Why I Don't Like The iPod Touch

I mentioned in my thoughts from the eliptical trainer post yesterday that I don’t like my iPod Touch. Several commenters asked why. Here’s why:

1) It’s 16gb. My former iPod was 60gb and you can now get 160gb iPod classic for $349 whereas the 16gb iPod Touch is $399.

2) My iTunes library is around 50gb. So when I synch the iPod Touch, I have to synch a single playlist. When I find new music, rip CDs, buy music on Amazon MP3, etc, I often forget to add it to my iPod Touch synch playlist. So I walk out the door and the music I want isn’t on it.

2) The user interface is completely different than iPod classic. It mirrors the iPhone music interface. Which I hate. Sometimes I get stuck in the screen listening to a song and can’t figure out how to get out. The buttons across the bottom for artists, songs, albums are so small that I often select the wrong one.  It took me days to figure out that you had to click on the screen a second time to see how much time was left on the song or change the setting from shuffle to regular play. And those shuffle buttons are so small it takes me forever to change them. The audio volume slider is not granular enough so I am always fussing with it for 15 or 20 seconds to get it right and I often blow out my ears as I make that selection.

3) I never use the wifi or browswer on it because I have a wifi blackberry curve and that is so much more useful because it has email, sms and google maps on it. I know that for a $20 upgrade you can put additional apps on your iPod Touch, but I don’t really care to do that anyway.

4) I find it hard to pause the music and lock the screen. I’ve been in meetings when my iPod Touch started playing through the earbuds because I leaned on it through my jacket.

The bottom line is that the iPod Touch suffers from not being a very good iPod and not being a iPhone. If you want an iPhone, get one. If you want an iPod, get an iPod Classic.

#My Music#VC & Technology

Comments (Archived):

  1. Howard Greenstein

    Fred,I love my iPod Touch for watching videos I rip from Tivo in widescreen format on the long commute to the city via train. Its also nice for watching Mahalo Daily or Webb Alert or Wall Strip on the exercise bike.The biggest missing piece compared to the iPhone is the volume controls on the outside. I too hate not being able to change the controls while exercising outdoors. I also have never found whether you can look at the notes in the mp3 fields (“show notes” from podcasters) on the device. I’m certainly holding out on paying $20 for the apps, as I rarely use the wifi and I can’t type on the thing. And yes, the lack of RAM is annoying for getting new tunes in. Tip for that – make your ‘Recently Added” smart playlist something that syncs. Then you’ll always have the new tunes you downloaded from Amazon. Yes, Amazon. No iTunes till the 20 ipod Touch tax goes away.

  2. m

    i never understood the ipod touch. it seemed like a car company said, ‘our sexy new model is so popular because of its design that we decided to take the engine out. we call it the iSit.’so steve can touch his way silly, but it’s still an iphone without the phone part.

  3. Ben

    20 seconds to change the volume sounds a little mongo dude.

    1. fredwilson

      mongo – that’s a new one for me. what’s it mean?

      1. NICCAI

        inept/retarded/all thumbs – short for mongoloid

  4. Jonathan Peterson

    “If you want an iPhone, get one. If you want an iPod, get an iPod Classic”and if you want a pocketable wifi web browsing device?

    1. fredwilson

      The nokia tablet?

      1. NICCAI

        Wifi is where it is for me. I like that I can add music to my wifi device. Admittedly, some of the basics are clumbsy – ie when listening to a song and lo and behold you’re in cover view.The thing that gets me about the iPhone is being battery locked on the same device for music and talking. I may be silly, but the last thing I want to do is run out of battery on my phone, because I’ve been listening to music all day.

  5. howardlindzon


    1. fredwilson

      Howard, you are an apple fanboy! 🙂

    2. crawford

      Ha! I’ll second that!!!(And, yeah, Fred, I’m one, too.)

