I was on a plane not too long ago and someone took a look at my third generation iPod and said “oh my god, that’s so retro, where did you get it”. “Er… 2003,” I replied.
That led me to think about things that get better over time, like classic cars and good wine. Then I thought I would draw up a list of comparisons between the iPod 3rd gen and the iPod Touch. Bear in mind that this list consists of things that make a great music player (and it is fairly lighthearted).
I own both, but rarely use my iPod Touch because I don’t like it. Don’t get me wrong, the Touch is a great portable web browser, calendar, email client and games platform, but it’s a mediocre music player at best. For one thing, there’s no way to turn off the screen lock. You have a dedicated on/off button, but you still have to slide something across the screen to bring up all the music controls (I’m reminded all the time about the double-tap on the button to bring up the music controls, but this is only about 75% reliable, and doesn’t let you switch album or artist). Also, there’s a bug in the playlist system where if you have a playlist with live updating turned on in iTunes, the songs will appear in reverse order in the Touch but not in any other iPod. Turning off this feature will cause the songs to be sorted correctly.
Apple, please focus on sound quality with the next iPod. Since the first generation iPod, sound quality has remained virtually the same. Where is my 24-bit DAC, virtual surround and high-impedance output stage?