The New iPod Touch: Review

I recently got rid of my old iPod Touch 8GB (2nd Gen) and purchased the new iPod Touch 32GB. I’ve only used it a short while, but here is an initial review.

Overall:
It’s fast. Much quicker than the 2nd Gen I had before. iOS 4 runs well, with all features enabled. The 2nd Gen Touches could not do multi tasking and such. I have not used Gamecenter much, but it works great.

Going from 8Gb to 32Gb was a big leap, but allows us to store a lot more video and pictures. We use the iPod Touch when we travel to send video to a small flat screen in the car.

Display:
I know it’s not as good as the iPhone 4, but man, is it good. My 3GS doesn’t hold a candle to this. Everything looks great on it.

Video Playback:
As expected, it plays back video wonderfully. I can use the videos I ripped using handbrake and the slightly altered Apple TV settings. They look great. Otherwise it is like previous iPod Touches.

FaceTime:
I have not used this much, but it is very easy and can be very useful. I had a 20 minute conversation with a friend out of state. It’s not like having a face to face conversation, but you can pick up on visual cues on the other end. if you need to show something to someone, or just let other family members see the kids, this is a great feature.

It’s simple enough that anyone can use it, and as a result, will likely be more successful than other video chat features on other phones. Using the iPod for this was very easy, my Apple ID email is the address that FaceTime uses instead of a phone number. I have had a couple of times playing around where the other person’s iphone 4 was not able t connect. one error message said the other person needed to upgrade their phone OS to 4.1.

Photos:
The still camera is a huge disappointment. I knew that this would be the case before I ever ordered it, and I did not buy the iPod Touch for the ability to take still pictures. But, to have a 0.7 megapixel camera in today’s marketplace doesn’t make any sense. I would almost rather they not even include the ability to take stills.

Photos loaded on the iPod from iPhoto look amazing on the new display.

Video Capture:
The iPod Touch shoots 720p. It does a good job in different lighting environments, except for low lit areas. It is about on par with other single CMOS chip video cameras with small apertures here. There is no real adjustment, but point and shoot. You can record from the rear camera, or use the front facing camera (at a lower resolution, of course).

Like all single CMOS sensor cameras, the iPod Touch suffers from the problem of the rolling shutter:

If you pan swiftly, any vertical lines appear to lean. It’s a known problem. Even the Sony A1U I use has issues with this. The only solution is to not pan quickly when there are vertical lines in the shot.

Generally, I am very satisfied with the video capture capability. Microphone is on the back. i am working on ways to get external microphones into the iPod Touch and iPhone. The headphone jack seems to use the same wiring as the iPhone, and should allow for an external microphone input with the right conversion.

Overall I am happy with it. The still camera is my biggest gripe, but that was expected.

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