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Is an ipod touch worth it?
January 24, 2010 4:12 PM   Subscribe

Should I get an ipod touch?

I really want an ipod touch. Is it worth the price? Should I wait?

Personal anecdotes welcome.

I did look at previous questions but they were asked before the upgrade in September. If any of that still applies, I'd be happy to look more into it.
posted by pecknpah to Shopping (57 answers total) 12 users marked this as a favorite
 
absolutely, I bought one for my wife and was so convinced that I bought myself an iphone.
posted by Brennus at 4:22 PM on January 24, 2010


Wait a week, see what the new news is going to do your plan to buy a ipod touch. It's a really good device, I'd plan on getting one. yes, you should get one.
posted by bigmusic at 4:23 PM on January 24, 2010


Yep.

I, too, got one my wife awhile back and she absolutely loves it. She runs, and has gotten lots of use out of the Nike+ widget. Plus, you know, Bejeweled2, WordWarp and other little time-killers.
posted by jquinby at 4:24 PM on January 24, 2010


It's an iPhone without the useless, required AT&T $90/month plan. It's great. Wait a week for the announcement.
posted by Nelson at 4:28 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


FWIW, you can't jailbreak the current one (3rd gen). I'd buy a used/refurb 2nd gen- the only difference between the two is a slight speed increase. (The 2nd gen is already faster than the iPhone 3G).
posted by wongcorgi at 4:28 PM on January 24, 2010


I have avoided all things Apple for a long time. (It is an attitude thing, it's like religion; don't try and change me, I won't try to change you.)
It goes way back. I have been involved with computers since the late 1970's (off my lawn) and the Apple philosophy has always rubbed me the wrong way.

All that (and more) said, get an iPod Touch.

I have had one for less than a month and I am really impressed with the physical construction, the cognitive layout, and the software. The final breaking point for me was that nearly everything is made to go on the iPod format.
I went for the "bang for the buck" and got the 64GB version. You won't find many deals on the upper versions; Costco is selling the 32GB, I got mine from Amazon.
I am no expert at all with the Touch. Other than the machine itself, I have not paid for any additions (save a silicone sleeve and screen protector). I have loaded about 17GB of music on it so far (oldies, lawn, etc.)
posted by Drasher at 4:30 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


Wait a week

Definitely a good idea. Though I probably won't get whatever the new device is, especially if it requires a monthly data plan. Is it possible that the announcement next week will drive the ipod touch prices down?
posted by pecknpah at 4:32 PM on January 24, 2010


Apple often releases new hardware at or near its major conferences, such as Macworld Expo which happens in a few weeks (Feb 9-13). If they do release something Touch-like (the buzz is about a tablet, but the buzz every year is about a tablet, so take it with a grain of salt) then you might want the new thing instead, or they might drop the price on the Touch.

On the other hand, you can paralyze yourself by always waiting for the next thing to come out.
posted by hattifattener at 4:33 PM on January 24, 2010


I have an iPod Touch and a separate cell phone, fwiw, and have no worries carrying the two around. The Touch is a great little device, I will nth the recommendation. You'll dig it.
posted by barnacles at 4:34 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I did preview, I swear!

Yeah, Apple often drops prices on the previous thing when they bring out the next thing, and of course the used market should react similarly.
posted by hattifattener at 4:35 PM on January 24, 2010


Yes, buy, it's a splendid device.

As to timing, it never hurts to check the MacRumors Buyer's Guide...
posted by fairmettle at 4:43 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm typing this on my Touch.

I carry it with everywhere, sleep with it and feel lost without it. Sometimes we go hunting together, catch a game etc. It's a great device.

Do not shower with it though, that voids the warranty.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:54 PM on January 24, 2010 [7 favorites]


I love mine. I can read books on it, play games on it, keep my calendar and contacts, and it holds all my music. Couldn't be more pleased with it. I have a Blackberry pearl cellphone, and for me the two together are the absolutely perfect combo.
posted by smoakes at 4:56 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'll say one thing against the touch: I have an iPhone, and having had one, I would find it very frustrating to have a device that lacks the constant data connection. It really changes what the device is capable of being (that, and GPS, and camera, and telephony too, I guess).
posted by adamrice at 5:01 PM on January 24, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love my Touch. It does everything I want it to do. I find that I have wireless access almost everywhere I go, and don't need the data connection (but I have a freestanding GPS, a fairly decent digital camera, and a cell phone).
posted by honeybee413 at 5:06 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


We have gone from Nano's to Touch's to iPhones - can't go wrong with a Touch.
posted by jkaczor at 5:07 PM on January 24, 2010


