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  1. #1
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    Hi,

    Looking at the iPod Touch 3g and I'm wondering how large the OS is. I know that it comes pretty well loaded with apps, but how much actual free storage would be available on a 32 gb Touch. I would plan for storing mail, Word docs, music, some videos and pictures, making it a replacement for my very old Dell Axim PDA. At least with the PDA, I could add storage via SD and Compact Flash cards. I know that you can't with the iPods. Just wondering fresh from the factory how much available space there would be. Thanks. Judy

  2. #2
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    Judy,

    I believe the OS itself is around 250 MB. However, there are also some apps pre installed when you take it out of the box, some you can delete, others you can not. All said and done, you will be looking at around 700 MB consumed out of the box.

    I have a 32 GB, and I absolutely love it. I keep some video on it, but all of my music is stored on my Classic. As you say, I use it primarily as a PDA, with a great mobile browser, great reference and utility apps (and a game or two).

    A couple of things to be aware of before you purchase, however.

    Natively, the iPod Touch can not be used to store and access raw files in the same way that other iPods can. The file system is different. However, there are a variety of apps, some free and some paid that allow you to do this. For my purposes, I use the Dropbox app and keep my files in the cloud, but I understand you might be looking for something you can access locally, off line.

    The other caution I would offer you is that while you can use some of these apps to store files, there might not be much you can actually do with them directly on the iPod. For example, you might be able to store an Excel file, but you won't be able to actually open it without a special viewer app (there are lots available, BTW). I would suggest taking a look around in the App Store to look at viewers and editors for the kinds of files you are interested in storing and using directly on the device to see what options you have and what might work best for you.

    Cheers

  3. #3
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    Thanks, E. Wetzell. Sorry for my delay in replying.

    I really appreciate your input. As a result, I went out and purchased the 32 gb Touch this afternoon. I'm really glad that I'm not the only one wanting to use it as a PDA. And it did have 29.02 gb free when I opened it up in iTunes. I think that will be sufficient. :-)

    I'd really appreciate any input in regard to using it as a PDA. I know there are several apps that will read, create and edit Word docs, which will be my main objective. I tend to carry around quite a bit of medical info, and also genealogy files, which should be interesting. I have barely just registered mine, and synced it with my meager music library, so haven't figured out the file system yet, but I'll be hoping to be able to create some folders to store those files when I decide which app to use.

    Did you find a way to transfer Word files to the iPod other than e-mailing them to yourself? Do you have a Word app? If so, which one and do you like it? That would help me immensely. Any pointers greatly appreciated. Thanks again. Judy

    BTW, I do need those files most times when I don't have wireless access, so the cloud idea won't work for me. Thanks.

  4. #4
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    Judy,

    Glad you found the comments helpful. As I mentioned, the file system on the Touch is different than other iPods. With those (except the Shuffle, I believe), if you set them up for "Manual" management, they will show up on you PC just like a flash drive would, and you can move files back and forth as needed. It doesn't work that way with the Touch or iPhone.

    There are a few file management apps out there, but my personal preference for how to handle this is with Dropbox. This is a cloud-based storage system, you get the first 2 GB for free. There is also a iPhone app. So, when I have files that I want to move around, I put them in my Dropbox folder, which appears as a normal folder in Finder. The great thing about that, is you are able to keep files synced across multiple PCs as well as the Touch. Both the app and your first 2 GB are free. The down side is that you need a WiFi connection on the Touch for the sync, so this will not be the "magic bullet" for you, but it can still come in handy for some things, particularly as the Public folder option makes it easy to share large files with others if you need to.

    I do not carry around a lot of permanent documents or files on mine, so I don't have a direct recommendation on one for you, although some of my friends have gotten iCatchall, which is a multi-app app, one of which is a file storage app. The app is $.99, and was also reviewed favorably by Macworld. Again, I have not used this personally, but at $.99, it is probably worth at least a test run for you.

    For other apps, like Word Readers, I also don't really use that, so perhaps other will have suggestions. Failing that, Macworld has a pretty good App review section on their site that is much easier than fumbling around in the App Store:

    http://www.macworld.com/appguide/index.html

    Regardless of the press and marketing, I personally am not so sure 100,000 apps is a great thing, since it sometimes makes finding what you're looking for harder due to the sheer volume.