  6. Michael

    Thanks for the more detailed post Fred. I currently have a 60 GB iPod Photo (not video capable). My main reason for wanting to “upgrade” is for video capability. I have about 80 Gigs of music in my iTubes library, so I was really shocked to learn that the iPod touch wasn’t available with a humongous hard drive. That really makes no sense given that it’s supposed to be a video device & video takes up so much more space.Anyway, after playing with the iPhone interface in a store I was also concerned about being able to adjust to the new way of doing things but I figured it would just come with time. Now you’ve got me rethinking how I should upgrade. The iPod classic is starting to sound like the device for me.Oh yeah, as other have mentioned, you can get creative with smart playlists (and normal ones) when you sync to your iPod. But I hate having to resort to that. I just want all my content on the device!

  7. crawford

    Fred,Seriously (fanboy bashing aside) I think you provide an excellent analysis. And you’ve identified the product for your needs. That’s the beauty and dilemma these days, eh? So many choices. For those who might wonder what a Touch is good for…here’s how and why I use it (and love it): I do a lot of bopping around and wind up spending what could be downtime in odd places. From the usual coffee shops to doctors’ offices to a few hours at a time hooked up to an apheresis machine (Give Platelets! Save lives!!!!) Touch let’s me do what I enjoy wherever I am. Pocket browsing, checking mail, listening to tunes, or watching a film while I’m donating…whatever. I absolutely love the flexibility of having those options in my pocket at all times, wherever I go.Why didn’t I get an iPhone? Because of a commitment to a family phone contract that I prefer keeping because of the package/service options. When the time is right to change that, then I will likely get an iPhone. Likely. But that’s why I have the Touch. Your mileage, needs, use may vary.

    1. fredwilson

      Good comment. I do most of that on my curve but clearly value video less than you and howard greenstein. So if you like to watch video on a mobile device, the iPod Touch is probably going to work for you better than it works for mefred

  8. dr. dave

    I agree that the Touch has/had failings, but not the same ones you described. To me, the reason I never bought one was the senseless crippling of the No Mail/No Notes features. Now that they have put those features in, I’m trying to figure out how to scrape up the $299 to get one. Because, personally…. I don’t WANT my iPod to be a phone, becuase I already have a phone that I use about 4 minutes a month. Phones to me are essentially disposable. And I don’t need the iPod storage, because my 30 gig iPod already does that job. I want a pocket web/email device that can access wi-fi for free and that I can take to places that I don’t want to drag my laptop. If the Touch was $199, I’d have ordered one the second the Keynote ended.

  9. David Wang

    One thing I hate about my Iphone in “ipod mode” is that the interface doesn’t allow you to skip to the next song without pulling out the iphone, unlocking the iphone then touching the next button. on my old ipod i could just feel where the skip to next button was and could easily click next without pulling it.its those little things that make the difference

    1. fredwilson

      Yes, exactly

    2. deedub

      If you’re listening with headphones that have the clicker…. click it twice to jump to the next song. Ya know? the same clicker that let’s you answer calls with the headset on.

      1. fredwilson

        I don’t have that kind of headphone

        1. Evan DiBiase

          You can bring up the iPod controls immediately by double-clicking the home button (even when the screen is off): http://appleipodtouch.blogs…It’s a great timesaver, especially when the phone is locked. If you’re in another application aside from the “Music” one, you can double-click the home button to bring up an iPod control “dialog,” too.

          1. fredwilson

            ThanksI am getting an education in how to use this thing from my readers. I lovethat.fred

  10. Andrew

    “I’ve been in meetings when my iPod Touch started playing through the earbuds because I leaned on it through my jacket.” Now here’s the starting point for a “bug or feature?” debate…

  11. JDScott

    Not to sound negative, by why did you buy one in the first place when the new Nano and Classic were announced right along side the Touch?It was clear from the iPhone that the iPhone / Touch were not the “best iPod available” as Steve Jobs claimed.Personally, I like the portable WiFi web browsing and larger screen for watching videos. I also have a 160GB Classic so that I can take my entire music / video / photo collection with me.

    1. fredwilson

      Like most things, I bought it to try it outI like to try out new thingsSame reason I had an iPhone even though that didn’t work for me as well asmy wifi curvefred

  12. Steve

    iPod Touch is fantastic for video (podcasts and TV content), and for web browsing. I have a number of web-enabled phones (inc. a Nokia e61) and the iPod browser is the best mob. browser bar none.Buying an iPod Touch primarily for music is a bit of a waste, and I’m not surprised you don’t love it.

