Review of the Apple iPod Touch 4th Generation
I went out and bought a new 4’th Generation 64GB Apple iPod Touch to replace my older 2’nd Generation 8GB iPod Touch. So what’s the difference?
- High Definition video plus still camera (add’s built-in mic and 2 cameras)
- FaceTime video/audio conversations (when in a WiFi hotspot)
- Voice Command (speech recognition)
- Higher resolution screen
- Bluetoothconnectivity (was also available in older iPod’s with OS upgrade)
The most notable difference in the Apple iPod Touch 4’th Generation is the addition of the cameras and built-in microphone. The iPod Touch now has a front and back-facing cameras which provides the capability for recording High Definition video, taking still pictures, and using FaceTime for face-to-face conversations (if you are near a WiFi hotspot).
I have to say that one of the reasons I bought the iPod Touch 4’th generation is to get this capability. I can also say that I was disappointed with the quality of the video and still pictures. I think it surprised many people that the iPod Touch was designed with a much lower resolution camera than what was in the iPhone. It used to be said that the iPod Touch was, “An iPhone without the phone”. If one now considers the difference in the resolution of the cameras – this is no longer true.
The addition of the built-in microphone now provides the capability for a small set of voice commands. For example, you can talk to the iPod Touch and ask it to play an artist, playlist, or a song. No training is needed for the iPod Touch to recognize your voice. You can ask it what time it is, and it will tell you. You can ask it what song is playing and it will tell you. You can also navigate songs in an album or playlist (“next song”, ‘previous song” plus a few more basic voice commands.
Of minor note is that I was able to get Bluetooth to work with my PC (Lenovo ThinkPad). Both my PC and the iPod have Bluetooth capability. The iPod and PC discovered each other and the iPod saw the PC as a headset. So, if you have a decent set of speakers set up on your PC then what this gets you is the capability to play music on the iPod through your PC speaker system wirelessly via Bluetooth.
I already had an 8GB Apple iPod Touch 2’nd generation. At the time I bought this iPod the max memory size was 8GB – which I thought was a lot at the time. But hundreds of audio books later, and lots of music, I can say that 8GB was not enough – even when shuffling media between iTunes and the iPod Touch. (Side note: my local library lends audio books over the Internet which can be transferred directly to the iPod Touch. So, “reading” lots of audio books for free is now nearly effortless; an unabridged audio book is about 600MB)
In addition to the 8x storage capacity (8GB vs 64GB) the capability to record video, take still pictures, and do FaceTime were more reasons I bought the 4’th generation iPod Touch.
What is the best camera? The best camera is the one you have with you. I have a Nikon Digital SLR and a Sony Cyber-Shot. The Digital SLR is big and bulky and one would most likely carry it in a case if you were traveling and wanted to take some decent pictures. The Sony Cyber-Shot I can carry in my shirt pocket – but you have to remember to take it and plan ahead. The best camera is the one you have with you and for some people a smart device (camera-enabled phone or iPod) is what they have with them much of the time. For me, that’s the iPod Touch as my very compact on-line link to the Internet and Cloud storage of my personal media. So, it comes down to having no video and no picture versus getting the video or picture with less than ideal resolution of the iPod Touch.
The Apple iPod Touch is one of those devices where I have gotten the most use and most bang for the buck. I use it for listening to Internet Radio, reading/sending e-mail, social media, checking weather and business news, listening to music and audio books, and in a pinch using Safari to browse the Internet. It’s all there in one very small compact globally-connected device. At home it its in a dock with decent speakers; on the road it’s in my pocket.
Now with the 4’th Generation I can record video, take still pictures, and have 8 times the storage capacity of my older 2’nd generation device.
Not only that, but with a Apple Mac computer all this works seamlessly with iPhoto and iMovie (included free with new Mac’s). It all “just works”
(Side note: When I took some sample video and was learning how to use Apple iMovie I checked the Internet to see if there was some sample movies. One of the links I found was to a grammar school website. Using iMovie the 8’th grade class created a video yearbook. Only a few decades ago, the ability to shoot and edit video was both price and technically beyond the reach of most people. Now, some kids in grammar school are making movies with equipment provided by the school that costs probably less than $1,000. Making movies is no longer a technical or price hurdle. Technology has advanced to the point that those people with creativity can express themselves – and those without talent can do likewise. (See YouTube for examples of the former and the latter.) I think more significantly, a bunch of kids making movies in grammar school alongside the high dropout rates we see in some high schools is certainly a clear demonstration of the Digital Divide.)
Apple iPod Touch 4’th Generation and seamless integration with Apple Mac iTunes, iPhoto, and iMovie. A++.
Tech Specs for iPod Touch
Public Libraries now lend audio books over the Internet – perfect for iPod’s and MP3 players in general