Written on: 10/03/2011 by keenkenneth (8 reviews written)
iPod Touch 4 Review
After a fortnight I have a few things to say about the iPod Touch 4.
The iPod Touch 4 does not show up in your Finder, which would enable you to place items EXACTLY where you want them. It seems that Apple prefer that you access your videos and photos via additional software which they will gladly sell you. This makes things of course more complicated. You have to turn on iTunes and still the photos are not to be seen. iPhoto has to be bought and installed.
You are then asked to "Set Up Your iPod" and I have been asked this each time I connected the iPod since I did not wish to copy everything from the Mac to the iPod without my concent. Even though iPod (now named KKPod) has already appeared on the side bar of this extra software, Apple still ask every time that you Register and Set Up Your iTunes store Account.
This is tedious, and brings back memories of "Windows" - do you remember those ugly days?
Well, just ignore that and press continue. It now automatically goes into "Syncing iPod" and by this stage you are best just to scream out loud rather than smash your expensive toy.
The iPod contains new voice memos, do they go to the iTunes library, well here we are at last, yes, that means that they will be imported and I will at last be able to access them on the Mac Book.
iTunes is 10.1 so it is up to date, (December 2010), where can all my videos and pictures be?
Well I click on "Devices" in the side bar of iPhoto and at KKPod I see Voice Memos. When I click on that I at last get to see my fourteen Voice Memos.
But what happened to all my Videos and Photos? Still no sign of them anywhere.
When I click Movies I get a chance to spend money through Apple, don't want that. TV Shows is empty, and Music strangely has all the songs I placed on the iPod PLUS the Voice Memos......
This requires further investigation.
Well a few months further living with an iPod touch 4 and it is not only a very dull camera, a disappointing internet access, an application fail as often as not, but the possibility of putting some more music on it - FAILS. Despite much time spent today 2011 03 09 16:34 documentry screenshots proving this, I was not able to get the iPod to show up on the computer despite it being attached by the "special" usb connector (itself the source of future annoyance - who wants a doubly wide connector with sharp corners to catch on any uneven surface and then cause the cable to fail as has done in the past with Mac power supply cables?).
Fortunately I have bought a windows machine and can you believe it on the second attempt I was able to get all the pictures to show up on the windows laptop and even now I am transferring them to an 8GB stick so that I can then put them in the Mac. Is that not just a little sick? As to putting some more music on the iPod, after denying the iPod to sync without my permission, it has "gone dead" according to iTunes in Macbook. It only appears in the extra software iPhoto as a "device" not a hard disk, but the device shows NO operability so "device" means "less status than a hard disk" since with a hard disk all files are accessible and on this thing only "virtual images" are accessible. All very complicated, and difficult to believe considering it comes from Apple, but basically Apple want you to PAY to access the pictures that you took on the iPod through a scheme which ensures that in fact the iPod and the Mac can remain in sync. Of course the first 60 days are offered "free" to convince you that it is better to pay even more than not be able to access the photos you have taken using an expensive camera, and despite having bought additional software, the additional "service" is perhaps the option that many people will, weary by now of the third attempt by the trusted company to get hold of yet more of your loose cash. Who cares? So they only want the money - at least perhaps we can then access the photos we have gathered.
I never bothered, having found the windows solution, it is still transferring files to a stick so that the work I have spent so much time on will be available whenever and where ever I choose.
I would not recommend this iPod4 Touch to anyone other than children or perhaps teenagers who have inferiority complexes and think this expensive toy will alleviate that, it is great for giving the impression that you have lots of good technology at your disposal. For those who wish to USE the technology, I would advice not to have too high expectations. We all hope and pray that this iPod4 Touch will be made accessible with perhaps newer updates, the biggest problem being access as far as I can tell so far (2011 March). The shiny case is wonderful, scratched within a week despite never being removed from the thick rubbery case (£15 in the Apple store)except to examine it for scratches. It has already fallen on the ground (in the case) and still operates flawlessly, except that I can still put no music on it and cannot get anything out of it except by using the Windows computer. Go for it!
Incidently the biggest disappointment for me was the camera. It is well, normally I would call it trash, but since this is a review I will have to be careful with my words. Let us say that is is "restricted".
1. The angle of vision of the lens is too narrow for most purposes.
2. Everything closer than 60cms is unsharp, so there is NO macro - forget about taking pictures of this screen with the camera - everything remains blurred.
Other than that - colours are fine, the "zoom" is digital - ie it gets even more blurred when used. There is "an aperture control" which is clunky and requires you to touch the subject on the screen in order for the camera to take a reading and then adjust the aperture accordingly. This does work for a few seconds and then returns to automatic - it does of course record sound - when switched to video. Incidently all changes, such as video camera to still camera or even just camera, take a frustratingly long time to start, not so good when you need to take a photo and have to get used to counting up to five before anything will work. The video camera is the same as the photo camera and there are two, one front and one back. Both are "restricted" as described above. It is a great feature having the back camera - being able to film yourself and watch the screen at the same time - such a pity Apple haven't put in anything better than a £2 camera lens in the box. Once the "guarantee" runs out then some of us will get out our plastic guitar picks and prize open the case so that a real camera can be installed - or maybe that should be the first thing you do after opening it when buying. Surely on the net someone is selling small cameras for less than £5 which will bring us sparkling clear sharp pictures - we only need to connect up the wires at the back - more on that later.