I got the 64GB version for Xmas. It is fantastic fun.
posted by Paragon at 5:08 PM on January 24, 2010


I have recently gotten an iPod touch (and am typing this comment on it) and I love it. I got it to replace my PDA whose battery was beginng to show its age and my iPod which I sadly lost six months ago. It's been a great replacement for both: it plays my podcasts and music (with better playlist control than my iPod classic had), functions as my ebook reader, keeps my calendar and contacts, and is a handy calculator, notepad, etc. But it does so much more than I expected. Not only can I check my email (and waste time on metafilter), but I have discovered that my itouch makes a great alarm clock, and the touch keyboard is much faster than my ability to use a PDA writing screen such that I can even take seminar notes on it and then email them to myself. I'm not fast enough for full out lecture notes, but fast enough for the sparer notes one would make in a meeting or research seminar. Previously, I've taken a full computer - now I don't need to.

I'm no early adopter and I don't follow tech news, but I have been nothing but pleasantly (and more than pleasantly) suprised by the itouch. If you want/need internet access away from a wireless network, then you may prefer a smart phone, like the iPhone. But if that is not absolutely necessary, the itouch has advantages in that it has much better battery life and, obviously no service contracts.

As with all things, you should work out what you want in a device and do research on what is available on the market. There may be something about the itouch that doesn't suit your needs -- not enough space, doesn't support the right file formats, etc. But if you want to know if there are any problems with the device, I can tell you that I certainly haven't had any.

Also, the third party apps can be amazing -- I recently got an app that will read PDFs by reflowing the text for a small screen, but also let you flip back to the original to look at tables and figures.
posted by jb at 5:14 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Love it Love it Love it

I read books on it, watch movies, surf the web. Grab it to give to my daughter to play games on when we're bored. I occasionally miss the full access that a phone would give, and really wish my workplace had wifi, but it's only occasionally.
posted by saffry at 5:22 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I adore the one i got as a gift for the holidays. I also adore the older model girlfriend has (same, but slower processors/less space).

If you are at all interested in mobile computing, or are looking for a fancy-pants media player, go for it.
posted by tip120 at 5:29 PM on January 24, 2010


I have an iPod Touch and a separate cell phone, fwiw, and have no worries carrying the two around. The Touch is a great little device, I will nth the recommendation. You'll dig it.

Me too me too me too. I'm still loving my 1st gen. On it I listen to things, read things, watch things, type things, play things, surf things. It's great.
posted by rtha at 5:30 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


It depends on what you want to use it for. It's got a lot of apps, and a lot of shovelware, but some gems. As a music player, it's pretty good except for a non-jailbroken limited range of codecs. Things have progressed in the music player world since Apple released the Touch, however, and many players now offer more vibrant and larger screen displays either based on OLED tech (for example, Zune HD, Cowon S9, the Sony X-Series, and so on) or just plain higher quality with better angles (for example, the Samsung P3). Many of these also offer different variations of subscription and/or purchase plans than iTunes, and many will enable over-the-air download purchases for impulse buys. Some of them also have SD expansion slots, which is a nice feature that enables you to add more 32 GB cards as desired and avoid buying a new player just to get more space. If it's apps, then there are many devices, some Android-based, some not, such as the Archos 5 or the Nokia 800, that usually offer extra stuff the Touch leaves out, such as higher-resolution screens, GPS, 720p multi-format playback, etc. I personally have a pocket device with much higher resolution screen than a Touch that I use primarily for reading and I found that the lower-res Touch screen just made reading much less pleasant than it should have been. It may be that Apple is finally going to upgrade the Touch's screen next week...
posted by meehawl at 5:30 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Upsides: It's pretty neat.
Downsides: You will really end up wanting the phone.
posted by Artw at 5:34 PM on January 24, 2010 [5 favorites]


Yeah they look very good but I've never got one because of the price. I'd say...do you want it for the music or the gimmicks with the apps? If just the apps, then fine....but if you want it for storing music, there are plenty of decent players out there for a fraction of the price.
posted by nowandforalways at 5:38 PM on January 24, 2010


I love it.

