This is what I first saw when I opened iTunes today. As you can see 2.0 firmware is available and I can start updating my iPod Touch. Or so it seems…
It kept trying to go to the iTunes Store but failed every time. Then, I tried quiting iTunes and restarting it. Then I see this screen where the “Update” button became “Check for Update” When I click on that button, it tells me that version 1.1.4 is the latest version.
I went away to listen/watch some podcasts. When I came back to it, this showed up.
iYule is a video you can download to watch on your iPod, AppleTV, Zune, Creative Zen, Sansa, Xbox 360, etc. The yule log is one of the highest rated shows on Christmas, so it makes sense to sell it on the new mediums. Yes, it costs $5 for a portable player format and $7 for a bigger format for TV’s. The money goes to charity, though. Sample video below.
Geoff Evila went into a coma four months ago after a car accident. Before he went into the coma, he had a lot planned in his life. Now, Geoff is trying to get back his life one step at a time. His motor skills being one, another being getting an iPhone. He was very excited when the iPhone was announced and planned to wait in line when it was released. Unfortunately, the coma conflicted with his schedule. Geoff’s friend was able to help recreate the excitement of purchasing the iPhone when he told a local Apple store’s employees about Geoff’s story.
NME has released the first HD VMD player and is now available to purchase on Amazon. HD VMD, unlike HD-DVD and Blu-ray, uses current DVD technology to store and play HD movies. A regular DVD has one layer for around 5GB or two layers for almost 10GB. HD VMD uses four layers for around 20GB. They also say that they can reach ten layers for 50GB, which is pretty much what Sony claims for their Blu-ray discs.
There aren’t many downfalls for HD VMD but a major one might be the lack of Hollywood movie studio support. The launch title are Hostage, Apocalypto, Pulp Fiction, Babel, Saw II and Saw III. These movies are more independent movies. You can’t have a successful format without any content, especially without big summer blockbuster movies. Also, I can’t find HD VMD movies to buy them. Amazon which sells the player doesn’t seem to have any movies.
Another downfall, which might be important to the early adopter that would buy this, is that it doesn’t support the higher quality surround sound like Dolby TrueHD. This might be because of the four layer, early VMD disc’s size as TrueHD is uncompressed and takes up a lot of space. The later ten layer disc might include it.
My initial thought about it is that it’s fun just navigating through the menu. I thought that when you play video, you can play it portrait or landscape mode. It seems to only play in landscape mode. Also, I’ve read before that the iPod Touch has inferior screens compared to the iPhone.
I noticed that right away when watching a dark video (not the kind of dark that includes capes, Big Ben and howling…I’m not sure what I’m referencing). I figured it was just a result of a poor LCD screen. My phone is like that when you’re not looking at it straight-on, the blacks look inverted and seems like it’s brighter than other colors. It seems like early iPod Touches have defective screens. Now Apple has officially announced that there is definitely a problem. Since the iPhone has been out for more than three months, I didn’t consider the Touch as a first-gen device. Well personally, the screen isn’t a big issue. I’ve had no problems with it when doing other things with it, especially web browsing.
Playing with Safari was pretty fun but when you get into it and try to browse like you would on a desktop or laptop, you realize it’s really slow. When you zoom in to read text, it looks like Google maps when you zoom in. It looks like it’s loading a jpeg everytime you zoom or scroll. It’s a good thing it doesn’t have flash or pages with flash would come to a halt. This is why I think that Apple didn’t include Flash support in the iPhone and iPod Touch. It would probably crash it. It already freezes when you goto a content-heavy site. It froze on my when I visited my iGoogle page. I have about a dozen widgets and it kept getting hung up. Same problem with Yahoo.
It’s not like that’s why I got this for. I got this for when I think of something, I can Google it without having to get my laptop, startup it, wait for windows to load, log in to my user account, wait for windows to load and then start firefox. So far, it’s been great for that. Although, I missed the Mets game.
Music playback it pretty straightforward. Press the Music button on the home dock, select the way you want to browse your music, find your music, and play. Not much has changed. Coverflow is something that I never really liked. When I listen to music, I don’t listen to one album at a time anymore. I had to when I had CD’s. I don’t need to load each album, one at a time. It feels like going backwards. I just like to play my playlist and shuffle the albums.
I never get an urge to play a specific song. Sometimes when I’m at a party, I want to play a song for everyone, but usually they don’t have a stereo with an iPod dock or a RCA stereo to 1/8″ headphone cable laying around. They’ll have a computer but of course I can’t copy the songs from my iPod to their computer. I could try downloading and installing a program like Senuti but at this point, I’m sober which means I’m knocking over the ice luge and nobody wants that.
YouTube, Other Features
This is the first thing that came up when I clicked on the YouTube icon, “YouTube Not Available.” Why? I don’t know. I was able to click on the other buttons and they played fine. This is one of my favorite features, actually. The videos look way better than on youtube.com. the H.264 conversion look great. I thought that they converted the compressed videos on youtube but I guess that they converted the original, uploaded videos.
Another feature, I like is Contacts. I don’t use the iContact or whatever it’s called on OSX, but entering contacts was easy and fun on the Touch. I really could’ve used this feature last week. A potential client called me but I had nothing but my cell phone on me. I couldn’t take down the number. I told him my email address but I don’t think he got the right spelling.
So this is my new iPod of choice, the 3rd generation iPod Nano. It’s been called the Fat iPod, iPod Fatty or the iFatty. This was caused by early pictures which was taken with a straight-on angle. Steve Jobs even called it the fatty iPod when introducing it. It’s nothing like that when you actually hold it.
I liked my 1st gen Nano when I had it. The only issue was that I listen to a lot of podcasts and more and more video podcasts were coming out. This is why I went out and buy a 5.5 gen iPod with Video. I considered a Zune but the software for it wasn’t great for podcasts. I didn’t like the Sandisk Sansa’s buttons. The Creative Zen seemed old and bulky. I didn’t care about the other features that the iPod doesn’t have like a FM antenna or voice recording.
What I liked about the 1st gen Nano was not only its small form factor but how quickly it was about to browse through the menu to change songs since it has solid state based storage and its battery life. This new one promises 24 hours for music and 5 for video. Ars Technica reported that the UI (User Interface) was demanding and slowed down the new iPods, but I don’t really see what they were saying. Maybe they meant it for the hard-drive based iPod Classic or I read it wrong.