iPad vs. iPod

There is a sentence in Winnie-the-Pooh by A. A. Milne that perfectly captures how I feel about my iPad and iPod Touch:

Pooh is the favourite, of course, there’s no denying it, but Piglet comes in for a good many things which Pooh misses; because you can’t take Pooh to school without everybody knowing it, but Piglet is so small that he slips into a pocket, where it is very comfortable to feel him when you are not quite sure whether twice seven is twelve or twenty-two.

A touch of heaven.

My iPod Touch arrived a couple weeks ago, and I love it, but the story really started last year, when my wife and I bought a MacBook and an iPad 2. I discovered that when I “rip” a CD onto the MacBook, transfer it to the iPad, and listen on headphones, I hear the clearest sound I have ever heard in my life. Albums that I’ve listened to for decades sound brand new. For instance, I had always heard a couple birds tweeting at the beginning and end of “Where We Would Be” by Porcupine Tree, but now on the iPad I can hear a whole flock of birds tweeting.

But since an iPad is unwieldy to carry, I started considering whether to buy an iPod. Which kind should I get? In March I bought an iPod Nano, but I immediately hated it. The sound was weak and tinny, and the capacity was only 16GB, so I quickly returned it and they completely refunded my money.

Last month I finally broke down and ordered a 64GB iPod Touch, and the sound turned out to be every bit as good as that of the iPad. I have already transfered over 350 complete albums onto it, and I’m not close to running out of room. It seems miraculous for so much music to fit in my shirt pocket.

But what about the other uses of the iPad? I use the Kindle and iBooks apps on the iPad daily, and I was worried that the iPod screen would be too small, but was pleased to discover that I enjoy reading on the iPod almost as much as on the iPad. (It helps that I’m near-sighted in one eye.) However, I just now watched a couple YouTube videos on the iPod as an experiment, and I don’t think I’ll be doing that very often. It works thanks to the retina display, but just barely.

I like the automatic syncing of book pages between the two devices, though it only seems to work on ebooks that I’ve bought from the Apple bookstore. This iCloud feature really does enhance the value of both devices.

Although my favorite app, the Emerald Observatory, is not available on the iPod, the Emerald Chronometer, made by the same company, turned out to be almost as enjoyable.

All in all, I’m having a lot of fun with both the iPad and iPod Touch. They complement each other perfectly.