-It's nice to be able to take it along instead of a laptop to a coffee shop or other wifi hotspot.
-I use it around the house for checking email and websites without having to open up the laptop.
-Games, games, games, galore, if you are into playing games.
-Tons of great apps, including an Amazon Kindle Reader app for ebooks.
-I use the Remote app all the time time control iTunes on my iMac. I can choose songs, pause, play, and control volume from anywhere in my house.
-A dedicated YouTube application, without running the browser.
-Digital movies look fantastic for personal viewing.
-Oh, and it also even plays music!
posted by The Deej at 5:40 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I didn't know I wanted one, and then my partner bought me a touch - and I love it! The only problem is that it really, really makes me want an iphone, because of the constant possibility of a connection - I get really annoyed when I'm in between wireless networks.
posted by Bergamot at 5:59 PM on January 24, 2010


I really want an ipod touch. Is it worth the price?

Without any qualifications this is an impossible question to answer.

It's an iPhone without the useless, required AT&T $90/month plan. It's great. Wait a week for the announcement.
posted by Nelson


You have to be joking. Whether you find it useless depends on what you need of the device. For me, it makes the device worth having.

Downsides: You will really end up wanting the phone.

This. For these reasons:

1. I have a connection everywhere, which means I have news everywhere, messaging, email, the internet, everything... everywhere. The people that say they have wifi everywhere they go aren't going very many places. Any town, any hotel, camping, the iPhone gives you the internet. Rarely do I need to take my macbook pro on a trip. My iphone does everything I need.

Internet go down? I've still online with my iphone. Gotta send your computer in for repair? I can make do with the iPhone until my computer is fixed.

2. It cripples many applications. Forgot to sync application x? You're out of luck until you find wifi. I can download anything, anywhere, at any time.

3. I use my iPhone as a gps receiver for my car, or anywhere else I need it. Can't do that with a touch (okay, you can, but not by itself).

4. A couple of people here don't mind carrying two devices. I do. I only want to carry one, only want to keep track of one. It's my phone, my organizer, my kindle, my gps receiver, my gameboy.

Of course, none of this may matter to you, or maybe it would be 'nice', but the price of the iPhone plan would be too much. But for me, it turns the ipod touch from something really cool into something indispensable. The amount of things I can do with it, the way I depend on it, 90 bucks is worth it.

If I had gotten an ipod touch to begin with, the iphone might be the sour grape. But now that I've had an iPhone, I can't imagine having an ipod touch and being happy.
posted by Dennis Murphy at 6:27 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I love my iPod Touch. While having to find a Wifi connection can be a pain for apps that need it, I'm also quite happy to not have to pay for the cell connection. You have to be careful about apps in the App store... anything requiring a camera and a lot of the location-based apps (that need GPS) are only for the iPhone. (Some of the location-based apps will calculate your location using your IP address/Wifi connection.) Just look around the app's page on the Store and you'll see "compatible with iPhone" or "compatible with iPhone and iPod Touch."
posted by IndigoRain at 6:31 PM on January 24, 2010


As long as constant net access isn't a requirement for you, and saving 90 bucks is, get it! I really love this thing.

Btw, if you use "power search" and mark "compatible with iPod touch", you can bypass the phone-only stuff in the Apple Store.
posted by jenfullmoon at 6:57 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


I prefer Stanza as an ebook reader; with Stanza desktop, it supports almost every text format.

For DRM texts, it only supports ereader, but I don't care about that because ereader is the only company I will buy DRMd texts from -- no server is required to access the text and you can have it on an unlimited number of machines.
posted by jb at 7:03 PM on January 24, 2010 [1 favorite]


Dennis Murphy above is right. If you already have a phone you really, really love, then yes, it is worth it.
posted by General Malaise at 7:06 PM on January 24, 2010


Thanks guys! I guess the consensus is that I should get one. I really can't afford the $90/month plan from AT&T, so I guess I'll have to settle for the Touch. :) I'll start pricing them after next week's big announcement.

Bonus question: What size is best? Would I regret getting the 32 GB instead of the 64 GB? I think the 8 GB would be really small, but will I still run out of room on the medium size one?
posted by pecknpah at 7:14 PM on January 24, 2010


Depends how you use it - if you tend to rotate music in and out, or are mainly interested in podcasts, then 8 might actually do you. If you want to put your entire music collection on it then any SSD might start feeling a little small.
posted by Artw at 7:38 PM on January 24, 2010


As an iPod Touch owner, yes, buy one. These are awesome devices. I take a lot of road trips, and I've found this thing to be a fantastic travel device. Yes, you have to find wifi, but once you do, you can find routes, motels, gas, things to do, etc. And of course it also plays music as well.
posted by azpenguin at 7:43 PM on January 24, 2010


If you want to know what size to get, download iTunes first and load in what music/podcasts/video you would like to put on it. I knew that I only wanted a 32GB because My whole music collection is only some 19Gb, my podcasts another 7Gb and I did not want to load video. I would not have gotten an 8Gb first generation, because I could not use it as my iPod, but 32Gb is plenty for me. Ebooks and applications are tiny, and aren't really an issue. A few hundred ebooks would only be a few hundred MB.