    My use as a PDA generally revolves around calendar, e-mail (with WiFi, of course), a pile of tech and network utilities, such as WiFi scanners (using the brilliant WiFiFoFum, and a couple of others), subnet calculators and a host of other network and engineering utilities, such as the Electrical Toolkit and a RPN calculator.

    I also use it to sync with 1Password on my Mac for storage (encrypted, of course) of various passwords and info, like frequent flyer accounts, insurance numbers, etc. that saves a lot of space in my wallet for a guy who travels frequently and belongs to just about every loyalty program under the sun.

    One comment I would have, since you mention medical files, I just have to mention to be sure to treat them as, or more, securely than you would on, say, a laptop-this is a smaller and easier to lose device, after all. I'm sure you know this, but I would be remiss if I didn't mention it. You can turn on basic passcode protection for the Touch, but you might want to look for a file app that provides some additional encryption as well. Otherwise, if is just general information, perhaps this could be entered as a secure note in something like 1Password and protected in that way.

    Hope some of that helps.

    Cheers

  5. #5
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    Hi, E.
    I was tempted to try a reply last night via the Touch, but was afraid I'd mess it up. I did see that the mobile screen doesn't let me see the other folders I've created in yahoo, just my inbox, so there went my plan to leave Word docs as attachments in those additional folders. Also, appearing like a flash drive would really have helped, as in the older iPods.

    It appears I have a lot to learn about the basic Apple system. You mentioned finder. Is that something like My Documents? I'll have to do some research. What I want is to create a folder that I can drop my some of my most important docs into, and I won't worry right away about organizing anything or editing. If I can just view them would help.

    I definitely willl check out the macworld link. You're right, 100,000 apps is overkill. But they have to live up to 'there's an app for that" advertising.

    One of my first projects will be the contacts and calendar. That's absolutely necessary for my new (PDA). Then I'll worry about apps.

    BTW, does your earbud plug fit securely? Mine gives me crackle if I move the cord or player when music is playing. Think I'll contact them right away and see if my plug is the problem.

    Again, many thanks, and may I keep bothering you for info until my feet are totally back on the ground? Merry Christmas. Judy from the boonies in Alexandria (now you know why I don't have wireless whereever I go) :-)

  6. #6
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    Hi, Judy

    At the beginning, I guess I neglected to ask what OS you were using (not that it matters terribly much, but some integration is a bit tighter on Macs, such as Contact, Calendar and Bookmark syncing). I connect my Classics to both Windows and my Macs, but I have only ever connected my Touch to my Mac, so there might be some differences in behavior in Windows and with other software you use.

    Finder is essentially the Mac equivalent of Windows Explorer.

    Regarding the file sharing issue, actually, it might turn out to be slightly easier to use than appearing as a drive on the PC when you plug it in. Most of the file storage apps seem to use a FTP client to manage and move the files around. So, what would happen, is that you would set up the App, which would present itself as a shared folder on your PC (which you could then drag and drop files into), and you could use this if the Touch was on the same network (including home WiFi) it would sync that way. So, you would not even have to actually plug in the Touch to move the files-just have it turned on and connected to your home network. This seems to be the general approach for several apps I looked at, but there may be others.

    Regarding the earbuds, the only good thing I can say about the set that you get with iPods is that they are free. Personally, I think they are uncomfortable and sound terrible, but in fairness, I am an extreme audio geek and make my living that way. What you are describing sounds like an intermittent connection, from the sound of it, possibly in the cable. If you are using third-party earbuds, the jack on the Touch is a bit oddly shaped, and, if used with certain kinds of cases/sleeves for the Touch, do not make a clean connection.

    If possible, I would suggest removing the Touch from any case you might have and trying it out with a couple of pairs of earbuds to see if the problem follows-that would tell you if the problem is with the cable/connector or the jack on the Touch.

    I would also highly suggest looking at a different set of earbuds. Depending on what I'm doing, I will either use an old pair of Sennheiser HD-25s, PCX-250s for traveling or a pair of Audio Technica noise canceling ear buds (can't remember the specific model off the top of my head). However, if you want something more economical, I also keep a pair of older Sony MDR earbuds in my bag a a backup, which sound pretty good and run around $30.

