Having a fresh paycheck and a day off is always dangerous and a few weeks ago I wondered into the Apple Store "just to have a look around." Needless to say I walked out with the iPod Touch I had been coveting. It's an interesting gadget, basically the iPhone without the telephone, and being a practicing curmudgeon, I could definitely do without another telephone. The Touch has 16 GB of memory (about 14.8 GB of real memory after you've done the math) and addition to music (the most important part) it plays video, photographs and has an internet connection and a direct link to YouTube. The music sounds quite good, better than my older iPod and the larger screen displays cover art with what they call "cover-flow" the ability to select music by flipping through images of the album covers. It took me a while to figure out how to load videos that would actually play, but lately I have been having luck with Any Video Converter which has allowed me to convert the concert videos I've downloaded from Dime to mp4 files for the iPod. The wireless internet connection and Safari web browser work pretty well, I was able to get into my home network without a problem. Tipping the Touch from vertical to horizontal will help you enlarge the screen. It takes a delicate touch (no pun intended) to navigate, but I'm getting the hang of it. The direct link to YouTube works well. I'm not too into the goofy dogs-on-skateboards videos that dominate, but there are some classic jazz and blues videos that are well worth exploring. Never one to miss out on a chance to make a buck, Apple also has a wireless version of the iTunes store loaded on the device. I downloaded Archie Shepp's The Way Ahead and it came through quickly, and then was copied to my computer the next time I synched up. So overall, I am pretty happy with it. It's an expensive toy, but it is a lot of fun to use.
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