iPod touch 5th generation - Music, Apps and Games

Andrew Williams

By Andrew Williams



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User Score:

iPod touch 5th Generation Music and Sound Quality

Sensibly deciding not to mess with something that works, the 2012 iPod touch features a very simple and quick music app. There are no 3D animated gimmicks, no colourful interface parts bar what's supplied by album artwork, and that's just how it should be.

All additional features are kept within the main Settings menu, and these are fairly simple too. There are 22 EQ presets, but as there's no fine-tuning available audio fans are best off leaving EQ either "off" or set to "flat". Other extra modes include Shake to Shuffle and the volume level-normalising Sound Check.

Transferring tunes to your iPod touch works just the same as transferring videos. You hook the device up to iTunes, and either select the tunes you want to sync or fire across the whole library.

File type support is a little limited once more. Aside from the staple (but probably used less than you'd imagine) MP3, Audible, AIFF and WAV, the iPod touch is limited to Apple-flavoured codecs - AAC and Apple Lossless. Lovers of FLAC and OGG will have to convert their files, which somewhat removes the point of using "audiophile" codecs in the first place unless you're going to exclusively use Apple Lossless.

If you're among the Cloud crowd and like music streaming, the iPod touch offers unparalleled access within the PMP world. Virtually every big-name music streaming service has an iOS app. That includes Spotify, Rdio, Napster, Pure Music, Sony's Music Unlimited and more.

Read our best streaming services comparison >

The iPod touch 5th generation features a single internal speaker that sits on the bottom edge of the player, but for anything more challenging than playing a YouTube video to friends, you'll want to use a pair of headphones or a separate speaker. The reed-thin body of the touch leaves its output sounding fairly thin, scratchy and coarse.

iPod touch 5th Generation Apps and Games

It seems common knowledge, but any assessment of the latest iPod touch cannot leave out a mention of the breadth of apps available. There are more than 700,000 apps in the App Store, and while many of them are not worth the time they take to download, thousands are.

The only rival portable media player devices that come close are those that run the Android OS, such as the Samsung Galaxy S WiFi 4.2. All of those we have looked at have more serious problems than the iPod touch, and the iOS app ecosystem is also far more vibrant than Android's.

A larger number of good games and apps are released more regularly, and the gigantic voracious userbase makes getting recommendations through social networks, word of mouth or sites like TrustedReviews a cinch.

Apple redesigned the App Store for iOS 6. It doesn't mark a huge change in the core structure of the store, but it is now geared towards side-swipes on-screen, rather than vertical ones. The store is also more rich visually, with greater user of app icons over text.

ChrisC 2

September 13, 2012, 11:48 am

Surprised they didn't ditch the iPod name and just call it an iPad Nano.


September 13, 2012, 2:16 pm

When swooning over the new colour scheme and screen resolution in your forthcoming review; please don't forget to mention sound quality. That's always been Apple's weakest point so it would be nice to see if they've made any progress here.


October 20, 2012, 4:44 pm

Thanks for reviewing. I'd also like to hear a bit more about the sound quality though.


December 31, 2012, 7:17 pm

they put the headphone hole on the wrong side, its ALWAYS in the way,and loop isnt safe. my ipod fell out once

Perry Swan

December 31, 2012, 7:43 pm

as a first time buyer into the apple world I find the iPod 5 the most useful tool for my use while travelling. I wonder about some of the comments I've read that make me wonder if its really only just a toy such as "what's the best colour", the lanyard attachment, raised ring over camera lens etc. I'm just hoping it's user friendly, has excellent apps for maps or gps, good graphics, sound, is reasonably rugged etc. So far the cost in Canada seems reasonable.

Tracy and George

December 31, 2012, 10:50 pm

Can anyone suggest where I can get a cheap adapter to charge and play my 5th gen i-pod touch on my docking station?? Thx

Christian Auldridge

February 23, 2013, 4:36 pm

First of all just flip the ipod and the screen will go to that position second you obviously dont know how to use the loop as ive seen a proffesional youtuber play basketball with the loop attached and funy thing it stuck.

Christian Auldridge

March 2, 2013, 2:28 am

That doesnt make any sense...


March 20, 2013, 3:33 am

The colors listed aren't the colors, they come in: Blue pink/red yellow white and black. They shouldn't take pictures of a Gold one cause you can not buy that in the apple store... Sadly.

Luke J. Martinez

April 2, 2013, 3:24 pm

LOL that's the yellow one (if you look at the strap)... It takes on different shades in different lighting.