  7. #7
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    Hi, E.
    Yes, I'm a PC. But I'm learning about Apple little by little. I did find out that you cannot enable disk use on the new Touches. So really what you're saying is to install a file storage app on my computer and drop files into it and life should be good? It can't be that easy! But I will find out.

    Right now, I am having trouble adding my contacts, since I use the old Outlook 2000 that was required to sync my old PDA. Itunes says I can also use Outlook Express, which I have but rarely use, and I found that all these years, in order to export my Outlook contacts to a CSV file to back it up, I have always had to do it from Outlook Express. So when the old Outlook failed to import my contacts to the Touch, I also tried Windows Address book and even my Yahoo address book. All three failed, so I'm hot on the trail of that problem right now. I am thinking I'll have the same trouble with my Outlook calendar.

    I guess the big difference I'm finding in moving from page to page on the Touch is the lack of a back button or a right click option, which I find invaluable. Any substitute for that, or do they really want you to use the home button and go back to the home screen to start over?

    I agree on the ear buds. Really uncomfortable and not the best sound. I tried my old standby RCA headset and got much better results. Just hate wearing the headset. Wish there was a stereo set similar in design to the bluetooth for phone like the Jawbone, which holds by a thin wire over the ear. Seems it would be much more comfortable and a lot less confining than the headphones.

    Again, I appreciate so much that you've sort of taken a newbie under your wing. All of this specific info would be impossible for me to find just by surfing other forums. Thanks so much. Merry Christmas from one geek to another. Judy

  8. #8
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    Happy to help.

    Here is a quick article I found about Outlook Contact and Calendar syncing problems, perhaps there is something in there of use to you:

    http://support.apple.com/kb/HT1701

    Regarding the navigation, yes, this is different and is frequently the point of contention. This kind of gets to the heart of the whole "no multitasking" issue on the iPhone/iPod Touch. With few exceptions, the OS is only running a single app at a time, there is no hot switching between them, thus no "back" button. This sounds limiting, but in reality, I do not find it to be so. This would be a big problem if it was not for the fact that the native apps are so tightly integrated together. For example, Safari will remember your current page when you close and reopen it, and it even has something akin to tabs, in the sense that it will maintain multiple open pages and allow you to switch between them, even after closing and relaunching the app.

    When working with things like contacts, you would navigate to those, find the person you want, click on their e-mail and it will launch Mail. The navigation is different than most PDAs or even the WinMobile phone I use for work. However, I personally find that this actually works in your advantage. On my phone for example, it is very easy to get multiple apps running in the background without realizing it, then have the battery life and performance start to really go down the tubes until I launch the Task Manager and start killing off processes. And, with a device like this, the concept of multitasking is completely different than it is on a PC. Personally, I tend to look at the whole launch screen as a big Alt-Tab interface and the Home button as a minimize function.

    However, I say this only from my perspective and how I use the device, your experience might be different depending on what exactly you are doing. I think the biggest trick is just to get used to the navigation.

    Regarding the file storage app, you are spot on. I would be interested to hear what you find and how you like it.

    And Merry Christmas to you from Minneapolis!

  9. #9
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    Hi, E.
    Got Christmas out of the way, and about 20 some inches of snow, despite what the twin cities weatherman said. Now back at it. Sorry to take so long to get back to you.

    I am becoming accustomed to no back button or right click. As you say, it's just a matter of getting used to it. I can see how the battery would dip if there were multiple apps open. Surprisingly, though, it does it with music in the background.

    I did get my contacts in, but still no luck with calendar from my old Outlook 2000. It doesn't offer me the option of importing the calendar from my Yahoo calendar. Will keep working on that. However, I downloaded Files to Go, a way to store Word, Excel, Powerpoint, etc. files and despite skimpy instructions on the site, I did find out how to upload the files to a website and retrieve them into my iPod. I'm still working on getting them into the folder I created for them, but have posted on ilounge.com for some help with that.

    Will check out that link you sent me. You've been great to help me with all these issues. Happy New Year! Judy.

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