What's the real cost for iTouch?
November 23, 2007 9:12 AM   Subscribe

Teen daughter wants the iTouch for Christmas. Other than the purchase price, what other fees apply? Is this thing gonna cost me a monthly fee to access the Internet--which is what she really wants to do.
posted by sandra194 to Computers & Internet (12 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
Unlike the iPhone the iTouch accesses the internet ONLY via a wifi network. This means if you have wireless in your house, your daughter will be able to use the ITouch to get online and browse the web via the Safari browser. She can also get online wiht it using any other Wifi network that she has access to (i.e. if it's a password protected network but she has the password, she can access it via the iTouch). The only way she could sepdn money using it is if it's connected to an ITunes Music store that has a credit card associated with it. She could buy ringtones and/or music pretty easily. I have a hacked iphone that is essentially an iTouch and I use it to do all sorts of wonderful things with no monthly fees at all.
posted by jessamyn at 9:16 AM on November 23, 2007

As far as I've read, it has wi-fi, meaning you have to be near a wi-fi signal to use the internet like a laptop computer. If you don't have wi-fi at home and she wants to use it at home, you'll need to get that, either by getting a wireless router to hook up to your high-speed internet, or by signing up for wireless service from your high-speed internet provider (assuming you have high speed internet already).

Otherwise, she'll be able to get online with it wherever there is an accessible wi-fi signal. Some cafes, etc. charge patrons for using wireless or you have to buy something to be given the password.
posted by fructose at 9:17 AM on November 23, 2007

There are no required fees to use the iPod Touch.

It connects to the internet via WiFi, so if you already have WiFi in your house, it can use that just like any other computer. It can also connect to any other WiFi network, like at a coffeeshop, etc.

However, connection to the intenet is just one of its features, and is not needed to use the device. You will need to download the free iTunes application to put music, video and podcasts on it.

Also note that although purchasing music from the iTunes store is convenient, you never NEED to buy any music from the iTunes store, a common misconception. You can load iTunes and your iPod iTouch with music from your CDs, or any MP3 or AAC files laready on your computer.

Note: I bought one for my daughter. I let her use it once in a while. It's slick as hell.
posted by The Deej at 9:21 AM on November 23, 2007 [2 favorites]

It's also worth noting that even if you do have access to a WiFi network, the iTouch (and iPhone) are somewhat limited in terms of what media you can play directly off the web. Only quicktime, MPEG4 and h.264 videos. No "live" video or audio streams (it can play "streamed" archival media as it is downloaded). No sites with flash based video players.

To load new media you have to use either iTunes on your computer, or the iTunes WiFi store. You can't download something from a website on your iTouch and save it for later access.

There are some 3rd party apps that address some of these issues if you go to the trouble of hacking the device, but few have much polish.

I think the iPhone and iTouch are really cool devices, but there are some things you might expect them to do that they don't do, at least not yet.
posted by Good Brain at 10:40 AM on November 23, 2007

Note that it is, in fact, called the iPod touch... Apple is presumably aware that "iTouch" would be a somewhat creepy product name, and decided not to go down that path (officially). Of course, that doesn't stop the general public.
posted by mumkin at 10:59 AM on November 23, 2007

If you want to use the wifi at startbucks, bookstores, airports, etc you'll need to pay. T-mobile wireless has a semi-affordable monthly package. I imagine she doesnt need it to work at home or school where she already has wireless and a superior web browser: the computer.

So, no, it doesnt work like a phone at all.
posted by damn dirty ape at 11:13 AM on November 23, 2007

No required fees after you buy it. The only added costs could be buying more music, a case for it, a wifi router in your house.

The thing to remember is that you can't get on the internet just anywhere. Since it doesn't have a cell phone in it, it doesn't have the long ranged signal. You need to be somewhere that gives you a wifi signal (coffee shops, home, bookstores).

A few of the public wifi's aren't actually free. Starbucks have partnered with T-Mobile, most airports charge per access, and other places may have their own setup.

I have an iPod Touch, and I love it, but I don't use it's internet features all that often. It does however do internet pretty well.

Ohh, and the last cost is that she'll be asking for the iPhone in a month :).
posted by cschneid at 11:33 AM on November 23, 2007

OK thanks guys--now I get it, just a mini computer like her laptop--but smaller, more portable. Yes we do have wireless at home, so that shouldnt be an issue. Interesting about not being about to play real-time streams though...hmmmm. Anyhoo, of course she loves the YouTube and wants to play with it on the iPod Touch. Yeah iTouch does sound creepy.
posted by sandra194 at 11:34 AM on November 23, 2007

so is the iPod Touch basically just the iPhone without the phone capability?
posted by 5bux at 11:44 AM on November 23, 2007

It's a little different. The main parts besides the phone are no speaker, microphone or camera in the ipod touch. Here are some other comparison points.
posted by jessamyn at 12:04 PM on November 23, 2007

Note that although the built-in Safari browser doesn't play flash videos embedded in websites on the internet, it does have a specific YouTube channel that allows you to access YT videos directly. Any links you click on to YouTube also opens in the special channel.

I have one, and I love mine. The only thing I've been spending money on after getting it is buying episodes of TV shows from iTunes. It's really easy to do, and they play very well on the iPod touch. Some of these I already own the DVDs for, but it's just so easy to download (rather than having to convert your DVDs to iPod-usable format) that it's worth it for me to buy them again.

Video podcasts are also great, btw. I don't watch the TV news on my TV, I watch it on my iPod going to work.
posted by gemmy at 12:16 PM on November 23, 2007

If you're getting it for music, I recommend the 8GB iPod Nano, for $100 less.

If you're getting it for videos, I recommend the Mac Book, for $600 more.

I got an iPod touch when it first hit the shelves, but IMO it's the killer PDA device, and NOT much of a music player really.
posted by Heywood Mogroot at 2:53 AM on November 24, 2007

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