum contract. Cambridge has at present 54 Cloud hotspots, so finding one should be easy. Add to this the recent announcement that almost 1,200 McDonalds restaurants in the UK will be providing free Wi-Fi. Maybe I will be able to use touch’s wireless features outside of my house after all.