iPod Touch

I've just bought a 16GB iPod Touch. I've been saving, selling off old tech, ummming and ahhhhing about getting an MP3 player for some time. Getting the full deposit back from the landlord put me over the edge.

When I saw the touch/iPhone, I had a conundrum. The iPhone is way more expensive in terms of contract but does all the iPod Touch does. The one thing I'd want to do on the iPhone is surf the web but it's only 2G network. Which is shit.

So, I bought the Touch and I must say i'm impressed. It's the first apple thing I've bought and it was packaged beautifully. I mean beautifully. Normally, I wouldn't care but I do see what they mean by the experience. The touch screen is genius and with Wifi, I can surf the web on the toilet at home, at full N-speed. Great! And it's proper web browsing, not the ridiuclous crap I have to put up with on my current phone.

I'm currently syncing my mp3, which it's doing automatically. Then I'm going to get some movies on there for the bus ride home.

It's not a phone but then it doesn't need to be. They're opening up the development kit in the new year, which is great. I've not bought tech in a while, so it feels good to catch up with all the ipod carriers around me.

Having used it a bit, I am now a bit tempted to see what the Macs look like these days. Of course, bereft of games but it doesn't hurt to look.


Iphone uses edge for its data which is not quite 3G but someway between 3G and GPRS.

Evilmatt's picture

I'm planning to get an iPhone in about a month. It's not as much use as a media player (having half the storage,) but I could do with a new phone, and a portable web browser would really improve my life. I'd have one already, but it's not bonus time until December. :)

As for Macs. I love my mac. I really do. But I hate the lack of software for it. There are maybe 4 or 5 pieces of software that I just couldn't do without that simply aren't available on the Mac; if they were I'd happily relegate my PC to being a games console and go back to using a 3 year old power-pc based machine as my main non-gaming computer.

AggroBoy's picture

I'd buy a MAC if only it came preloaded with Windows, I really wanted one when I got my Dell laptop as I had money to spend, it was a shame that I need Windows though for work. If Apple were smart they'd offer all they're machines with Windows.

Dwain's picture

Will have to have a look at it on Tuesday mate.

If Apple were a bit more flexible on hardware and software I think their interfaces would be a lot more popular.

Nothing expensive should have a non-replaceable Li-Ion battery. I'm sticking to that one.

byrn's picture

I second that.

As much as the ipod seems nice and user friendly I just can't buy one because I feel the battery will die before I stop wanting to use it.

Making it a pain in the arse to sort out just seems stupid.

That and the fact Apple are so fucking sanctamonius. They remind me of creationists defending a tenuous arguement.

Apples dont have get virus attacks: Not because they're better, just because hackers can't be arsed.
Apples can do photo books: So can PC's
Apples are great for fun stuff: PC's have better games
Apples are user friendly: Fuck off with your one button mice.

OK they look nice and you just plug in and go, but they tend to be overpriced and some up style over function.

My XDA Orbit can just about everything the ophone can. I think the iphone's got the orbit on memory. Oh no it hasn't because it's infinately expandable with minisd cards. iphone got gps? Oh and I can easily replace the orbit's battery if it starts to die.

baron's picture

Maybe I posted with a little too much feeling there...

baron's picture

Baron so you love Apple right? Yeah perhaps you got a little ranty there. I wanted the style of the Apple notebook but I just can't have a machine without Windows and I wasn't prepared to pay the premium for a Apple laptop along with a copy of Windows and the OS switching thingy for Apple ontop, it worked out about £500 more for a machine.

Dwain's picture

Rob I'll be intersted in seeing the Touch, I'm tempted to get myself one as a xmas present.

Dwain's picture

Easy there Baron. Their attitude does definately need work though...

Given that Apples these days are PC based, I'm suprised no-one is offereing a service where thye buy one, reinstall the os and offer a limited warenty...

byrn's picture

Spot on there Baron, Apple users are wankers

re: MP3 players, I initially had a large 20gig Sony model. Looked beatiful, did lots of clever things, very clever and all that. I also got a small 1 gig cheapy stick that could play by album, random or all. Guess which one I still use?

babychaos's picture

Yeah, and you say Apple are sanctimonious? ;p

AggroBoy's picture

Love or hate Apple, it's a great device. I'll be watching Eddie Izzard on the bus home today with the wife. I think, generally, it's best to keep an open mind. As irritating as Apple are, you can't knock their products until you've used them and their products are well put together.

brainwipe's picture

I don't deny they are making fantastic in roads at making user friendly gadgets that do loads. The ipod and it's descendants work really well.

For about a year and a half, before the battery dies.

