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.
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.
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.