Quick View: iPod Touch OS 3.0 media features
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Quick View: iPod Touch OS 3.0 media features

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CNET Senior Editor Donald Bell offers a Quick View of the new search, recording, and media features found on the second-generation iPod Touch running iPhone OS 3.0.

>> Hey, this is Donald Bell for CNET.com giving you an overview of some of the new features of iPhone OS 3.0 running on a second generation iPod Touch. Obviously, you're not getting a lot of the camera or MMS features that people have been talking about with the iPhone. So, I'm just going to focus on some of the cool stuff that's happening as far as media playback is concerned and also media recording with the iPod Touch. So, one of the first things you'll notice is that if you flick to the right, you're going to get a new search field here. This is a spotlight search that will search the entire contents of the iPod Touch or your iPhone and for people who are really interested in looking up either songs or videos on in their collection, they can find a search field here that will give you instant access to any of the songs in your iPod Library. The same feature is also going to be available in the music menu. It's kind of hidden in the music menu though. You have to do just a pull down and then suddenly there's a search field that will appear up the top. So, that's pretty neat. It's pretty useful. It makes it much more handy to find the content that you want on your iPod. Alright, so another cool feature here that's built-in to the OS 3.0 software running on the iPod Touch or the iPhone is Apple's on Voice Memo application. Now, there's been plenty of third party applications for Voice Memo that you get through the App store, but this is Apple's own application, very simple, it is pretty much one button recording. You have to use a compatible headset to get the voice input for an iPod Touch or you have to buy a third party microphones, like the Blue Microphones mic will work with this too. Recordings are made to Apple lossless files, which makes it really handy if you're already an iTunes user. And the other advantage of being an Apple product is that unlike other third-party apps, we have to transfer recordings over a Wi-Fi connection, you can now transfer recordings directly through iTunes. Another advantage of this being an Apple product is that it can run in the background, which no other app can do. So, if you start a recording here, you'll notice at the top there's this red bar. If you pop out of this into the main menu, that red bar is persistent saying that you're recording right now. So, you can go about and make your recordings and do other stuff and then pop back into the recording and hit stop. Some other cool stuff you can do with this app, you can go into the recording you've made and you can trim it. So, there's a little trim menu here where you can use a little scroll bar here to trim out exactly the parts that you want from the voice memo. You can also share with any of your contacts too through email, so that's pretty neat. Other cool stuff that's happening here in OS 3.0, you've got an expanded iTune Store, so now if you go into the iTunes Store you can access video content, TV content, along with podcast content, audio books, iTunes University stuff. There's even a little More button down over here so you can redeem iTunes gift cards, iTunes used stuff, audio books, videos, you can do direct video rentals through the iPod Touch and iPhone now, which is really a cool feature that you didn't have before. Another cool feature that's come to the iPhone and the iPod Touch, this is second generation iPod Touch is the ability to have Bluetooth audio streaming. This is found in the general menu. You can find a little setting here for Bluetooth, turn on and off and the device you want to stream to. It's really simple, easy to do, works with ATDP stereo audio streaming. Little tweaks have also been made to the way that the iPod part of the iPhone or iPod Touch handles music playback, audio book playback and podcast playback, if you go into a song or any kind of audio that's going to come out of the iPod, you now have a feature, a control here for fine grain scrubbing. So, if you grab the little scrubber bar up here, you'll notice that there is a little dialogue underneath this that says if you pull down while you're scrubbing, you can get much more fine grain control or much more detail about how fast or so you're going through the song back and forth. So, that's pretty neat, kind of an advanced trick as mostly if you really long piece of audio that you are trying to get through. There's also this new little tweak in audio books where if you're playing back audio book content there is a little button underneath the playback bar that will skip backwards 30 seconds. And this is going to make it really handy since these are typically really long pieces of audio and you just want to -- if you zone out for a minute, you just want to skip back 30 seconds. You can do that here. We've also got a speed -- playback speed control, which is on the right hand side to make really to speed up or slow down the recording. You have that same 30 seconds button back in podcast and you also have another button in podcast along with your 30 seconds skip, you've got an email button that will email a link to the podcast to anyone in your contacts list. Another cool feature that we're glad to see on the iPod Touch and the iPhone is the Shake to Shuffle feature. You can find this in the music menu. You can turn it on and off if you want it or don't want it on, but it's pretty neat. Wants a song, you just go into the music menu, get some music playing and then once it's playing you can do a little shake and it will shake up to a new piece of music. Alright, so that pretty much covers all the new media playback features that are on the iPod Touch or the iPhone with the OS 3.0 update. For CNET.com, I'm Donald Bell.

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