Apple’s latest crack for the media addict, the iPod touch, officially hits stores this week, although apparently it’s been available through some venues for the past week or two. The thought of getting a new iPod, one that plays video, music, has WiFi capabilities, and can directly download music without the need for a computer with iTunes has me excited (my current iPod is a mini), but I’m starting to feel like I’m all alone here.

I talked with several fellow techies today who expressed less interest in the iPod than there was for the Zune when it came out. It appears a lot of negativity has come out about the iPod touch that has started to turn some public opinion against the iPod touch. Thinking I needed to revisit the idea of dropping $300 this week to pick up a new iPod, I started looking around at the reviews, but I have to admit I’m not as turned off on the idea as others I’m talking to.

Take the Engadget review for example. Its biggest criticism appears to be that the iPod touch isn’t an iPhone. They criticize the iPod for not having all the features the iPhone has – but isn’t that the point of this device? It’s a new iPod utilizing technology that was originally developed for the iPhone. If I wanted an iPhone, I’d buy an iPhone, but I don’t. They complain about the lack of certain hard features, like volume control or an external speaker – but the volume control was always part of the now-replaced click-wheel, so it makes sense it would be gone, and I’m not aware of any iPod coming with an external speaker. These are just baseless complaints really – sure they’d be nice to have, but they’ve never been part of the iPod design before.

Other complaints are tied to software issues – the fact that the Calendar doesn’t allow new appointments to be made on the iPod touch, or applications that can’t be used on the iPod touch that appear on the iPhone. I think voicing these complaints is a good thing – it might make Apple take notice and fix these in firmware updates. While valid, these are things that can be fixed, and probably will be if consumers are vocal enough. Again, however, it’s a little unfair to compare the iPod and iPhone, when the iPod touch is intended to be a cut-down version of the iPhone.

The only solid complaint I can find is a display problem that affects a “small number” of the iPods out there, deepening contrast and making really dark areas appear almost inverted (a good example appears on YouTube). Now here’s a critical issue – one that may affect my decision to purchase an iPhone touch this week, but of all the complaints, it’s really the only one I’m seeing.

So what’s the deal? Why aren’t more people interested in the iPod touch? Other than comparing it to the superior iPhone, I can’t figure it out. How about you? Are you looking at picking up an iPod touch, or are you as uninterested in the device as the others?


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