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Apple iPod touch 3rd Gen 64GB - Apple iPod touch 3rd Gen 64GB

By Hugo Jobling

Reviewed:

Summary

Our Score:

9

User Score:

The App Store doesn't just give the iPod touch access to a huge library of games. There's a veritable plethora of other apps, too. Safari is an incredibly good mobile web browser, there's no denying that, but given the choice I'd rather check Facebook or Reddit via their respective apps - the process is just that bit slicker.

There are plenty of examples of great apps for the touch, from the Sonos remote control to Spotify. A few of them are perhaps a bit overpriced for what's on offer - £5.99 for train times? Really? - but for the most part the pricing seems pretty decent.

The real problem with both games and apps is that with so many available through the App Store, it's hard to know which ones might be worth taking a look at. Luckily, Apple has done some work to fix that with the latest touch firmware update. Genius, previously used to recommend tracks on the iTunes store you might like to buy based on what's already in your library, now works for apps too.

App recommendations aren't, in my experience, quite as good as with music, but for the most part the results are decent enough. Based on having installed iReddit, for example, Genius reckons I might also like the NYTimes application, while also suggesting that based on my purchase of SimCity I might also want to check out X Plane Airliner. It's just a shame there aren't any filtering options to limit recommendations to only four star or better rated ones, or just free apps, say.

On the subject of Genius, I should mention that the music side has been updated, too. If you have the latest firmware (again, on any generation of device) and iTunes 9 - which you really should get anyway as it's much improved over iTunes 8 - you'll get access to Genius Mixes.

In effect, these mixes are little different to hitting the Genius icon while playing a track - you still get an automatically generated playlist of tracks that, to quote the Apple tagline, "go great together." With mixes, however, playback is continuous. Grouping is done by Genre, although I'm assured that the algorithm takes much more than that into account, which I'm more than happy to believe.

I'm not quite as enthused about Genius Mixes as the 'normal' way of using Genius. By dint of playing a wider sample of tracks, the selections felt a little less smart and a bit more eclectic. That's not to say that an 'Alternative & Punk Mix' of Green Day, Blink-182, The Offspring and Nirvana doesn't work, but occasional oddballs like Paramore and Taking Back Sunday don't fit quite as well. Call me picky, but I don't think In Bloom flows into Dance, Dance particularly well. Although if you need me to point out that those songs are by Nirvana and Fall Out Boy respectively, maybe you wouldn't mind.

Jay4d0

September 18, 2009, 5:10 am

wonder what happened to the 16Gb version would have been great at the £170-£185 price point

Nick 2

September 18, 2009, 12:32 pm

The biggest "miss" to my mind was not putting GPS in. That would have been a really good thing.

BOFH UK

September 18, 2009, 1:01 pm

Yeah, gotta agree with Jay, it's a shame they didn't make a 16Gb third gen model at something around £175. That would have been the perfect upgrade model for me from my first gen 16Gb. As it is it's very difficult to justify £230 for an extra 16Gb I'm unlikely to use, bluetooth and a faster processor. The camera would have gone a long way towards solving that particular dilema.





All that said, it's still the best portable media player out there. It may not have the packed specs of some of its competitors but the whole package is so much nicer and easier to use. Add in the ridiculously comprehensive iPod ecosystem and it's hard to justify anything else really.

Ironduke

September 18, 2009, 1:12 pm

Indeed and why no Camera like the iPhone.





Still a cracking device

ilovethemonkeyhead

September 18, 2009, 2:11 pm

the original touch wasn't exactly a slouch in its own right, and until i see some apps that take advantage of the extra graphical horsepower (tekken iphone ftw!), the only real benefit is teh 64GB capacity...





that's unless you don't have a 2nd gen one, though.

sinaplenty

September 18, 2009, 4:14 pm

"As a mere media player, you'd be hard pushed to justify the high cost of an iPod touch." That seems precisely the point to me...if you're the kinda person who likes their tech enough to splash out £300 on an mp3 player, surely you've already got a phone that covers the mobile computing, apps and web browsing? What you want is something that does what your phone doesn't - ie play music at decent quality without needing a charge every day. Web browsing and apps/games might be a nice extra, but that price premium seems high to me just to have a slightly smoother web and app experience than sony or creative will give you (and you're also sacrificing sound quality!).

GoldenGuy

September 18, 2009, 5:06 pm

(I think that lady just hadn't recovered from your MBA review yet.)





