In 2007, Apple released three models, the third generation iPod Nano, iPod classic and iPod touch. And now in 2008, all these models have been given major makeover by Apple in all minor and major areas criticised with increase in the capacities too. The 1st Gen iPod touch was equipped with some amazing potential features namely the wireless antenna, 802.11b/g, allowing it to not just play videos and music from its very own collection, but also made surfing possible via the Safari web browser and buy tracks wirelessly from the iTunes Store. But alas all of these features rich in potential were kind of crippled owing to its capacity, display issues, low battery life and most importantly the price factor. It was deemed under equipped in comparison to the iPhone. Therefore, the 2nd Gen Touch has been tweaked with substantial changes.

Design:

As this 8GB 2nd Gen Apple iPod Touch is physically redesigned, it feels pretty much light and thin with a 3.5-inch display and an attractive pixel resolution of 480 x 320. It has a chrome bezel at the front that also sports the internal speaker and the volume controls in its sides are designed in an easy to use manner. The “Home” button is in the front, “Sleep/Wake” button at the top, Dock Connector in the bottom and Headphone ports. The dimensions are similar to the first generation but there is a slight reduction in weight. Everything with the design is fine with the design except for its Wi-Fi antenna cover which is still made of black plastic.

Features and Performance:

This iPod Touch 8gb 2nd generation is pricey in comparison to its rival MP3 players in the market. The features of this iPod include the audio and video playback, a photo viewer, podcast support, a safari web browser, an e-mail reader, an integrated Wi-Fi music store and many more. The second generation touch is more of a Pocket PC than an MP3 player.

The iTunes App:
The new iTunes App feature is now integrated in Touch itself. This means that you can download a whole lot of fun stuff from this store. You can also access the third party “Made for iPod” hardware accessories where you can download a lot of iPod related stuff.

Nike plus iPod sport kit:
Apple iPod Touch 8GB MP3 player is packed with true Nike+ Sport Kit, a petit speaker giving users the pleasure of enjoying games, movies and music together with a microphone allowing users to enjoy a thrilling experience. This version is not the same one as the iPod Nano, but somewhat a close one. For example it lacks the Nike’s Amp+Watch that proves to be a support for wireless remotes which can change controls, pause playback, moderate volume levels while you workout and is a distinct absence. You can also hit the home button in middle of a workout to access any other application and then hit the “touch to return to workout” in order to continue with your workout.

Interesting speakers:
Apple iPod Touch 8 GB Second Generation Black enjoys the fact that it was the first ever iPod to include a speaker for music and video. This second generation does not use its traditional ventilation and interestingly does not create any new holes in the case for ventilation. Instead the metal surface on the rear as a speaker akin to the NXT audio system flat panel. You can feel a very slight vibration when the music is put on a very high volume, but otherwise, you cannot feel any difference.

The Genius software:
It was disappointing to note that the Touch still does not support the flash audio or video content via its safari browser. There is a lot of attention paid to even very small details. You can use your finger to scroll through the playlists, songs, artists etc. When you flip the iPod touch on its side, b a scrolling Cover Flow view of your library is shown with large album covers. Genius software creates a play list of 25 songs that has the characteristics of the song that you have currently selected. This software is real fun and you can enjoy to your best if your collection has enough songs. But this software will work only if you enable Genius in your computer’s iTunes software.

Audio:
The audio in this Apple iPod is very clear and there was no problem with it and supports the following media: MP3, AIFF, AAC, Apple Lossless, WAV and Audible. Even now Apple does not deem it necessary to support WMA files, but then allows for WMA tracks to be converted into MP3 formats within the iTune software.

Video:
Apple iPod touch’s 8 gb 2nd Generation video feature is very identical to that of the iPhone’s iPod feature. Though formats like H.264 and MPEG-4 are supported, it fails to playback high-definition video than 640×480 files. The screen quality is much superior to that of its previous version. The display of this 2nd Gen iPod is remarkably brighter differentiating colours well and is also devoid of the “negative black” – wherein the darker shades tend to become reflective with the details being washed out in that process - a most obvious problem in its predecessors. The TV-out feature is still absent in iPod touch – meaning you might have to either purchase a pricey video cable that is authentication chip-based or a similar pricey docking gadget if you prefer watching videos stored in the iPod on an external display.

The iPod Touch has a lot to offer when it comes to videos. You can load TV shows, video podcasts and iTunes movie rentals. You can also watch unlimited free video clips using the included YouTube widget.

Battery and life:

iPod Touch 8GB 2nd Generation uses the lithium ion battery which can be charged in four hours. This 8GB Apple iPod Touch is capable of providing 6 hours of nonstop video and 36 hours of audio. But this statistics may vary based on the brightness of your iPod and Wi-Fi usage.

The container:

The second gen iPod touch is shipped in a pack that is very similar to that of the packs of Shuffle and Nano, a hard plastic container. One interesting thing that was very noticeable with the container was a front sticker which would show the buyer how his new Touch would look like when switched on. And this pack contained the Apple earphones, USB-to-Dock Connector cable, and Universal Dock Adapter, an adapter of version 16, two Apple logo stickers, a safety and warranty booklet and a quick start pamphlet. Apple has a thinner and cheaper cleaning cloth, and the package also lacks the small plastic stand for viewing video. The media synchronisation software is not included and so you will have to download iTunes from web.

Verdict:

Well, this is the best iPods that you can lay your hands on in the current competition and looks to be a great choice if you have decided to go for one. But then if you are existing owner of either the iPhone or the 1st Gen Touch, then this might not be of much interest to you with just the upgrades on battery life and display.

Technical, Specification Details of Apple iPod Touch 8GB Second Generation

Manufacturer Apple
iPod Type iPod Touch
Model Name Apple iPod Touch 8GB Second generation
Device type Portable media player
Dimensions (H x W x D) 4.3 x 2.4 x 0.3 inches
Weight 4.1 oz
Colour Black
Display 3.5-inch (diagonal) widescreen Multi-Touch display
Display resolution 480-by-320-pixel resolution at 163 pixels per inch
Capacity 8GB
1750 songs or 10,000 photos or 10hrs of video
Supported audio formats AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps),
MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV
Supported video formats H.264, MPEG-4
Wireless Wi-Fi (802.11b/g)
Nike + iPod support built-in
Maps location-based service7
TV Support for 480p and 576p component TV out
Input and output Dock connector
3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
Battery Built-in lithium ion battery
Battery life Music playback time: Up to 36 hours when fully charged
Video playback time: Up to 6 hours when fully charged
Battery charge time Fast-charge time: about 2 hours (charges up to 80% of battery capacity)
Full-charge time: about 4 hours
Operating system Windows Vista or Windows XP Home or Professional with Service Pack 3 or later
iTunes version iTunes 8 or later
Box contents iPod touch
Earphones
USB 2.0 cable
Dock adapter
Polishing cloth
Quick Start guide
Warranty One Year