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Apple iPod touch 4th Generation Black (8 GB) MP3 Player
Price Range:$157.99 to $199.99
FaceTime. FaceTime brings video calling to iPod touch. So now you can see your friends and talk to them. Retina display. The remarkable... Read More
FaceTime. FaceTime brings video calling to iPod touch. So now you can see your friends and talk to them. Retina display. The remarkable 960x640 resolution on iPod touch makes everything you see and do on it look even more incredible. HD video recording. iPod touch lets you record, edit and share stunning HD video. And because it’s always with you, you’ll never miss a great video op. Even better gaming. The A4 processor helps give you even more amazing gaming. And Game Center lets you play against friends anywhere in the world. Minimize
7 Reviews from Epinions.com
Sep 7, 2010
Apple's 4th iPod is The Must Have Device of 2010 !
Pros: Facetime, HD video recording, relatively low price.
Cons: headphones continue to be inadequate.
The Bottom Line:
By adding a camera, HD video recording, Ping and Facetime connectivity, to iPod's feature set, Apple has made the iPod a must have device.
Please take time to read my reviews on the iPod Touch and the iPhone 4, for a full explanation of the software in iOS.
iPod 3rd - http://www.epinions.com/content_486481956484
iPhone 4 - http://www.epinions.com/content_515860434564
As always, the iPod Touch line continues to be a lavishly designed device, with slim, pocketable dimensions and a high-end industrial chisel. Its still mostly rectangular, with curved edges and the back plate is still a sexy aluminum with neatly tapered edges. It is still smaller in the hand than the already small iPhone 4 and even thinner than the 3rd Generation iPod Touch which was already thin enough.
Unfortunately, this means you’ll have to rebuy whatever iPod jackets/bumpers you have because this model won’t fit those items.
The iPod is getting so slim, its almost frightening how much it can actually do and what gadgets it hides within. Two cameras, a microphone, a speaker, a higher capacity battery, a gyroscope, a light sensor, accelerometers… how do they cram it all inside?
ITUNES 10 SOFTWARE
iTunes 10, the software you’ll need installed on your computer to use the iPod4. iTunes 10 is designed roughly the same as iTunes 9, but, it includes support for the iPod4’s photo downloading and the ability to rent TV shows, if you aren’t getting the new Apple TV (like we are) . There’s also support for apple’s “Airplay” which allows you to stream media wirelessly through your house.
Unfortunately, wireless synching for the Bluetooth equipped iPod4 and iPhone4 have not been enabled, but, as a consolation, Apple includes a new social networking feature called “Ping”.
Before the days of the Touch and iPhone, I didn’t like iTunes, but, now I respect it for its seamless synching and backups of iPod/iPhone data images. So long as you keep your iPod synched, you can restore virtually 99% of whatever was on it if you happen to lose it. iTunes also allows instant synching with Yahoo address book and Microsoft Outlook calendars. If you set this up properly, you’ll have access to your contacts from any internet capable computer even if your battery is dead.
Apple still offers “Mobile Me” service which offers online storage, desktop synching of calendars/contacts and password protected cloud storage for $99 a year, but, I’ve never needed these things for my iPhone. Most people won’t need them for their iPods.
FUN WITH CAMERAS
The 4th Generation iPod, just as its predecessors, is slaved to a WiFi connection for connection to the internet. Coincidentally, Apple’s new Facetime, which is a WiFi only video chat program, now makes it debut in the widely popular iPod. That is the reason that this iPod and likely, every generation hereafter will include dual cameras built in. One facing the user and one facing away from the back of the device.
The rear camera addresses one of the biggest problems people have had with the iPod Touch since its inception. Without a camera, the only way to load pictures to it were through external means. You could upload pictures from your desktop to the internet and then download them to the iPod, or you could touch a picture you saw on another site and save it to the iPod. Now, you can actually take pictures – which is a big deal for teenagers and ipod users who don’t want to have to carry a camera with them everywhere.
The new rear camera, however, is nowhere near as good as the 5 Megapixel camera on my iPhone4. My camera can take good shots in complete darkness when you use the flash – and can even shoot video in the dark using the flash as a backlight. In fact, it is optimized for darkness. Its autofocus and digital zoom work extraordinarily well compared to the rear cameras in the Evo 4G and the Droid 2/Droid X.