CounterCulture PC

April 13, 2013, 10:12 am

As long as you can live happily within the walls of the Apple ecosystem,, eh?
I just bought one of these, it came installed with 6.1.2 and I had it up and running the EvasiOn jailbreak in minutes thereby bypassing Apples 'ecosystem' altogether.
Once unleashed and jailbroken, this device-like all Apples devices became 100 x more capable and intuitive than the stock software will ever allow.
I have noticed that the battery life is not that great, but probably because I can't put it down.


May 15, 2013, 12:11 am

Can a digital device be overpriced and good value at the same time? Thats the $300 question. I think it awesome. It weighs 3oz with a retina display--how is that possible?
I always saw myself as a mini buyer--but now i think i can get by with an ipod touch and an ipad5


July 6, 2013, 7:23 pm

I've always preferred iPod touch to iPhone because I almost never use a phone and I have cellular router (MiFi). However one fact makes me to scratch my head- the price of 5gen is the same as the price of iPhone 5 with 2 years contract...


August 6, 2013, 12:36 pm

I would love to see a BABY IPAD TOUCH with a six inch screen and 128gb memory and all the qualities of the ipod touch married to the qualities of the ipad mini but as good as the mini ....only sizeably smaller than the mini...so that it is a more portable device and easily pocketable and purseable.... Please dont discard this idea.... I think it will give the ipod touch a life giving scope and allow apple to develope the concept of media players into the future.But 128 gb is essential and a very good battery and a lovely camera able to deal with low light picture taking.


August 29, 2013, 6:46 pm

When my camera failed on a recent trip to Europe I was so glad to have my iPod 4 th gen. Came home with lots of good pictures and didn't have to try to buy something. When full I emailed to myself & deleted to fill again. Used for mapping, watched movies while stuck in traffic ( purchased before we left). Did everything in comfort of hotel and did have lug a laptop. Rugged, I typically carry in small camera case in my purse and no problem. Enjoy your trip.


October 27, 2013, 12:44 pm

I was thinking the exact same thing


October 29, 2013, 3:00 am

good reveiw but there is actually a 16gb version


October 31, 2013, 2:33 am

its not as expensive anymore. you can get a refurbished version for $80 off($220)and the refurbished one and the brand new one look exactly the same.

Kathy Finn

November 8, 2013, 3:43 pm

DO NOT BUY THE 16g IPod touch 5. For $225.00 it is the biggest rip off there is. There is no camera on the back. Only face camera...I bought one for my son for his birthday yesterday and we both agree its an expensive piece of crap and I am returning it today! I do not recommend this to anyone.


February 8, 2014, 12:39 pm

Only the 32GB and 64GB have back cameras. Do some research before you buy a product.


May 7, 2014, 5:40 am

I just want one with a better battery, I don't care if it isn't the thinnest device on the planet. That and make the battery user interchangeable. It sucks that the battery degrades so quickly and you can only get it changed at an Apple store (they do that right?) but for the same small and rapidly degrading battery...


May 7, 2014, 5:45 am

The iPod Touch is supposed to be an inferior product compared to the iPhone. I also imagine that part of the reason the IPhone without a contract is so expensive, is to subsidize the price of the iPod Touch. I'm sure they sell more iPhones.


July 13, 2014, 9:54 pm

ok i was going to buy the 16 gig one for my son. He is turning 34 now and i was going to hang it above the basement door so when he woke up he would see it. Now i know i should buy the 32 gig one. Thanks!


July 15, 2014, 7:06 am

ebay or amazon.com

Steve Kruckheimmer

November 1, 2014, 5:41 pm

The author states, in his verdict, "as the years roll by, the iPod Touch becomes a tougher sell." I think that after a few years of growing stale that the Touch is worth rediscovering. The bigger screen, with its much improved clarity, and thinner design will put it in a sweet spot for some, since there are no other tablets of this size, which is particularly suited for music and podcast, internet radio, and even such things as the SiriusXM app, none of which would be served well by a tablet that was even slightly bigger (and heavier). I had purchased the first version of the Touch years ago, which has been sitting in a drawer for years, but recently purchased the Gen 5 32GB model, am quite pleased, and believe it may replace, in a single swoop, not 1, not 2, but 3 other devices I’ve been using (my Touch gen1, Zune, and 5” Galaxy player, although the Galaxy player does have a built-in GPS).

Also, as of June 2014, the 5th gen Touch line has been upgraded to include a 16 GB model, and which has the 5 megapixel rear racing camera. Apple also reduced the prices of the Touch models, so the 32 GB model is $249.

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