  13. Tom Stitt

    Agree 100% from a music, buttons and interface perspective. Highest and best use of iPodTouch is to share video/images/slideware1:1 while sitting next to/eating with another person. Almost an interactive business card – good preface/lead-in prior to opening the laptop for a demo or pitch (or not.) Also makes a nice (but overpriced) desk accessory – quick weather, time, stock price, address look-up. But fuggedabout the Touch for music while exercising or traveling – give me a Shuffle or Classic.

    1. fredwilson

      This seems to be the consensus opinionLike I always say, the posts I write are never as good as the comments they generate!fred

  14. Doug Kersten

    Great post..you’ve made up my mind. However……since you are getting rid of it soon and if you have no where for it to go send it my way…I just love gadgets too much to see one without a home!Doug K.

    1. fredwilson

      I am thinking of handing it down to my son. That’s how my kids get all oftheir gadgets. They are hand me down kids, but they get great stuff as aresult.fred

  15. Guest

    “If you want an iPhone, get one. If you want an iPod, get an iPod Classic.”I tend to agree. I got the iPhone and have since purchased a 160 GB Classic. The classic is a much better PURE music player than the iPhone or iPod touch. I will disagree with a lot of what you say about #2. It seems much of your bad experience comes back to not being familiar with the device’s basics, whereas the iPod has become pervasive and second nature in its features and use.While I’m on the go my iPhone is often a better option than the iPod, especially if I have some specific playlists I want to listen to while I write emails, send SMS, surf the web, etc.. The storage issue is a moot point for me, mainly because my iTunes library is 500+ GB. The iPod classic suffers the same problem as the touch, while not to such an extreme, especially for the average iPod user.Point #4 I’m unsure of. Isn’t the screen lock the same as the iPhone, just pressing the power button to lock the screen? Double tapping the home button brings up the controls and allows you pause, even if the screen is locked.Overall though, you’re completely right. If you have a Phone (and it’s not the iPhone), you want something that’s a PURE MUSIC PLAYER. The iPod touch doesn’t compare to many other pure music players… at least for the time being.

  16. shiva

    Solution for 4: Just press the power button once and your ipod touch is locked. Have you tried reading text on the ipod touch?! the clarity is simply amazing.I have a video review, if you are interested. http://www.kyte.tv/channels…Ohh.. I returned it coz I hated the $20 upgrade (purely on principle) and didn’t want to be played again by apple for the upcoming SDK release

    1. simon

      an yup this post is the nail in the coffin … im selling on my itouch an going back to the classic .. the noveltys worn off .. an to me apart from the facts above mentioned , its just not durable enough also … granted you can buy protective cases etc … but to me its just a little to delicate .. it seems to pretty to use everyday … plus its restrictive with peripherals etc etc okay . shutting up now

  17. jackson

    The iPod is the single worst invention ever.

    1. fredwilson

      I think the atomic bomb, the gun, biological weapons, etc are all worsefred

  18. Tyler

    I think what is missing from this conversation is a realistic assessment of the iPod Classic. No, I don’t own one but I place a lot of faith in Amazon reviews. From what I’ve read the iPod Classic is slow and unresponsive. Not everyone has had this problem, but it really seems hit or miss. I’m going back to the second generation iPod nano. Light as a feather and dead sexy.

  19. kenberger

    Somewhat related, and referencing your and Andrew’s posts about the “fPhone”, I blogged about the Nokia N810 Internet Tablet:http://kenberger.com/blog/2

  20. Matt

    “4) I find it hard to pause the music and lock the screen. I’ve been in meetings when my iPod Touch started playing through the earbuds because I leaned on it through my jacket.”Err… No. No no no. This can’t happen, as you need to touch the screen with a bare finger for it to work. Leaning on the screen with anything other than a finger (or an elbow, or whatever, some uncovered body part) makes absolutely nothing happen. It’s not pressure sensitive, it’s touch sensitive. I know this because I’ve tried it. Only the lock and home buttons work by pressure, and neither of these can start music playing.

