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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:34 PM   #1
jmpage2
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Exclamation Comments, Pics and Observations from a 5G User

Picked up my touch today at the Aspen Grove Apple store in Littleton, Colorado.

I was rather concerned about the audio quality and screen quality after what I have read here and at ilounge.

These are my initial impressions of the iPod Touch as well as a series of photos that demonstrates a few things.

The Flash drive is very, very slow. I immediately synchronized the Touch with a 12GB music playlist, 300MB of Photos and a single 500MB movie. The entire synch took around an hour from a USB 2.0 port. It's hard to say how much of an impact this will have for day to day use, but for those who will frequently be changing out large playlists it's definitely something to be aware of.

The construction of the device, as previously noted, is very good. There's a black metal bezel around it and it's extremely thin. As can be seen in the photos below it makes my 30GB 5G iPod look like a tank.

The operation of the device is just like the iPhone. Using the Touch interface makes it almost painful to pick up and use the 5G iPod.

For sound quality comparisons I used my very high end Shure E4C headphones (these babies go for about $200, so they cost about half as much as the iPod does) and I listened to the Blue October track "Into the Ocean". This track was LAME VBR encoded with APS presets, so the sound quality is quite good.

The sound from the Touch is definitely not nearly as robust as the sound from the 5G iPod. The Touch sounds thin and 'tinny'. Chords in the song don't reverberate, and there is a lack of depth in the audio. Additionally at 50% volume there is some noticeable background noise coming from the device which noticeably dissapears when the device is shut off with the power switch.

This is a big disappointment for me, as I expected a flash device to deliver sound quality at least as good as my 5G hard drive based iPod if not better. Sound from the Touch is not bad it actually sounds 'ok' but definitely not as good as previous generation iPods.

Next I checked the screen performance with photos and video. In photos I noticed immediately that anything dark lost all definition. Kind of like an LCD TV with a very bad contrast ratio. Bright, colorful photos looked good, but anything darker (like wedding pictures which had the tuxedos in the shot) looked completely blocky. This is definitely a sympton of the LCD and is not something that I believe can be fixed in firmware.

I loaded up the movie Kill Bill Volume 1. This movie was encoded directly from DVD with Handbrake at 400kbps and iPhone presets. On my PC this movie looks great. Very good color, black reproduction, etc. On the Touch it looks pretty mediocre. There is very bad black reproduction. I took some pictures of the fight scene at the end of the movie which takes place in a Japanese Garden to give some reference to what I am talking about.

All in all this device is a "B-" effort from Apple. $400 for a 16GB iPod with mediocre audio performance and a poor quality screen is not what I expected. Now I have to decide if I am going to take it back to the Apple store in a week or two for a refund (minus the hefty Apple restocking fee) or if I will 'touch it out' with the shortcomings to enjoy the new interface and wi-fi until a successor comes out later on next year.

I would advise anyone to be very careful about buying this from Apple. You might not be very happy and Apple will not give you your money back without a restocking fee. You are probably better off buying from a retailer with a good return policy (Amazon, etc) and waiting an extra couple of weeks. At this point noone can say that this is an "A" effort from Apple.

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Last edited by devilot; Sep 14, 2007 at 05:33 PM. Reason: fixed one vB tag
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:41 PM   #2
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Have you adjusted the brightness at all? Not sure if it'll help at all but when I turned mine up it looked much better. I have not tested videos yet though.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:42 PM   #3
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Another post suggested turning up the brightness, as the defaults are set too low. Did you try that?
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:43 PM   #4
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kill bill is awesome, im glad to see you can use regular headphone plugs on it
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:44 PM   #5
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haven't tried that yet, will try it in a bit and report back.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 03:57 PM   #6
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Turning up the brightness has no effect on how this screen performs.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:00 PM   #7
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Thanks for these pics they were very sharp
I can't wait to get the touch.

I've used a 4gb iPod mini for a couple of years, so 8GB is going to seem like loads to me,
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:32 PM   #8
s57
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmpage2 View Post
Turning up the brightness has no effect on how this screen performs.
A friend of mine always tells me never to buy first generation Apple products (he must know - he's been buying them since before 1990). This kind of proves his point to me...
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:33 PM   #9
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Nice pics.

You aren't able to make comparisons on sound and image quality with the iPhone, are you? I'm wondering if those are better, or about the same.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:36 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by s57 View Post
A friend of mine always tells me never to buy first generation Apple products (he must know - he's been buying them since before 1990). This kind of proves his point to me...
but apple does know how to make pretty product, very attractive, even when I know this thing is mostly only a internet browser for me, Im still tempted.

Still struggling tho, apple really makes this thing too weak as PDA or too expensive for a PMP (which I don't need/care anyway)
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:37 PM   #11
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little off topic, but Stone Temple Pilots =
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:49 PM   #12
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I'm kinda bummed about this whole thing. This afternoon I was really looking forward to the touch, now I'm pretty much ready to cancel and stick with my aging ipod photo.

Crap display (I wouldn't keep a device that produced those images, I'd send it back), crap sound - hiss is absolutely not acceptable and if it truly sounds worse than previous ipods then I'm afraid it's a no buy from me... the photo was borderline acceptable as it was.

I'm currently hoping it's just this batch.. I have until the 28th to decide I guess.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 04:50 PM   #13
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Yea. Remember, though. The iPods with video are on the 2nd generation. The nano is on its 3rd.

The iPod Touch is on it's 1st...

It seems that it only borrowed it's platform and software from the iPhone, but not the screen.

Wait until the 1.5G or 2G's are out...
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 05:31 PM   #14
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uh-oh .. the screen looks horrible in those pics ..

and I own a pair of super.fi 5 pro's and they pick up even the slightest of static/hiss .. so the bg noise is an issue for me as well ..

then there are bugs (not too bothered about them really)

anyways, would definitely spend some time with a working floor model before placing my £200 on the table or else ipod classic it is!

thanks a lot for the pics and the review, it helped.
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Old Sep 14, 2007, 05:42 PM   #15
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Slashdot'd

A friend of mine heard about this and has submitted it to Slashdot for consideration.

Please vote it up at Slashdot. Nothing is going to get Apple's attention faster than it making Slashdot headlines.

http://slashdot.org/firehose.pl?op=view&id=288871
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