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>> Hey, I'm Donald Bell, Senior Editor for Digital Audio and MP3 and today I'm going to tell you why I gave the second generation iPod Touch Editors' Choice. Now when the original iPod Touch came out last year, it was upstaged by the iPhone and handicapped by a high price and a few features. Apple slowly introduced new features like movie rentals, games, maps and finally the AppStore. We've got thousands of new applications. Still the high price of the original Touch was tough to justify especially when the iPohone 3G came out at $199. With the second generation iPod Touch, Apple dropped the price and improved the features and design to the point where the price is now really in a class of its own. It's an MP3 player, portable video player, photo viewer, web browser, e-mail checker, YouTube player, restaurant finder, stop watch or NotePad, game console and a PDA all-in-one. And those are just the default applications. By clicking on the AppStore button, you can add features like streaming internet radio, iTunes remote control, blog posting tools, Twitter, news readers and tons of other little Widgets that range from practical to bizarre. More isn't always better however and the only reason the iPod Touch is able to pull off all those convergence without making an obnoxious and confusing device is that they've got a killer user interface. Just like the iPhone you can customize exactly what applications you want to use and group applications across multiple pages. If you're not crazy about having an MP3 player that can do a hundred different things, the media player fundamentals of the core of the Touch are still way-ahead of the competition. The MP3 player supports listing and cover-flow browsing. You can create instant genius playlist that group together similar sounding songs. You've got fantastic Podcast support, the ability to play audible audio books. You can customize the iPod short cut keys and you can even browse, preview and purchase new music directly over Wi-Fi. The video player supports movie rentals, close captions, full screen zooms and out-of-book marking. And the iTune video store offers a great selection of TV shows, video Podcast and movie content. Even something as basic as the photo viewer on the Touch works like a dream, letting you create multiple photo albums, rotate and resize photos and quickly flick through images. The latest firmware also offers practical features, such as parental controls, which lets you lock out features like the web browser, YouTube viewer and iTunes Wi-Fi with a numeric pass code. New features you'll only find in the second generation version of the iPod Touch are Nike Plus support, a volume rocker switch and a built-in speaker, which you can't see, but definitely comes in handy when you wanna take on a quick game while waiting for a bus or demonstrate some ridiculous app for your friends. I'm Donald Bell and that was a First Look at my Editors' Choice pick, the Apple iPod Touch second generation.
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