A few months ago when it seemed like I was on the road more than I was at my house my several year old MP3 player finally gave up it's digital ghost. I hadn't really looked at MP3 players in long time so I checked out some reviews and was just going to get a relatively basic one that could also play some video. While checking our reviews I saw one for the iPod Touch. It wasn't really on my list for consideration because of its price, but there's an apple store pretty close and I wanted to at least check it out. I'm not a big name brand guy. I'd prefer to have something that does a good job than has a good name. And, if all things are equal, I'd rather not pay a premium if all that gets me is a name. Since MP3 players are almost a commodity good at this point, I really didn't think I'd end up being sucked in to the purchase. That was until about 10 seconds after I picked the thing up. Apple is so very good at Industrial Design. The iPod Touch is an excellent example of their expertise in the field. If it was just an MP3 player, I probably wouldn't have made the jump, but the screen on it is huge for a hand held which makes watching video on it quite nice. A bonus is the fact that a photographer can carry around a pretty high quality portfolio of as many images as they are likely to want. Obviously not as good as an actual book, but something like the touch is way more portable and therefore likely to actually be with you most of the time. Of course, you could step up to the iPhone as well and get all this along with cell phone stuff. I'll admit I was pretty tempted on this front, but the contract requirement for the iPhone was more than I wanted to get into at this point. In the mean time, I'll settle for carrying the Touch and my cell. I've got a few minor gripes about the iPod Touch though. 1) There is no external speaker like there is on the iPhone. Most of the time, this is no big deal, but it would be nice to play a video that multiple people could watch and listen to at the same time. 2) There should be physical buttons to control the volume. Same probably goes for skipping tunes, but definitely the volume control. If you have the thing in your pocket, you have to take it out, punch one of the physical buttons to wake the display up and then unlock the touch screen by sliding your finger across it before you can finally see the volume up/down options. 3) They want $20 for a software update. Are you kidding me? The thing is only a couple of months old and I spent a pretty penny on it and you want to up-sell me for $20 to get the latest features that have nothing to do with the hardware and are just new software that you've added in. And by the way, people who today pay the same price that I did a couple months ago get it without the additional fee. I hate it when companies pull this shit. Still, they thing is a bit of a marvel. When I was traveling around the holidays I was in the air on a flight watching a tv show I recorded with my DVR and then transfered over the personal screen of my iPod Touch. Thinking about this along with the fact that my grandmother was born before there was either television or commercial flight and fun to think about what the future has in store if we manage not to blow ourselves out of existence.