BusinessWeek reviewer searches fruitlessly for iPod touch faults

BusinessWeek’s Cliff Edwards searches long and hard for drawbacks in his recent review of Apple’s iPod touch and comes up with “no built-in speaker” and “no dedicated volume button for music.”

Edwards is also upset that iPod touch users must first connect to iTunes, explaining, “As with the iPhone, when you first turn on the Touch, you need to connect it to an active iTunes account. This syncs it with information such as how much money you have available for wireless music downloads. I found this requirement a little annoying, since you can’t use the device until you do it.”

Edwards is also annoyed that “if you happen to have more than one iTunes account, you’ll have to remember to log into the desired one on your computer before you sync the device.”

Edwards was also irritated that because he “initially checked ‘manually manage my account,’ the Touch wouldn’t automatically sync downloaded tracks to my computer. The quick-start guide and online instructions were little help.”

MacDailyNews Note: Apple’s online iPod touch manual clearly explains the painfully obvious (pages 8 and 9) that, if you choose to add items manually, you will turn off automatic syncing for iPod touch.

Edwards continues, actually finding something good to write, “With just two buttons on the device—one below the screen for calling up the home screen and one on the top left edge for turning off the display—the icon-based touch screen makes navigation both a snap and a pleasure. As with the gee-whiz features of the iPhone’s screen, you can use a finger to zip through music playlists, or finger tabs and pinches to zoom in and out on a Web page or photo.”

Edwards writes, “Perhaps more than anything, I was sorely disappointed by the lack of built-in speakers, since the key feature distinguishing the Touch from other iPods is its ability to wirelessly download music. So for example, because there are no speakers, you can’t sample a new clip with a companion who might offer that extra advice on whether you should shell out 99¢ for the track.”

Full article here.

Edwards either got up on the wrong side of the bed the day he pecked out his iPod touch review or he stumbled upon an unfortunate, yet all-too-common trap into which reviewers sometimes fall: trying way too hard to find faults with what is an excellent product overall. And, lest you think that we believe the iPod touch is perfect, we also would have liked to see dedicated physical volume buttons on the touch for manipulating levels without having to take the device from your pocket. Edwards’ other quibbles, however, border on the ridiculous. Perhaps Edwards should read the very publication for which he writes, as Stephen H. Wildstrom reported in BusinessWeek on September 20th that Apple’s iPod touch is “in a class by itself.”

52 Comments

  1. It’s really hard to believe Edwards has anything to do with review ing products of any kind. Obviously a hit-whore article.

    So by his logic, my car sucks because it doesn’t fly and it doesn’t drive itself.

    “Borders on the ridiculous” is an understatement.

  2. To be fair, a built-in speaker WOULD be nice. But so would be a built-in camera. But neither belong in a personal Mp3 player.

    As for the volume control, I do wish it had that, but you can always add one yourself with a headphone cord with one integrated into it. It’s not ideal since you end up with two volume controls, but if you set the iPod one to maximum, and then adjust with the second one, it works. And better yet, it doesn’t require that you unlock the iPod or anything.

  3. ” And who needs a companion’s advice on whether to buy a song?”

    Ditto. I don’t know if ever in my life I’ve asked for advice on such a life-changing decision as should I buy this song. Sounds to me like he’s just a guy who doesn’t want anyone else using his earphones.

  4. The problem is this:

    iTMS songs are recorded at different volume levels, so when a person makes a playlist of mixed songs from different albums, the volume level changes from song to song.

    Sound Check doesn’t work worth a damm and burning this mixed playlist to cd just continues the problem.

    So people need to constantly change the volume level when they get “blasted” by a loud song or turn up the volume on a soft song.

    The solution is to alter the music files with software that will adjust the volume equally.

    The only software I’m aware of that does this is Mp3Gain (does ACCGain too). However the files must be first made into a uncopyprotected format. Preferably Mp3.

    So the iPodTouch doesn’t have a manual volume adjustment, which is a glaring oversight on the part of Apple.

    If you really want to remaster your music, put together a cd’s worth of a great playlist in high quality Mp3, run Mp3Gain on a copy of the files in the playlist to level the volume, then play that music using the VolumeLogic iTunes plugin through the optical out into another Mac with the optical in to record into Mp3.

    You’ll get a fantastic sounding set of songs.

    Even better if you stick to Mp3 Cds, provided you have a Mp3 cd player in your car or dj setup. This will hold about 100-150 songs depending upon the original AAC file size.

  5. The funniest part of the article was when he was disappointed that you couldn’t download video over wireless direct to the Touch? Let’s see, 4 megs vs 400 megs which one is better do download to a mobile device. I don’t know about you, but I don’t plan to be in coffee shops long enough to download 400megs, and I certainly don’t want to use all of my battery life downloading one video.

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