So what size you want really want depends on what you want to put on it.
posted by jb at 7:43 PM on January 24, 2010


Wait till after the announcement (which it sounds like you are) as there may be an upgrade to the OS, and Touch users have to pay for those.

I have an iPhone, mostly because I want to only carry one device. Having data access all the time is awesome though.

As for size - depends on how much music or video you want to put on there. I'd say get the most you can afford, but it is pretty easy to add or remove media, so if you go for less space it probably isn't a major issue.
posted by backwards guitar at 8:01 PM on January 24, 2010


I'm borrowing my friend's 8g ipod touch and as soon as get two nickels to rub together I'm going to buy my own. I love this thing! I don't have all that much music and I don't download videos so 8g is enough for me.
posted by patheral at 8:14 PM on January 24, 2010


Well - don't get this edition, IMHO. There was virtually no update between this and the last generation (slight speed advantage, but not on the 8GB one!). I would expect the next update to really bring something to the table. I'd wait for that. Further, it seems there was supposed to be a camera on this one, but it got pulled at the last moment, and hopefully the next update will finally feature a camera. Personally, I really want the camera, because there are apps there that are fantastic, but require a camera (and so are only for the iPhone at the moment).

So, I'd get it - but only the next generation, not this one. And of course you are right to wait to see if the tablet next week won't do all you may wish to with the Touch (though Touch would still retain the small size advantage).
posted by VikingSword at 8:18 PM on January 24, 2010


"FWIW, you can't jailbreak the current one (3rd gen)."

Not entirely true: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jailbreak_(iPhone_OS)
posted by astrochimp at 10:22 PM on January 24, 2010


Apple often releases new hardware at or near its major conferences, such as Macworld Expo which happens in a few weeks (Feb 9-13). If they do release something Touch-like (the buzz is about a tablet, but the buzz every year is about a tablet, so take it with a grain of salt) then you might want the new thing instead, or they might drop the price on the Touch.

Apple isn't going to be a major presence at Macworld Expo this year. They will not be doing a keynote there, unlike past years. Their press event will be on January 27, and is expected to be the place for major announcements like a new tablet or iPhone OS. They seem to have settled on a pattern of announcing new iPod hardware in the fall, and new iPhone hardware in the early summer. Minor announcements are often sent out as press releases.

I'd think the 32GB would be enough room for plenty of things starting out, plus it has the hardware to hopefully handle a new iPhone OS.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:02 PM on January 24, 2010


I got a 2nd gen 8g for cheap on amazon.

I had been toying with getting a kindle and a nintendo ds for awhile.

The ipod touch is the best of both. I have lots of free and a few paid silly games that entertain me.
I have both the kindle and stanza apps and love that I can make it white text in black background and read in bed without a light.

Worth every penny.
posted by sio42 at 3:34 AM on January 25, 2010


Go for it!
But be aware that the 8 gig model is different to the 32 and 64 gig.
The 8 gig is slower, has less RAM and lacks the great new accessibility features + voice control.
For futureproofness, and if you're interested in gaming or accessibility features, i'd avoid the 8 gig model.
posted by kall at 3:43 AM on January 25, 2010


I had been considering one but most advice seemed to be, that freee / open Wi-Fi is just not as prevalent as you think it is.

So it can be annoying to have the iPod Touch and not be able to connect to the net everywhere.
posted by mary8nne at 4:07 AM on January 25, 2010


I had been considering one but most advice seemed to be, that freee / open Wi-Fi is just not as prevalent as you think it is.

So it can be annoying to have the iPod Touch and not be able to connect to the net everywhere.


Of course, the ~$1,000 a year you might well pay for a data/voice contract on an iPhone are annoying in their own way too...
posted by fairmettle at 4:40 AM on January 25, 2010


Yes, but wait for the camera update
posted by chalbe at 6:32 AM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


I have a refurb 16GB and it's great in most ways, echoing the people who are happy with wifi access and not paying for a data plan.

