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iPod Touch worth it?

posted in: Music, questions | 1

Today a student of mine asked about iPod Touch on her FB, and it got me thinking about my Touch I got for Christmas and how it has been working out for me in the intervening months. I wrote her a lengthy reply, and thought I would share it here. I know a lot of my fellow dancers and teachers use iPods extensively, and might benefit from hearing my experience.

Q. My ancient iPod classic is on its last legs. Anybody have an ipod touch? Thoughts? Why would I get one of those v. another classic?

A. I have owned three iPods–a Classic 20 Gig, Nano 2nd Gen 4 Gig, and Nano 4th Gen 8 Gig. I hardly ever used my (old, heavy, clunky) Classic 20 Gig to its fullest capacity because it was so hard to scroll through so much music. The click-wheel is truly an incredible innovation, but it has its limits. 20 Gigs was TOO MUCH music, and the interface being limited on purpose for simplicity made it cumbersome to use at that size. Then my 4 and 8 gigs weren’t enough. The 4 because it was way too small to keep all my class and troupe music on and still have anything left over for my own listening pleasure, and the 8 because that now had a color screen and was also storing album art, the occasional movie, etc. But even at 8, despite some innovations in the interface software, I was starting to get that old familiar irritation of having a limited interface for a lot of data.

Enter the iTouch.

I got the largest version, because I wanted to be able to use all its features without having to choose what can and can’t fit–I wanted all my dance music, plus some music for myself, and some videos. So far I have barely scratched the surface of its capacity, and though I am glad I made the choice to get a large capacity one, most people can probably get away with the mid-range for uses like mine.

As for the interface, it is just as intuitive as the other iPods, but with even more robust navigation options for accessing and working with your data. Though I have more music on it than my other iPods, I can get to it all faster. I can edit on the go playlists without having to start from scratch. When browsing lists, I can skip to a letter of the alphabet without scrolling interminably to get there. I can switch from Album to Artist without going back-back-forward, I just click on an icon at the bottom of the screen. Things just move a little faster, smoother, easier. Also a lot easier to read and see the body of information displayed thanks to a nice big screen.

Plus I have a calendar that interfaces with my Google Calendar, and updates whenever I am near an open WiFi connection (which I am a lot). I have a weight/calorie tracker to help with my diet efforts. Last night pulled up my Last.fm program, plugged it into our stereo, and played a Sneakerpimps-inspired playlist for a party. I ripped a copy of my favorite bellydance video to have on hand for reference of basic movement verbiage used in teaching. I can take a quick note for later reference–the virtual keyboard on these are shockingly easy to use. I have a few games to pass the time when waiting for appointments, or to pass to a friend’s child to amuse them while we chat over tea (yes, I have some toddler-specific games for just that purpose ;). The list goes on.

I wish I could have an iPhone, but I won’t switch to AT&T (too many friends who have been unhappy). I would love to be able to use 4G and not have to be near WiFi anytime I want to access the net (though I have a G1 phone for that), and I would love a camera in it. But those are my only complaints. I think the iTouch is really handy for my uses. Food for thought.

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Shay Moore is the director and primary instructor at Deep Roots Dance in Seattle, WA. She loves writing, movies, costuming, knitting, cooking, and bellydance to the moon and back again; and loves her amazing husband and doggies even more than that.

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    I got one of these for my birthday and I agree with everything you said. Sadly my city is not so hot on the open wifi connections, a lot of them are locked down. But it is great to have a “one stop shop”. I decided against the iPhone because, as a person who does not like to talk on the phone, I couldn’t justify the monthy fees.

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