But don’t throw away your cameras just yet kids. The camera in the iPod4, will take photos on par with what I was getting with my iPhone 3G. Colors aren’t perfect, and worst of all, there is no flash. You definitely won’t be using this in dark rooms or clubs. You will absolutely need an ambient light source. There is no autofocus on the iPod 4. Some people may actually appreciate this. With my iPhone 4, I've noticed autofocus takes good Macro shots, but I've also noticed autofocus sometimes causes pics to be blurry.
Video recording, however, is present as I expected it would be. Apple’s iMovie application allows you to edit videos on the iPod to be sent straight to Youtube or to Facebook. Just as with my iPhone, I noticed iMovie on iPod supports 360p, 540p and 720p HD video formats. The 360p looks the worst of the bunch with grainy background colors, while the 720p looks the best, even if you record fast moving subjects. The front facing camera is included in video recording capabilities and you need only press the [camera switch] button to record yourself, or record what’s in front of you. The front camera is limited to VGA quality, and the resultant videos are poor in quality unless you have good backlight.
The camera here is optimized for video recording - not for stills. Will the tweens care? Probably not. Its more than enough for posting pics to Myspace, or through AIM instant messenger.
Because Facetime was one of the focuses of the iPod4, there is a speaker grill on the bottom as well as a built in mic. I’m sure that Facetime is going to be huge on the iPod touch with the high schoolers, but, as you’ll still need WiFi to use it, in some places it will be completely unavailable due to secured WiFi with unshared passwords or the absence of WiFi alltogether.
As the iPod has no cellular connection, you will need to use the dedicated Facetime App to launch videocalls. All you need to do is enter the AppleID of the person you wish to call - touch it and voila!
What I did like most of all, was my favorite app, SKYPE, works with iPod 4 and version 2.1.1 supports not only text messaging, but picture sharing. Skype allows this iPod to be an international telephone with virtually $0 cost (so long as you have WiFi connection. I use Skype frequently to stay in touch friends in China and Japan. No hassles dialing calling codes or remembering phone numbers...all I gotta’ do is touch their contact photo and the call connects within seconds.
Yes, I’m happy with the Cameras despite some drawbacks. But, that’s not where the improvements to this iPod end.
Graphics and screen quality are industry leading. The iPod Touch now includes Apple’s “retina display” with a resolution of 960x640. With 326 pixels per inch, the display is so sharp that you cannot see individual pixels with the unaided eye. You’ll need a magnifying glass. At extreme viewing angles, the picture does not become blurred by the backlighting, and is just as easy to see. This makes playing games and viewing videos better on this iPod that its ever been.
The 4th Generation iPod now includes the same A4 processor that iPhone and iPad do. This is extremely important because not only does this 1Ghz capable CPU make animations and transitions of the iOS user interface move snappily from screen to screen, but, you’ll need this much processing power for playing games and editing videos with iMovie.
It takes roughly 8~10 minutes to finalize a 5 minute HD 720p video on this iPod for upload to Youtube. The uploading process will depend on how fast your WiFi connection and the network behind it are.
On the gaming front, the iPod4 now includes the same Gyroscope the iPod 4 has. In order to test it, I used the Eliminate: Gun Range app and the game: N.O.V.A which is a spot-on clone of HALO for the iOS environment. It seemed to be just as sensitive and work just as well as the gyro in the iPhone4.
iPod 4 also includes a 930 milliamphere battery (up from 789mAh) which offers up to 40 hours of music (without using the display) and up to 7 hours of video. As this is a 10 hour improvement on music and a 1 hour improvement of video, its fair to say the iPod has definitely been improved for people buying specifically to listen to music.
iPOD 4 BRINGS THE SOCIAL
While I’m certain everyone is going to love being able to use Facetime, and a new age of social networking and high tech child endangerment have just been unleashed, Apple has also included a new feature in iTunes 10 called “Ping” for people who wish to keep their risque socializing old school.
Ping is basically, a social networking software for connecting with other people who play App Store games and download music from iTunes. Setup for Ping is relatively simple. You input your name, upload a picture and allow other people to see your music collection. Like Facebook and Twitter, you can “follow” or track other members, especially artists and groups and read app reviews. You can also chat with people on your friend’s list and upload photos to them or to your main page.