One small annoyance--and maybe there's a workaround, but I haven't found it--is that when you're playing music (you know, the ostensible core app of the device), the text showing the artist, song, and album title are really tiny. There's so much screen real estate available and yet you may find yourself squinting to find out what an unfamiliar track is called.
posted by kittyprecious at 7:21 AM on January 25, 2010


The biggest complaint I have about my iPod Touch is actually not a feature of the device itself, but rather the software needed to load things onto it - iTunes. iTunes is a slow, bloated, hard-to-navigate application that has actually developed more bugs from the last few releases than it had before. The last few releases of iTunes have broken smart playlists and sync feature even more than they were before. Podcasts that are checked to sync "5 oldest unwatched episodes" frequently only sync one or two episodes, or none at all, even when I have plenty of free space. Consequently, as a media player, I find myself very frustrated by the Touch. I would probably buy some other device to listen to my MP3s if that were my main concern.

However, the apps are great. I have tons of fun games that I purchased for less than $3. It's a snappy and quite usable web browser when you're in a place with free WiFi. I've used it to check e-mail, shop at Amazon, look things up on Wikipedia, etc, at coffee shops and friend's houses frequently. It's very convenient. The hardware is solid and polished, and it looks and feels cool. So for those reasons I'm quite glad to have my Touch.

Shame about iTunes though.
posted by Vorteks at 8:11 AM on January 25, 2010


I'm doing fine on the 32GB model, but then I only have about 8 gigs of music, a couple gigs of video, and 2 gigs of apps. Most apps are tiny, unless you want things like Wikipanion (offline Wikipedia browsing), Dictionary.com's app (which includes a thesaurus), or some city guides like Chicago 2Go.
posted by IndigoRain at 1:02 PM on January 25, 2010


My dos centavos as a iPod Touch (1st Gen, 32gb) and iPhone 3Gs 32gb owner:
  • Unprotected wifi access is something that is disappearing, and I live in a college town.
  • When you are considering storage size remember that all the extra stuff (pictures, apps, etc) take up space too. Get the biggest you can imo.
  • You will want an iPhone. Carrying iPod + Phone <>
    I loved my iPod Touch. I had an iPod 3G (the one with the glowy buttons and scroll wheel) and loved it too. I still use the Touch for music stuffs at home.

    My final bit of advice is when you break down and decide to get one avoid picking one up during finals or that big project's due date time.

  • posted by Gainesvillain at 1:06 PM on January 25, 2010 [1 favorite]


    It messed up my third point: Carrying and iPod and a phone is LESS [desirable] THAN carrying an iPodPhone. It all comes down to pocket resources.
    posted by Gainesvillain at 1:08 PM on January 25, 2010


    Thanks for your help!

    The iPad looks pretty awesome, but I'm definitely going for a Touch.
    posted by pecknpah at 6:32 PM on January 27, 2010


    I am thinking of getting one for while I am traveling.
    Will they ever release one with a camera?
    posted by Megami at 1:21 PM on January 31, 2010


    Thanks for all the comments in this thread ..... they make me feel less guilty about blowing $$$ on the one that's arriving in the mail this week. However, I do agree with what other commenters have hinted at, which is that the iPod Touch is essentially a gateway drug to get you hooked and jonesing enough to eventually need (that's the operative word) to switch over to the iPhone.
    posted by blucevalo at 12:45 PM on February 1, 2010


    I was afraid of the gateway effect as well, blucevalo, but in the two-ish years that I've had my ipod touch, I've rarely had need+desire for internet access come along when I didn't have internet access. I'm either in a place with internet access, or I'm with people who have smartphones and can look things up if need be.

    I'm hoping really hard that the next iteration of the touch has a camera - it's been rumored for months. If nothing gets announced at WWDC, well, then I still have the cool device I've always had, and still without a camera.

    If the iphone makes the jump to Verizon, though....Hmmmm.....
    posted by rtha at 1:42 PM on February 1, 2010


    I'm hoping really hard that the next iteration of the touch has a camera - it's been rumored for months.

    I couldn't agree more -- although if/when that does happen, it'll automatically make the one I am getting something that I need to replace!
    posted by blucevalo at 2:12 PM on February 1, 2010


    I would probably have an iPhone if AT&T was available here in Montana. But if I felt like I really, really needed my iPod Touch to have internet always available, I would get Verizon's portable hot-spot and use that to connect. So far, I haven't needed it though.
    posted by The Deej at 4:03 PM on February 1, 2010


    I have an iPhone and wish AT&T was available here in San Francisco.

    Seriously, I got called on the carpet for calling the plan "useless", but it is really unusably bad in the Bay Area. The catch is that when it works, it's really great, particularly for data. But the iPod Touch is considerably cheaper and doesn't come with a $90/month required plan for iffy data service. If you can rely on WiFi, it's a great alternative.
    posted by Nelson at 5:50 PM on February 1, 2010


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