(I wrote this article for a class I am currently taking titled “Writing for the Web” so that’s what occupying me. Given it’s my first word limit in a while, it was quite difficult to stick to!)
How and Why I got a free iPod Touch
Last summer, I redeemed 4,000-odd Air Miles from to acquire my first (free) iPod.
So, it took seven years since the iPod first became available for me to get onto the bandwagon. And, I figured, getting an iPod Touch was a good starting point because it has the salient video feature and it is so similar to the iPhone that is garnering accolades as the most intuitive phone ever made.
Thus, getting an iPod Touch was my foray into the Mac/Apple world without committing to a laptop or desktop. I do love to conduct an experience on myself… would I become that cliche fangirl?
What is an iPod Touch?
The CNET review can elaborate on the wonders that is the iPod Touch 2G; however, briefly, here are my lists of what the iPod Touch is and isn’t.
What it is:
- Multimedia player including playing MP3 music, podcasts, and audio books; displaying digital photos; watching movies, television episodes, and music videos.
- Personal Digital Assistant (PDA) device with your standard organization utilities with the capability to acquire more programs for free or at a low price.
- Portable, relatively unsophisticated gaming device with thousands of free or reasonably priced games.
- Pocket computer with Safari browser and wi-fi capability.
What it isn’t:
- A phone
- A camera
- Always connected – you need an iPhone with a data plan
Making It My Own
Part of the initial excitement was making the device my own, externally. While the iPod Touch was “free” to me, I still had to visit the Apple Store for its collection of device-personalizing accessories.
After some false starts, I ended up with the olive rubber Incase case protecting the edges and mirror backing and Crystal film for the exposed face – the latter product lives up to its name being perfectly clear and impressively tough. Some people prefer to go caseless and use the textured Invisible Shield. The iPod Touch is so slender even with a case compared to their Invisible Shield-ed iPhones and I preferred not to have to fuss with a protective layer for whose use a video demonstration is required.
My own behaviour in making the device my own can be roughlyoutlined as follows:
- For me, the iPod Touch is a glorified multimedia player. I loaded my music and, true to my obsessive-compulsive tendency, found the album art for each song. You could also load the lyrics but I have songs for running like Britney Spears’ Womanizer that is not particularly inspired.
- The calendar application has a very nice interface. At first, I found myself updating two calendars because PC users were hard-pressed to synchronize their Google Calendars with their iPod Touch since a one-step process did not exist. Only recently, we are able to sync iPhones directly with Google Calendars, a feature that increased the utility of the calendar application 100 times!
- As a new iPod Touch user, I avidly checked the App Store that features applications available for download to extend your device and picked up useful applications along with junk software. Shopping in the App Store is like Christmas for adults – you can get so much that you want, play with new toys non-stop, and then lay it down to be forgotten indefinitely. The situation is like the web in general: ultimately so much noise, far less signal.
- One of my heaviest used applications is Instapaper. With this application, I save articles to the Instapaper server and then download it to my device: I always have plenty of timely reading material to occupy me. It’s a simple concept that works very, very well for me.
- Not being a fan of popular radio stations, I have embraced podcasts, particularly CBC podcasts, which are easily uploaded using iTunes. Podcasts are fresh content covering endless topics; I listen to podcasts in those cases where I cannot be reading because I am crossing the street or it is raining.
- Then came the valuable recommendation to use book reader Stanza. Currently, I am working my way through a electronic copy of Gone with the Wind. It is an exceedingly long novel to read on a handheld device! Revolutionary e-book reader from Amazon, the Kindle, is barely interesting to me when I am wielding my iPod Touch with Instapaper and Stanza.
While it seems that everyone around me has iPhones and my iPod Touch is the “less-gifted sibling” (CNET), it took some introspection regarding my needs to overcome my iPhone envy. I’ve observed that I envy the most my friends’ ability to send instant messages and that can easily be addressed with a simple (less flashy) phone.
Yes, there is a good chance that I will maintain my tech quota by renewing my phone contract with a Blackberry phone to complement my iPod Touch….