Um, we've given you a lot of stick lately but I don't mind saying that this is a decent review. Not quite a 9 for me (the Touch, not Hugo), but as a long time admirer of 'the-iPhone-without-the-crappy-phone-part', I think this is the most attractive package yet because the price is at long last in the same ballpark as the capacity. Like you said £300 isn't peanuts but it is about 60-odd GBs of flash in a touchscreen mobile computer.





And while a camera would be nice, I don't find it to be a dealbreaker either. What's happened is that adding it to the Nano has emphasised its omission and just built up resentment in a critical community that's had to toss a huge chunk of it's pre-written reviews in the trash.





My one criticism would be that I think more attention should be paid to sound quality in a device most frequently use as an MP3 player. At the price point of a Sansa Clip, one can allow sound to slip down the list of priorities, but because this is a premium product and it's never been quite up there with the best, while they bundle such appalling earphones, I'd knock it down another point. I agree though that iTunes 9 is more respectable and I factor that in to mitigating the damage on the music front. It's still a bit baggy but I am loving the Home Sharing facility.





All in all, with a few more months spare change handy, I may be tempted to finally go over to the dark side and fully own an iPod.

Jay4d0

September 18, 2009, 5:16 pm

what grates me is the fact that apple have used pretty deacent hardware in it but have chosen not to use it at its full potential specifically the wireless chip which has a built in FM radio, built in FM transmitter and supports wireless N! £230 or £300 sounds a lot better if for the sake of a bit of software to fully use these was included with the option of turning them off rather than not having the option at all.

MonkeyMarsh

September 18, 2009, 6:08 pm

Could I use this as a 64GB external hard drive under Windows or Linux (Ubuntu in my case)? I.e. does it present itself as a mass storage device when connected via USB to the aforementioned operating systems?

Tim Sutton

September 18, 2009, 6:12 pm

I'm hardly Apples biggest fan, but this is a nice product, at for once a not massively inappropriate price.





I'd still far rather have a Zune HD, which in head to head comparisons comes out way ahead.. and no iTunes.





As for the lack of a camera, just shhh. It's completely irrelevant on a PMP. My fridge doesn't have one either.

davef

September 18, 2009, 6:26 pm

@MonkeyMarsh - no, at least not without jailbreaking it.





All-in-all a pretty decent review. For my tastes you rated it a bit highly on the sound quality front (my five-year old iriver sounds better). But as you say as you allude to, as a near all-in-one device it does the job better than anything else at the moment.

MrGodfrey

September 18, 2009, 6:32 pm

What's going on here? Apple have managed to release a product that's actually priced sensibly in relation to what it is and does? I may have to go and lie down to recover from the shock.





I have found some of Apple's recent products to be overpriced and overhyped to a spectacular level. But I have to admit, this is not one of them. If I wanted a multi-media player for commuting/travelling, and didn't already have a smartphone with a very good screen, I would definitely consider the 64GB Touch. Unlike the new Nano, I am prepared to accept the slightly sub-par audio quality, given what else is being offered for the money. I wouldn't mind the lack of a camera, although the fact that the Nano doesn't have one while the Touch (on which a camera would be arguably a much more logical feature) doesn't. It makes sense for Apple of course, in terms of product differentiation, but that hardly benefits the consumer. But then I still question the point of a camera on any PMP when most people are likely to have an equal or better one in their 'phone. And in any case, you really can't complain at £300 for a 64GB media player with WiFi, especially when you factor in the possibilities that come with Apps.





Finally an Apple product that lives up to the hype and at the same time doesn't charge you the earth for the logo. I hope this now proves to be the rule rather than the exception.

BobaFett

September 18, 2009, 8:01 pm

"It's obvious that Apple wants to keep a level of distinction between its ever converging devices but that's only a good thing for Apple itself. "





True but it's not like Apple are the only company guilty of artificial product differentiation and this isn't strictly the case with an iPhone and iPod touch. Leaving out a camera and GPS chip from the first 20 million iPod touches must have saved Apple a pretty penny or two. Price points being what they are, Apple has no financial incentive to bundle a camera until the competition requires them to. And it's not like many people are bemoaning the lack of camera in the Zune HD or Sony NWZ-X1060.

MonkeyMarsh

September 18, 2009, 8:42 pm

@davef - thanks for the feedback. That's a shame as it would be an excellent extra feature. Do you know if it is possible to jailbreak the 3G Ipod Touch?





On a more general topic, is it possible to run Spotify in the background on a jailbroken ipod touch / iphone?