    1. fredwilson

      Not sure how I caused this to happen then. It has happened several timesfred

    2. Tony

      http://electronics.howstuff… at the bottom of this page it starts explaining how the iPhone/iPod Touch screens work.I didn’t sit down and read it, but it doesn’t search for pressure or look for blocked light (like some touch screens do.) Just on a whim (with skimming it over) it looks like it searches for a change in the current going through some transistor layer built into the screen. So it’s more likely than not to only work with a finger (or something living, due to natural static buildup) than something nonliving, like a jacket. <- someone who knows/read the article I linked to, correct me if im wrong.

  21. random8r

    So get an iPod Classic.I love my iPod touch… pressing the button twice brings up a “quick music” menu.Pressing the power button puts it in screen lock mode.It’s much better than my iPod nano aside from playing games.Not everyone wants every single track they own all at once.I’m prepared to use a solid state device rather than a hard drive device if it means being a little more expensive and not having as much capacity.

  22. Earl

    So you lack both the dexterity to touch a piece of glass and the good sense to leave your iPod in your desk drawer when you go to meetings. You also can’t seem to use iTunes: you can sync whatever you want, playlist or not. Finally, you seem to live in a city where WiFi isn’t coming out of people’s ears. Fine, the iPod Touch isn’t for you. But if you streamline your music library to only your favorite songs, you’ll find that 16GB is plenty. You’ll also find that if you jailbreak it, it is a very capable PDA. Aesthetically, it is without peer. P.S. Use the Nano or the Shuffle for exercising, not the Touch.

  23. luisj8a

    ipod touch is the best ipod ever!!!! you cant deny it…160gb of music?? what for? 16gb and 32gb are just perfect to make an eternal collection with the songs you love the most…the user interface is just great…no crashes…no display scratches…wifi to check your mail, web surfing, google maps, thousands of games and apps with a jailbroken ipod…5 hours of video against 3hours of video on classics, 25hrs of music…incredible photo browser…tons of videos with the youtube app…and the best of all…flash memory drive…more effective than hard drive, faster than hard drives, longer lifetime than hard drives and more fall resistant than hd…I just love my IT! I used to have an ipod video 60gb at the begining just great…eventually it just started sound badly and the hard drive sounded like a laptop…

    1. handle of (( SQ Nine))

      I got given my 16gb ipod touch,cool machine, i just keep for getting to chargeit every day ((opps))my other mp3 player doz 50 hours play time,only need to charge that once aweek. but that only holds 300 songs, i`m still to fill my ipod.very happy user..

  24. ksajfalsj

    you sound like a lazy fatass. you dont wannna buy the upgrade and your fingers are to big to control the buttons. don’t complain that the ipod isnt built for fatass’s. get skinny.

    1. fredwilson

      Thanks for the comment. I’m not fat or lazy.

  25. Evan Didia

    I cannot stand the new iPod Touch It Sucks Like Hell Because The Battery Life Is Horrible It Only Lasts 2 hours when should be lasting 12. My Old iPod Video Was So Much Better God I Hate It Im Goign to get my money back and buy and COBY MP4 Player -Evan DidiaNew York

    1. Brae Landis

      okay.. with all the iPod touches that are being sold.. when you get your iPod touch / iPhone the first thing you need to do: go to “Settings” then go to “Wi-Fi” and switch Wi-Fi off (and use it only when you know you can get connected to Wi-Fi) and go back, and go to “Fetch New Data” and turn “Push” offThat will help battery life big time..also, if you are in the dark, or in a house like environment, turn your “Brightness” as low, or even off, as you can.. just know when you go outside, in the daylight.. you’ll need to turn the brightness up..http://www.apple.com/batter…EMail me:[email protected] anyone has any questions about this, or anything iPodi have an 8G iPod touch, first gen(and because i dont have any of the more advanced ones doesnt mean i dont know nothing about them..)

  26. @#!*

    This post is so fake. How many people can’t lock a screen on a ipod touch?

  27. Airam

    Hey! You should have read about it before buying it and you should also know 16GB is less than what you use to have. I’m writing this from my touch and this is an awesome device. I think you should read more about it.

  28. Tony Cabrera

    Why does the ipod only let you sync on one computer only, I have 3 computers that I use and I can only use it on one, that sux.