But, there is still more that needs to be done. Apple has suspiciously left out synching connectivity to the actual Facebook and Twitter. Obviously, apple is trying to cut them out of their action.
To ensure that you are less likely to use 3rd party apps such as Openfeint or Crystal for keeping track of friends who play iOS games, this iPod included "Game Center" (which won't be available for download on my iPhone till tommorrow). Game Center is really not much different than the aformentioned online communities. You can send invitations to games to friends - which automatically launch the app when accepted so you can play with each other. GC allows you to track achievements earned in games and allows you to browse leaderboards for played games.
AS A WEB BROWSER
iPod is unbeatable in this category because it runs the dominating mobile browser “SAFARI”. Safari is fully integrated into the iPod’s functionality so the device automatically jumps between hardware commands and web commands if necessary. (If you go to a company website and see their contact phone number, you can touch it and the iPod will go to VoIP mode to make its call).
No other digital music player can compete with the tight quality of the iPod/iPhone’s web browser which offers multitouch input to zoom in/out or to save, copy or paste pictures or text. since iOS 3.0, I've also enjoyed Apple's smooth implementation of copy/cut & paste.
The only downside to the web application is that it currently does not offer Flash or Java support. You can’t use chatrooms, you can’t watch embedded video and you can’t play flash games. Last year, it seemed as if Flash would make its way to iOS, but, Steve Jobs killed it because he felt it would use too much battery power and leave too many security vulnerabilities. Frankly, after using Adobe Flash 10.1 on the Evo and Droid 2 in Android 2.2 - I can live without Flash on iOS. Most webpages are designed for compatibility on iPhones anyway.
AND MY DISSAPOINTMENT
The only problem I have with the iPod Touch is that Apple continues to offer inadequate earbud headphones. The headphones are just good enough to listen to radio apps and high frequency music, but offer virtually no Bass response. You'll need to spend more for higher quality headphones if you want better sound.
Unfortunately, you won't have access to headphone controls for Apple's voice control system. The voice control is still activated by holding the [home button] or by holding the center headphone remote button for a second or so. Then you can tell the iPod to "Play all songs by Metallica" or ask it questions such as "what is this song called" or "what group is this". Without Apple's headphones, however, you have no access to voice control. Apple even coded its headphones digitally to be the only model headphones that will work with this iPod.
THE BOTTOM LINE:
There is no other pocketable Digital Audio playing product on the market that offers you:
#1 Free international/Free local calling through Skype.
#2 Free international/local videochat over WiFi
#3 Access to free full feature 3D games like Eliminate: Pro as well as low priced game apps.
#4 HD video recording with WiFi uploading to Youtube/Facebook
#5 social networking through any one of hundreds of available chat applications (like Palringo)
#6 Email, enterprise server email with photo attachments.
#7 Sirius/Xm radio integration application or Internet Radio integration (like AOL radio)
#8 availability of shopping apps such as eBay, Shopping.com and Walmart
#9 Stock options/position applications (such as Bloomberg anywhere)
#10 access to Police scanner radios fo you can know what’s going down in your town.
#11 access to universal currency, loan and measurement calculators for less than $2
#12 Youtube – the mother of all instant entertainment applications.
#13 a fully featured internet browser.
The iPod Touch gets better every single year. Despite the fact all iOS devices still lack Flash player, I personally don’t miss it. Most rollover browsers still work perfectly on this device and even though Hulu.com doesn’t work in the iOS environment, you can use your Netflix account to watch movies on your computer or your iPod.
I’m so glad the iPod touch finally has great cameras and a microphone. With this simple device, you can get decent video recordings, listen to music and do a bunch of other things that nothing else on the market allows you to do.
And the cost is just $229 for the 8GB version, $299 for the 32GB and $399 for the 64GB.
I recommend you buy the 32GB if you really use your iPods for music (which I don’t – I use my car for that) since its only $70 more, for four times the space. But, if you are just using the iPod touch for everything else, getting an 8GB version is still a good value.
As the iPod is the most widely used Digital Audio player, Apple is effectively putting high definition video recording in the hands of everyone who buys one. Look forward to even more “caught-on-tape” Youtube videos and a more networked America.
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