One of the best surprises I got this Christmas was the gift of a used iPod Touch by my sister-in-law. She belongs to an iPhone family, and they’ve gotten so many iPhones over the course of the last few years that the Touch, originally bought for the kids to play with, was relegated to sitting around unused for months since the kids get to play with the older-generation iPhones now. And as a result, I have an iPod Touch again for the first time since losing my original one in June.

It’s just a 1st-generation model, and only 8 gigs where my original one was 32—but I’m not going to look this gift horse in the mouth. It was free, it is in good working order, and will work with my existing accessories including the case and the FM radio/charger. (Unlike later-generation iPods/iPhones, it will work with accessories meant for the old-style iPods.) It won’t work with iBooks, but then I don’t buy from the iBookstore anyway and Stanza will read all my EPUBs just as well and a remarkable number of other e-book options are still available.

(To my annoyance, I somehow managed to delete all my backups from the old iPod Touch some time ago, so some of the stuff I was hoping to recover, such as my Distant Shore message threads, is gone forever.)

And only on getting it did I truly realize just how much I’d missed having it. It’s great to be able to carry around e-books in my pocket for whip-out reading any time I want to—or knowing that I can check my e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc. from anywhere that has a wifi signal. The funny thing is, I haven’t even put any music on it yet. The iPod Touch really does represent something entirely different from the mp3 players of old. It would probably be more accurate to call it a mini-tablet. For those who don’t mind the screen size, it’s still a very good e-reading option.

And as I pointed out in a comment to my original post about losing the iPod, these devices really are becoming a part of our lives, an extension of our selves that we feel lost and violated without. When we invest them with a portion of our lives and then lose them, we essentially lose that portion of our lives.

Some things have changed in the months since I lost my original iPod Touch. I’m amazed at how easy jailbreaking was. I only had to go to from the Touch’s browser and it did all the work via the web—no more downloading of images, connecting to the computer, and running command-line software. (It only supports up to iOS version 4.0.1, but then the first-gen Touch can’t be upgraded past OS 3 anyway.)

Also, in getting Stanza set up, I noticed that the method for creating a Dropbox-hosted downloadable Stanza library has changed since we originally covered it here and here. The old method does not work anymore at all, and has been replaced by a program called calibre2opds which, in fact, makes it much easier.

I still plan to purchase a 4th-generation iPod Touch when I can afford to, but until then this iPod Touch is going to make a very good alternative.


  1. ARRRGGGGH! I just re-jailbroke my 1st Gen iPod Touch (didn’t jailbreak it again after the last FW update a year or so ago). It took me a while to find all the pieces and parts to do it again. If you had just posted this a few days earlier, you could have saved me some aggravation. :p Thanks! 🙂

  2. I’ve been using my old iPod touch as an ebook reader for ages. As you point out, it’s just so easy to carry around and always have your book handy. Plus, with Nook, Kindle, Stanza, Google et al it’s nicely open.

    I too have jailbroken mine and added iBluver. If you have a phone with net access and Bluetooth, it’ll tether the iPod to your phone and use the phones internet connection to access the web. So, even if there is no Wi-Fi you can “check your e-mail, Twitter, Facebook, RSS feeds, etc.” Plus download the book you forgot to download.

    I use Dropbox as my Calibre Library so all my ebooks are always available.

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