C'mon, you make something really good and then screw up something like this. Either you fucked up or you did it deliberately to force people to upgrade. Either way I'm not impressed.

But don't make me sit through a series of adverts that are so wrong it's untrue. And then make me endure people that think they're true being smug about it.

baron's picture

Rob Said:
As irritating as Apple are, you can't knock their products until you've used them and their products are well put together

Trust me, I really can...

Overpriced pointlessness...

babychaos's picture

I've been building up an appropriate level of vitriol to have a go at apple.
Apple are loosing it big time at the moment in the computer lines, the hardware is just expensive PC kit. No different from Alienware or falcon or Dells XPS line or any of the other high end lines you are just paying more for the nicer package.

Their OS development has gone off the deep end, from the gist I'm getting it's as bad as vista for bugs which is saying something.

And the whole it just works is the biggest load of crap I've ever seen, it just works only in so much as it works for the one thing it was designed to do, anything else and it is mind-numbingly hard to achieve worse than it ever is on a PC. They sacrifice flexibility for noddy usability. Most of their apps are the equivalent to the basics apps for video and photo editing which have a few friendly bouncy wizards and no other features.

All their high power apps that the usually arts fuckwits go on about work just the same on the PC photoshop premier flash and so on.

The whole cult of apple is very odd people that buy apple for the lifestyle thing and image nothing to do with functionality or features. Then buy anything from apple regardless of any flaws.

They seem to increasingly be positioning themselves as a consumer electronics outfit these days it wouldn't surprise me if they got rid of their problematic PC business and focused on where the money is. They work better as a ce company anyway since that sort of style for a hefty markup price aesthetic which they go on about functions better in that world it was what made sony successful at least till they went mental and took things too far loosing of their market.

They'd be doing the world a favour dropping their pc business less of their hard to use hideously expensive crappy spec braking PC's with a hacked up version of linux thumbing their noses at good human interface design for no reason other than doctrine of jobs machines cluttering up the place.

Evilmatt's picture

Pete, Coming from Sony Minidisc boy.

brainwipe's picture

Its started.

I predict a minimum of a 30 comment thread.

byrn's picture

Uh... guys? Why the vitriol? Really?

OK, so you don't like Macs; is anyone forcing you to use one? I doubt it. So why not just say "meh - Apples. I don't like them," (or even "God, that's an annoying ad campaign") and move on. Why paragraphs of rant and invective?

You might not get the "cult of Apple," but I really don't get the "cult of hating Apple." I know a fair few people who use Macs - not as many as I do who use PCs, but a good number none-the-less, and I'll tell you what; not one of them is anywhere near as ranty, vitriolic or partisan in any was as that certain type of PC user gets as soon as someone so much as mentions Apple.

I really don't get it. I'm not an idiot, and I might be a wanker, but I don't think I'm pretentious, yet I love my Mac; it's a great machine. I love my PC too, for different reasons, and my linux machines as well. They're all great in different ways. They're tools with different strengths.

So, really, I'm interested, why is this an emotional issue? What is it that drives the hatred? Is it just that fucking irritating ad campaign? Is it that you met a wanker once who waxed lyrical about his mac? Or is it something else?

AggroBoy's picture

I think a big part of the problem is that Apple themselves tend to pitch the "Apples are superior to PCs" line. You don't see the reverse from the companies involved. I think its that bit of percieved arrogance that really pisses people off. The users are the ones who bear the brunt of it, wether they evangelise or not...

byrn's picture

I've thought a bit more.

Take their recent Mac vs PC ads. They are mock debates between the two platforms, written by one side. The points raised on the PC side are poor. Yes, it is supposed to be comic. But its also supposed to be convincing. There are few things more irritating than watching a debate where the side you're inclined towards is represented by a muppet. Its the sort of thing that you see Creationists do to "prove" their point.

If the adverts focused on the things that are actually debatably better, the styling, the lower likelihood of viruses (yes, through obscurity, but still true) or the preference for a UI that they are familiar with then there wouldn't be such an adverse reaction.

What is more irritating is that it actually works on people. I don't mean people like Will who actually like the machines for their features, people like Dwain who like the styling, people like Rob who like the (admittedly) wonderful UI. I get the feeling that quite a few people buy it simply because it is pitched as better, without actually considering it for themselves. How many people this actually applies to is debatable.