The variety of applications (aps) available is wonderful, there is a non-stop flow of creativity coming from non-Apple people who have found a suitable container for amazing devices which they have dreamed up such as the spirit level and .well there may be another but it doesn't remain high up in memorable items in my brain.
Yes, go and buy this iPod 4 Touch if you get the same feeling I did when I saw the wonderful screen - so much detail, the human eye is truly stretched to its limits when trying to see any pixels. Such a pity that the access and camera make this gadget in all a total failure for those who are a little serious about what they do with technical gadgets.
The specially created iMovie for iPod Touch 4 is yet another cost, well sadly that was the main reason that I bought this thing - to be able to cut some little stories together while on the move. Maybe if I had not been so reticent about buying yet more "bits and pieces" such as the screen pen, I would be able to use iMovie for iPod4 Touch, but with not even a place to hang, hook or stick the screen pen and thus loose this thing a week after buying it, I never bothered. Thus iMovie has not yet been used to any purpose other than making 4 or 5 little doodles, none of which I would even bother to show anyone since they cannot be properly managed by anyone with fingers thicker than 1cm.
The keyboard, yes it works, but for someone to actually use this - he/she has just got to be a geek (or a teenager). If someone would come up with a foldout bluetooth keyboard, then I could imagine that I could use it for writing reports. But currently anything more than one line for a google search is very very slow and even short notes tried initially are just not worth the effort - hunting around through the various menus to find the notes which have been diligently fiddled around to get into shape - a piece of A4 paper in one's back pocket folded up into 8 and a small pencil will get your REAL results and won't hurt you when you are sitting - it will also be there when you arrive at the store and want to ask the man now you are at the front of the queue if he has any details about
1. Something else you could have spent over £300 on in order to be on the ball.
2. If you can return the iPod4 Touch - money back, no questions asked - despite very small almost unnoticable scratches.
3. When the replacement batteries will arrive.
4. If there is an even more effective method of getting frustrated on a daily basis.
Despite claims that by using the Apple browser Safari, all those sites which are accessed can later, when off line and in a non wifi area, again be read and enjoyed. Sadly my experience showed me that some of these pages remain for a limited time, then oddly the device throws up a message "you are not online" and so you are left with a blank screen where you had previously been looking forward to reading all the latest news on perhaps iPod5 Touch. Likewise the google maps - wonderful when operating in a wifi zone remain there for differing times and then too are lost, your wifi connection has been lost.
The screen zoom feature when surfing, meaning that with two fingers you can make details on any sites get larger so that they can be read, is wonderful. Scrolling too is great, unless you are faced with a list of 2300 photos and want to get back to photo number 3. The engineering boys in the back room have done a wonderful job with this and there can be no doubt that they will be suffering the most frustration of all, knowing that despite all the work and effort they have put into designing such state of the art technology, those in the marketing department at Apple have put up the shutters and for reasons of finance introduced all the flaws that I have been able to describe. There are more criticisms than the small assortment I have outlined above, but I know that you too have better things to do than go through all the boring details of some sad sack who has spent his precious time and money only to find out that, well in his own eyes - he has been done.
Just so I can say "Kenneth Keen told you first" - the usb socket is constructed so that the plug does not enter snugly, it does not enter with ease, it enters only when perfectly parallel to the case because a space has been left above and below so that there is lots of room for error causing damage to the casing or the plug or both. Apple never did bother explaining why the huge plug they prefer to the neat small usb or even better the mini-usb was not good enough for them. Why at one end of a cable there are a number of connections and at the other end the number has increased, not just by one or two but more. The standard usb connector (usb 2) has four pins and the earth or shielding, while at the other end of Apple usb cables there are, wait for it 30 pins (making 26 pins redundent [useless] other than to give an excuse for an elongated shape). This is presumably continuing the same strategy which they used for power supply cables - MagSafe where a two-core cable supplying power to the Macbook has 5 connections and not two like any other laptop - to put off anyone trying to solder it back together again after it has caught (with a specially created square plug, rather than streamlined like other makers manage to produce) on any tight corner behind an assortment of other cables hanging from peripherie devices. They make a good profit selling replacement power supplies for £75 and more, simply because the cable has become snarled with the square head at the end .
A great machine - if only the engineers had been rewarded with seeing their products mounted on non-obsolescent non-disposable, honest user-interfaces.
PS The iPod_touch_iOS4_User_Guide.pdf is not included in the package when you purchase. It must be downloaded from the internet - a nice Catch22 from Apple. How do you download instructions without having instructions on how to do so?