I have said it before and I’ll say it again – the iPod Touch is the worst iPod I have ever owned. Why do I say that? Because one of my main listening modes is in the car to and from work and between different offices, and changing anything requires you to look at the iPod Touch – and therefore away from whatever else you are doing! And as Carly mentioned here, that can be a very dangerous prospect.
For a long time I used a second generation 4GB iPod Nano, but the screen slowly stopped functioning and then the device totally died last year, and I have been using the Touch ever since.
A few weeks ago I was cleaning my desk and found my old 40GB iPod – the type with the capacitive buttons all in a row under the screen that Apple made exactly once. I had unsuccessfully tried to get it going again in some capacity last year and was giving it one last shot before handing it to my younger son for a techno-dissection! To my surprise it worked, I was able to sync up a decent chunk of my iTunes Library, and using an old Belkin car charger got me past the battery life of the old iPod – it will last from 1 – 2 hours depending on hard disk usage. I was terribly excited by this and had snapped the picture above to post about the usability of older devices.
Yesterday morning I had to travel from one office to another, and was taking the ‘County Route’ to get to the main highway. This is a hilly area, and so as I was driving along I was also changing songs on my iPod, and I crested at hill at 45MPH only to see town workers trimming trees and a car fully in my lane heading straight at me also doing 45! I quickly stepped on my brakes, while the other driver was too busy checking out what the workers were doing to notice my until my brakes shrieked! Then he slowed down enough to have control as he weaved back to his own side of the road.
It all lasted only a few seconds, but had I been using the iPod Touch I would have had to double-tap the home button, look down to see where the forward area was located before tapping it to advance songs. With the old iPod I could do it all by feel without even looking. And without sounding too ominous … those critical seconds could have made all the difference.
As Carly mentioned, more and more we get our music on our phones – whether through internal storage playback or streaming services – and since these are largely touch-operated devices that means that you are looking away from the road to do something on your phone. Everyone knows the dangers of texting while driving … but we also need to be aware of the dangers of changing songs while driving!