The people I mean are the ones who buy an IPod not because of the very well designed UI, not because they like the styling, but "because its an Ipod". Because the people the admire have one. The sort of people who might actually use the sort of arguments used in the adverts. Yes, there would be a half smile on their face, and maybe it would be in jest, but I think some people actually believe the bullshit they've been spun.

byrn's picture

I never hated Apples until I tried to use one and found out how awful they are to work with. The whole apple knows better than you attitude that pervades the machine and os. The whole "We will tell you how to do things and if you don't like that you can get lost and die" thing grates. I'm sure for the basics of web surfing and email and word docs and the like they are fine, but then so is windows. It's the more advanced stuff that pisses me off, the whole we'll take java and fuck with it for no reason thing so that although it's meant to be a universal implementation on all platforms you have to add stuff to make it work the same on the mac because we are special. The way it makes everything a chore and hard to do just for the sake of it sometimes, even more so than microsoft and I've done driver development on windows which is roughly akin to shutting sensitive parts of your anatomy in a up to heat breville toasted sandwich maker, and mac stuff is worse than that most of the time.

I hate vista too for some of the same reasons and could rant on that and often do, mac's just have pretensions of being user friendly and they shout about it all the time so when they are so obviously flawed when you come to use them it bites extra hard.

The attitude and market positioning stuff really annoy me, the outright lies and pissing about claiming how the software is so easy to use and never crashes and is totally secure. The way they often benchmark the things in a fraudulent manner not comparing like for like defeating the purpose of it. Those annoying "I'm a PC I'm a Mac" ads that make me want to punch out the mac guy for his condescending poser attitude. The whole "we're hip were fun we're stylish" attitude to things that is a lie since the demographic shows macs are owned more by old people 40's and up than the 18-20 bracket.

I used to think macs were fisher price computers, easy but functionally empty. The truth that I found is worse than that a machine that looks user-friendly that actively fights you making it very hard work to do anything other than tasks sanctioned by the church of Jobs without blood sacrifice.

Evilmatt's picture

As for something good for apple. I think for their ipods and the like they seem in a more comfortable area for them one more suited to them. Those devices don't need flexibility they have to do what they are designed for and only what they are designed for. Apples shiny skills play quite well in that arena and their obsession with control doesn't work against them.

Evilmatt's picture

I still have issues with the concept of having your music store inherently built into the player ala MP3. This may be why I prefer small, cheap MP3 players to all singing, all dancing monsters...they are the continuation of music players in the breed of walkman, discmans etc...they play music...its what they do, and they do it well. There is no pretence that it is your music library, it is a tool to listen to music away from your main library of media.

Other than that I think most of the "Apple are assholes" thing has been covered. I was going to bring up the Apple adverts as well, and the way they demonstate the PC as a frumpy "business tool", completely ignoring the point that you can't play games on a Mac, thus demoting it to a pimped up Facebook machine immediately. I find it degrading to the human race that people fall for this bullshit, and pay over the odds for a piece of hardware that is at best in the same league as other hardware from other companies for half the cost.

I liken Apple to automatic cars, or perhaps a kiddies tri-cycle with stabilisers. I sleep happy that I am obviously not their target demographic, or perhaps I am immune to their bullshit.

babychaos's picture

So - it sounds to me like the consensus here is the adverts.

I have to agree. I hate those things with a passion. I own a fricking Mac, I like Macs, and still whenever I see one of the ads (either the "I'm a Mac/I'm a PC" ones, or the older "Switch" campaign) it makes my skin crawl with rage. I can't believe that a company renowned for it's marketing savvy can have such a negative impact on an existing customer. The funny thing is, I don't know anyone that doesn't react the same way, whatever sort of computer they own.

It makes me wonder how many people who would get on well with Macs have been put of by their "marketing"? Clearly they're not for everyone; Matt doesn't get on with the OS, and Pete (probably along with most people on here) wouldn't bother with a computer that doesn't run games well, but there's a significant group of people for whom those objections don't apply. I'm wondering if that group of people is roughly the same size as Apple's current market share, or if it's larger but artificially limited by people's hatred of Apple's public face?

AggroBoy's picture

I don't really get on with the Mac OS interface but then I don't get on with Vista (I use at work on the test machine). Partly because I'm not used to it. Partly because it's counter to what's gone before. I think you get so used to a certain way of doing things that it's easy to write something off that's different. It's more difficult to use because you're not used to it. I don't use Macs very often so I've not really given them enough of a chance to get used to it. To go one step further, if I find myself driving a PC with the standard Blue or Silver XP skin or the old Grey one (Byrn and Pete use), I find it hard on the eye and yearn for the soft tones of the olive green XP skin. It's essentially the same thing but it's just not what I'm used to.

