Observations from Week 36, 37, 38, 39 owner

Discussion in 'iPod touch' started by jmpage2, Oct 8, 2007.

  1. jmpage2 macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007
    I've now owned one of each production week of iPod Touch 16GB units, and wanted to provide a little feedback for all of those out there who are concerned (justifiably) with the various issues.

    I've put each of these iPods through their paces with a variety of material. Audio recorded with LAME APX MP3 and 1000kbps H.264 Video encoded with Handbrake from original DVDs.

    There is absolutely no question that week 36 had the worst screen of all the iPod touch units I have owned. The picture of O-Ren that I took (from the movie Kill Bill Volume 1) has made it's way all over the Internets and had something like 100,000 hits last time that I looked. The screen was terrible, with no contrast at all. This was also before 1.1.1 came out... so I can't comment on what effect new firmware might have had on the problem.

    There was also noticeable hissing on this iPod when a track was paused at a medium volume level. For evaluation I have used some rather high efficiency headphones, such as the Shure E4C ($199) and Shure E500 ($499) models... they certainly offer a deeper insight into audio performance than the stock earbuds.

    My week 37 iTouch was slightly better than the week 36 unit in screen performance, but still had trouble with black areas in movies. Hissing on this unit actually seemed better than the week 36.

    My week 38 iPod had a better screen, but annoyingly had a clump of bad pixels (4-5) in a one square inch area right at the bottom middle part of the screen. This caused those bad pixels to show up while watching movies, so it was kind of irritating. This was the iPod I owned when 1.1.1 came out. 1.1.1 did not seem to make a noticeable difference on this screen so I assumed it was one of the "good" ones. Definitely black levels were better, but I still noticed that I got a bit more contrast in dark areas when tilting the iPod up slightly. The week 38 unit also had the most noticeable hissing of all of the units that I've owned.

    Now (just an hour ago) I got my hand on a week 39 unit. This unit has a different serial number prefix than my previous iPods (instead of 9C7 it has 1B7 as the serial prefix). I swapped this unit out with BB after deciding that it wasn't satisfactory to have the clump of bad pixels and the louder hissing.

    Thankfully I can report that the week 39 is the best iPod to date, and barring some calamity, will be the one I keep (at least until higher capacity units come along).

    The screen has a bad pixel, but it's in the middle of the screen where it's almost impossible to see in normal use.

    Screen looks good but still looks "better" if tilted slightly forward at the bottom. Might have something to do with this being a TN film type screen.

    Hissing is much less noticeable, more like the week 36 was.

    I want to make a couple of observations that might help others;

    1. Screens vary. There seems to be variation even in week 38 and week 39 units but the variation is minor. The bigger issue here might be contrast ability of the TN type screen being used in the Touch. Numbern of bad pixels seems to vary too. My week 36 and week 37 had no bad pixels, the week 38 had a bunch and the week 39 had one.

    2. Hiss varies. The hiss is very possibly related to shielding of the components and there could be assembly variation between units. I can assure people that ALL iTouch units have some hiss... if you can't hear the hiss you are using low efficiency phones or you are deaf. :)

    So, good luck, and realize you have to be willing to live with some limitations with these units as there still seems to be some variation... if you are concerned, buy from a place with a good return/exchange warranty. I also believe that at this point in time, there is no such thing as a perfect touch.

    So... best of luck! :)
  2. MagicWok macrumors 6502a

    Mar 2, 2006
    I personally think my week 37 Touch is perfect:cool:. But there you go. compared to other week 37's and 39's and my screen is as good as the week 39 after spending ages comparing... lol

    No dead pixels, doesn't crash. Would that be perfect? It is for me at least.

    Congrats on the good working week 39.;)
  3. infosprt macrumors regular

    Jun 29, 2007
    Temecula, CA
    We have a week 39 and it is quite a bit better than my week 30 iPhone.
  4. duraace macrumors member

    Dec 27, 2006
    My week 38 Touch is perfect. It exceeded my expectations for sound quality and screen quality, and I'm very picky when it comes to gadgets. There's nothing about it in the slightest (not one bad pixel), that would have me question the build quality. Now all Apple has to do is fix Calendar updating, and add some much needed stand alone apps (mail, RSS reader (probably won't see this since you can do it in Safari), eBook ...).
  5. ShanePod macrumors member

    Sep 16, 2007
    same :) mines a 1B738, Flawless :apple:
  6. Reubania macrumors newbie

    Nov 9, 2006
    Melbourne, Australia
    Wow! Thanx for your observations...very very helpful. If only Apple had gotten to the problem quickly...instead of having a beautiful product marred. They took their time with the iPhone, don't know why it all went pear-shape with the Touch.

    Oh well, at least I can now get my Touch without thinking twice (well, finances approving that is!) ;)
  7. davidjearly macrumors 68020


    Sep 21, 2006
    Glasgow, Scotland
    I really don't know what to say to most of that, other than that you must have a lot of time on your hands. However, I have a few points.

    1. You CANNOT assure anyone that all iPod touch units have a 'hiss' to some extent. I CAN assure you that mine does not. I have listened to it using Shure E3C's as well as lower end cans like the Sennheiser CX300, through both Apple Lossless and 320kbps AAC. There is NO hiss.

    2. There are perfect screens out there. Mine is one example. No problems with blacks, grey gradients or pixels.

    3. It's iPod, not iTouch, or even worse, 'touch'.

    4. I have a week 38 unit and it also has '1B7' at the beginning of the serial number. This is not exclusive to week 39 units and later.

  8. Evangelion macrumors 68040

    Jan 10, 2005
    Officially, it's not iPod, it's iPod touch. "iPod" refers to the whole family of products that includes iPod touch, iPod classic, iPod Nano and iPod Shuffle. Shortening that to just "touch" is perfectly fine, why wouldn't it be? And secondly, why shouldn't it be nicknamed iTouch? Black MacBooks are routinely called BlackBooks, Aluminium PowerBooks were often called AlBooks, do you whine about those? Why do you get your panties in a bunch if someone calls iPod tpouch iTouch?
  9. jmpage2 thread starter macrumors 68040


    Sep 14, 2007

    As far as having too much time on my hands, well, I suppose that's a rather cheap shot. I work a lot of evenings and weekends which often times leaves me with weekday/retail time to do things like exchange iPods. Also, I type 80 words per minute, so typing up a detailed description of my experiences, as above, takes just a few minutes.

    I've owned the four iPods mentioned and listened to about six other ones. They ALL had some hiss when the iPod was paused or in a very quiet section of a song, even at moderate volume levels. I think it's more likely that people who can't hear it simply have poor hearing at that frequency range. I have a co-worker who can't hear anything above about 8,000 hertz.

    As far as perfect screens go... there may be perfect screens out there, but I'm a bit skeptical. Even if you think the screen is perfect there might be bad pixels, etc. I am very happy with the screen on the iPod I have now. I'd give it 9/10 rating compared to the 3/10 I would have given the week 36.

    Anyways, if you think you have a perfect iPod, that's all that matters. I just think owners and potential owners should have an idea of what they're getting themselves into, there's a thread here about a guy who made the store open up 5 of them for him so he could find a "perfect" one. That seems a bit excessive since I suspect a perfect one does not exist.

    It's not an iTouch? How pedantic of you. If we want to use a shorthand name for the device, what does it matter to you? I find iTouch a concise description of the device.

Share This Page