GoldenGuy

September 18, 2009, 9:57 pm

@Mr. Sutton





"As for the lack of a camera, just shhh. It's completely irrelevant on a PMP. My fridge doesn't have one either."





Big LOL. I mentioned this before, the camera really isn't a dealbreaker on a PMP.





And the Zune HD does seem to emphasise the music playing experience side which makes a nice change from companies trying to cram more and more irrelevant features in. (The Nano's pedometer?) It's also a beautiful looking device in my IMHO and from what we've heard on the reviews the screen is gorgeous and now makes Apple's look pretty tame. It has that same clean, almost industrial appeal of Apple products without just copying them. A good measure of it's enviable aesthetic is that one iPod loyal CNET editor clearly wants one and yet feels left out in the cold as it's PC only. Makes a nice change to the smugness of a Mac user.





All that said, I still consider the Touch a mobile computer and a solid all rounder, so I place a high value on all the free stuff I could load onto it from the App Store.

DaHarder

September 19, 2009, 12:27 pm

As someone who now owns all three iterations of the iPod Touch, I really see no progression from 2nd to 3rd generations, save the marginally faster processor and the (expected) capacity bump.





The LCD appears slightly improved, but there's nothing here that comes close to the core media playback experience of my Zune Hd/32gb.





Yes, I understand that the Zune HD is not yet available in Europe, but the audio, video, interface/GUI, software/ecosystem, processor speed, and true 16:9 OLED display seriously make the iPod Touch look like some leftover remnant from 5 years ago.





I'll keep my iPod Touch 3rd Gen, but not even the apps store can save it from 'also ran' status when compared to the the Zune HD.

GoldenGuy

September 19, 2009, 6:12 pm

"leftover remnant from 5 years ago"





A bit harsh DaHarder? The iPod Touch is still a good looking device and the gleaming metal back is a long held iPod tradition because it still looks great. That eye-popping OLED screen on the Zune is going to make even the best PMPs look a bit inferior, so I'd say it's more to MS's credit than Apple's embarrassment.

DaHarder

September 19, 2009, 11:02 pm

Let's agree to disagree concerning iPod aesthetics.





The 'gleaming metal back' was a horrible design idea (from a practicality perspective) from day one.





Yes, it looks lovely for about the first ten seconds of ownership, and then it's nothing but a smudge/scratch magnet.





It's long overdue for Apple to abandon this nonsense entirely, and while they're at it, adopt modren screen technology (OLED anyone?) - IMO

Andy0d2

September 20, 2009, 12:38 am

There's only one this the touch is trumps - apps. Personally whilst nice I value even the slightest hardware improvement - screen etc. Once its in the UK it'll be very interesting especially withs its very understated feature (well software based) - the zune pass. For the price of 1 and a half albums off itunes (£10) you can fill your zune with as much music as you want (read: actually unlimited - no fair usage), whilst keeping 10 DRM free MP3's of your choice each month - so if you break your contract you haven't lost everything.

Chris

September 21, 2009, 5:09 pm

@Andrew Violet: Very true, but I think it's possible that the Zune Pass is the main reason that Microsoft haven't brought the Zune to Europe yet. Music licensing is a very different business over here, which is why music services don't often translate over the pond. For example, Pandora, Last.FM and Spotify are all currently confined to their respective home markets.


If the Zune does ever make an appearance over here, I'll bet it'll be without the Zune Pass. Any comparable service offered here will probably be some limp-wristed, overpriced and under-featured variation.

violent pacifist

October 18, 2009, 9:57 pm

Heartsrevolution? I never took trustedreview to be so scene-y as to have that in their collection





But on a more serious note, thanks for the comprehensive review, although it would be great if you could speak a little more about video, since this is a pmp

Freddo

April 5, 2010, 8:06 pm

"iTunes isn't that bad". Streuth! I thought my tolerance level was high! I have to say it's dire and anything that depends on it is barred from my spending. I still can't believe they haven't improved it, the thing is so inflexible but that's another review!





I nearly threw my iPod Nano out of the window because of iTunes. I'm not a great fan of the iPod have to say I listened to other people's opinions instead of trying one for myself. Not that it's easy to do that in shops. I do like the sound quality of the iPod but that's about it, so I'm moving to another MP3 player that with the same quality sound but has more flexible file management, a radio, a 16 gb SD card to extend the memory and isn't overpriced and over rated. Well I hope!

DiamondHead

September 3, 2010, 4:08 am

When will TR review the new Ipod touch with camera??Im interested on buying but I want a trusted opinion :P.

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