I thought the adverts were funny. They did make me chuckle on a few different levels. First of all, it's Mitchell and Webb and I like their stuff. Secondly, it's amusing to see who Apple want to project themselves. It's really daring to make yourself out as "The trendy one" to an essentially cynical, bitter, questioning population. You need to be really confident in your product to do that. It is an amusing idea, having people represent technology talking to each other to make a point. It is patronising for us because we're all British techheads, it's not for the us but the general population (and the USA, to be fair). I don't stop using Head and Shoulders because the adverts are patronising. I still like Wethers Originals even though my Granfathers never gave me any and the adverts are ridiculous (and bordering on a call to the Police or NSPCC). The Vauxhall car adverts set my teeth on edge but then it's not aimed at me. Kate thinks they're cute. I see through all the shit and just decide on product comparison. Does it do what I want it to do? In the case of the Mac computer, no. Both the games are very nice, I'm sure. The publishing industry would disagree with you, although the DTP applications are now available on both, Mac got there first by a good margin. The reason the Photoshop UI can seem a bit alien is because of its Mac roots. No company would keep shelling out on a technology that didn't solve its problem. Companies aren't loyal unless it pays or it's too expensive to retrain their staff.

But then, this post was about iPods and how they've simply blown the competition away. I did my research. I had a go with everything that's on the market. Old iPods, new ones, shuffles, Creative zens, Sonys and more. I even looked at getting an Nokia N95 phone to do everything for me (Pete caught me in a phone shop with the Mrs one lunchtime when she was getting a pink phone). I had a go on a few different iPods and the like here in the office (I am the last to own an MP3 player, it seems). The iPod Touch blows everything else away. Kate and I watched Eddie Izzard on the way home last night. I watched Blade Runner this morning on the bus in. Kate and Zwei (the mother in law) sat and watched YouTube videos last night on it. I read this comment thread last night on it during dinner. All this and not on the piss poor little screen that all the others suffer from. It really does do a super job. I didn't have to show Kate how to use it, nor Zwei. They both just got on with it. Are PCs that easy to the general populace? I doubt it.

It's still a bit restricted, getting photos onto it is a pain in the arse and it won't Sync with my Google Calendar or Contact list yet but then the SDK will be available in 2008, so third parties can start writing software for it. It appears that it was always Jobs' intention to release an SDK, they just needed their house in order first. Sounds like marketting bull to me but the end result is the same.

I'll be Pieday Friday Today so you can have a butchers.

brainwipe's picture

I'm impressed, it seems the iPod Touch does everything but play music.

I can easily segment my life into chunks;
Work (don't need it, I have a PC in front of me)
Travel (don't need it, I'm concentrating on the road)
Home (don't need it, I have more than enough PC's and network machines at home)
Gym (could do with an music player)
Out (don't need it, I'm out doing things)

I could do exactly the same thing with all the other consumer gadgets out there right now. The main reason I have a phone is for if/when I crash my bike. I take a free one from my contract for a very good reason, there is simply no justification to pay money for one. My MP3 player is a cheap, simple model (Creative Zen Stone, if you really want to know). I bought it because it had a sturdy armband and it plays music.

The Apple adverts were for Apple fans, and were Apples way of saying "hey look! we know you're elitist assholes, and we approve. Please buy our overpriced crap!". All adverts are biased bits of media, however those stood out as sanctimonious crap above the others.

babychaos's picture

Actually, the music thing caught me off guard. The last mobile music player (apart from the laptop) I had was a CD player that pretty much had my Soundgarden A Sides CD in it almost permenantly. When I stepped off the bus today, it was playing the wonderful Spoonman. It was like stepping back in time a bit. Then when it got to the end of that, it jumped onto Take The Power Back from Rage. For a moment, my brain thought "Hang on, you were listening to Soundgarden a moment ago, this is Rage, not on the CD...".

Very odd.

To be honest, I've used it more for its other functions than the music at the moment.

brainwipe's picture

We should stop this thread now, so as to ruin Nostra-Byrnus's prediction :-D

[Byrn] I could reply myself you know :P

babychaos's picture

I guess with apples proper I'm just not their target market, I don't see what it is they do that means they are worth the extra money and the extra hassle of using them and the limitations in their capabilities make them of less use to me. They have a slightly shinyier user interface and a few tricks with their file system but it's nothing I need or would make life that much easier. Their mechanics is are slightly better, but no more so than some of their equivalents.

I'm a technically inclined person and do a lot of fiddling and macs in general seem not to be suited to that sort of task.

Sure you could stick windows on it but then all you have is a very expensive viao with only one mouse button

this is in no way relevant to the current discussion ;)

Evilmatt's picture