Mossberg reviews Apple’s iPod touch: ‘A great media player’

“I’ve been testing the newest member of the iPod family, the big-screen iPod touch. It’s a close cousin to the iPhone that connects to the Internet via Wi-Fi wireless networking and replaces the famous iPod click wheel with a touch screen,” Walter S. Mossberg reports for The Wall Street Journal.

“Like earlier iPods, the Touch is elegant and capable, and works smoothly with Apple’s free iTunes software for Windows and Macintosh PCs, as well as with its computer-based online iTunes Store, which sells far more downloaded songs and TV shows than any other legal outlet,” Mossberg reports. “Not only that, but the Touch introduces a mobile version of the iTunes store. It’s called the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store, and it allows you to buy, right on the iPod, any of six million songs for the same price you’d pay on a computer. This portable store will soon be made available on the iPhone as well.”

“For all its beauty and functionality, the Touch has some quirks and downsides. It’s the first iPod model I’ve ever tested that fell significantly short, in my tests, of Apple’s battery-life claims [just under17 hours for music and just over 4 hours for video vs. Apple’s claimed up to 22 hours and up to 5 hours],” Mossberg reports.

“In my tests, music and video playback went perfectly, and so did viewing photos. The Wi-Fi functions, including the Web browser, a YouTube video viewer and the new mobile store, also worked perfectly,” Mossberg reports.

Apple’s new iPod touch “is a great media player, and the iPod remains the best end-to-end portable solution for playing and purchasing music and video,” Mossberg reports.

More in the full review here.

22 Comments

  1. Just reviewed the specs at Apple. Any bets that battery tests were with Wi-Fi turned off and Mossberg’s tested with Wi-Fi on?
    I don’t knolw this, just wondering if any else knows?
    I just remember that over the years, Wi-Fi was downplayed in a handheld because it would suck the battery life down.

  2. Walt says that Apple told him they only included Safari so people could log in places to Ise the iTunes store.

    What a selfish reason. Not because customers would like it. That’s why no Mail program? What a crappy reason.

  3. It seems that MDN omitted what is to me the most interesting section of Walt’s review:

    “Also, some early iPod Touch units have had defective screens, where images appeared too dark. Apple says this problem affected a small number of units and is being remedied. My two test units displayed beautiful images.”

  4. “But it seems ridiculous to me to sell a powerful device with Wi-Fi and a huge screen, and to leave out things like an email program, even though you can use Web-based email programs. I assume Apple was concerned that the less costly Touch might compete too much with the iPhone if it had these features. In fact, if somebody can jam a voice-over-Internet capability into the iPod Touch, it might be more of a threat to the iPhone, which is tethered to a single cellphone carrier, AT&T;.”

  5. “Apple’s iPod Touch Is a Beauty of a Player Short on Battery Life”

    That was the headline in the paper also. I had three different people smugly point it out to me before I was even in my office.

    Walt must be looking for hits, he knows the whole battery thing is a great headline that people remember and quote, even though they don’t read the article.

    So, the nuts bombard him with how unfair he is and his hits goes up. Sad if he’s taking this route. Even possible that he had no say in the headline.

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