    1. fredwilson

      There’s a lot of things that suck about the ipod. Its success is that it sucks less. Someone can beat it – maybe android will

    2. Brae Landis

      http://cnettv.cnet.com/sync…it tells you how to connect your 1(or more) iPod(s)/iPhone(s) with more than one computerEMail me:[email protected] anyone has any questions about this, or anything iPodi have an 8G iPod touch, first gen(and because i dont have any of the more advanced ones doesnt mean i dont know nothing about them..)

  29. andy

    it sounds like you are very slow at learning technology. having never owned anything apple i picked one of these up a couple days ago and within hours i was comfortable using it, had it loaded with pictures, songs, movies, apps and have had zero problems with it. i think you bought the wrong ipod if you already own a curve. idiot. there’s no point to owning a touch if you aren’t taking advantage of the net capabilities. wow.

    1. fredwilson

      I am very slow at learning technology and an idiot tooYou nailed itWell done

  30. chris

    Would agree absolutely with the above.The Touch is, let’s face it, a pretty poor mp3 player ergonomically speaking – a classic example of form over function. For practical purposes you can’t use it when it’s in your pocket and navigating the menus whilst walking is just frustrating. The side volume buttons and particularly the “sleep” button on top are poorly designed and don’t work properly. And PLEASE tell me it’s possible to switch off that so called “genius” button?! I’m forever pushing it whilst trying to scan through a track and end up having to re-navigate back to where I was.The classic Ipod design (and Nano) are where Apple should focus their efforts. Not on taking a stripped down Iphone and flogging it as an Mp3 player.Bad Apple!

  31. ?

    Do you like cheerios?

  32. Your Mother

    Wow nice 1, 2, 2, 3, 4. Lol.

  33. Brae Landis

    So a year and a half later, i hope, from all of these comments, you have learned pros and cons; features and flaws, how to use it, and such?well, i am a person always seeking to help people with all kinds of technical questions, not just with iPods, iPhones.. but just about everything.. i keep well updated on all kinds of new technology, and such..heck.. i dont have an Apple computer, but i bet if someone handed me one, i would already know it.. and i have only played on one a year ago, for only a few minutes… anyways.. Great Post!My comment on this post is: finesse? i think thats the word.. dont TRY to use the interface of the iPod touch / iPhone just be fluid with it.. same with the keyboard.. just trust what you are doing!a Tip that you should have known/figured out by now?:ALL of Apple’s iPod’s and iPhones: will pause, automatically, when you take out the headphones when playing music, or watching a video…EMail me:[email protected] anyone has any questions about this, or anything iPodi have an 8G iPod touch, first gen(and because i dont have any of the more advanced ones doesnt mean i dont know nothing about them..)

  34. TheRightGuy

    dude, u are retarded or old. im sorry but u are reallllly wrong. they are sweet. think of the positve things about it. (1)it can hold a decent amout of songs (2) its touch, unlike the classic (3)you can go online free (4) you can get a free app that lets u text your friends and a calling app. (5) light weight, just thought that i would add that. (6) its not that expensice, i found the one on the apple.com site that is only $300 for the 16 gig. so its acually cheaper (7)iphone and ipod touch are pretty close, but the iphone you have to buy the plan and crap. (8) maybe your fingers are to thick, get a stylis. the buttons arent sooo tiny. (9) its really simple to lock it, you could buy a hard cover case so it wont go off on u. Yours Truly, unanimous

    1. fredwilson

      Unanimous. I love that handle. And you know what, you are right. I take back this post. I was wrong

  35. fredwilson

    wow, great suggestion. i’ll do that for as long as i have the touch. shouldn’t be too long hopefully.

  36. Nate Westheimer

    Fred, I do the following and it’s been a good system (needs some tweaking though):Smart playlist of music added in last 60 days (to insure my new music on there)Smart playlist of last 300 songs played (to insure what I’m currently interested in is on there)Dumb iPhone playlist of stuff I manually add

  37. Ross Hill

    Smart Playlists are fantastic, I’d recommend a crash course in them. This is a good start http://www.andybudd.com/arc