New iPod touch as ebook reader ?

As the September 28th is approaching (the day when the new iPod touch will be available in Canada), I have a real dilemma: do I go with the “iPhone without the phone” or not ? The price $329 for 8 GB iPod is pretty high – compared to $279 for 80GB classic – which would allow me to carry all my music, some movies and all podcasts with me. On the other hand, the Touch has WiFi and can be used as pretty decent Web browser on top of iPod functionality.

What will be the decision point for me is probably how good or bad is this device for reading eBooks – as I am real eBook junkie :-). HTML books should not be an issue (Safari), the real question is how the PDF will look like. According this video, reading PDF on iPhone should be fairly OK and iPod touch is  same or better …
And according to this:

“Subjectively, the iPhone’s display is clearly superior to any computer display I’ve ever seen. While this is a function of many factors, the high pixel density plays a huge part in creating the extraordinarily tack-sharp perception”

Hmm, that sounds very good. Reading is all about display – the better screen, the more fun. Especially when you use properly formatted PDF – you can go for example to FeedBooks and use the PDF formatted for Sony PRS 500. It will certainly not offer Sony’s battery life (it lasted for almost 2 weeks during my holiday) or readability in a bright sun … but the screen and UI should make it up.

Let’s hope that the hack allowing install Skype (and other apps) and run it on iPod touch will come soon :-). If that happens, that’s good enough reason for buying it – OS-X in a pocket …

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12 Comments on “New iPod touch as ebook reader ?”


  1. I noticed that some iPod Touch owners are noting that its screen is good but not quite as good as that on the iPhone. I went through a similar internal debate last week, when my 5G iPod died an untimely death after a bad fall. I ultimately went with a refurbished 8GB iPhone sold at the Apple online store for $349 US. I’ll miss the additional storage, but the iPhone/Touch experience is simply amazing.

  2. oscar Canada Says:

    The screen is amazing. I am typing this on the 16 gb ipod touch and it is quite enjoyable. However you cannot use it as usb drive so you cant up pdf or html to read on safari. You need go online -thats pretty bad
    maybe som hack in future but not much now so far
    the browser is top from any port device, works perfectly
    hAVe to finish finger hurt

  3. kees Says:

    Well, I haven’t seen a pdf on my ipod touch but the quality of a website is brilliant when you zoom in, it’s so perfectly readable. i can guarantee.
    If you do find a way to view pdf’s let me know so i can try for you

  4. Miro Says:

    Since this post, I have an iPod touch – so I could try it out. It works as long as the PDF is not too “dense” or does not contail large pictures that just do not fit on the screen. Moving around with finger works – but is kinda impractical if you need to do that on every page.

  5. Miro Says:

    Great news – see the Apple site. The SDK for 3rd party apps will be available in February.

  6. Jaime Says:

    Miro, how do you download the pdf (or html) to the iPod Touch? I want to use it as a reader but I’m often ofline, so no online solution would suit me.

    Thanks in advance

  7. Miro Says:

    Currently, you can read only withing the WiFi range. Offline reading is limited to the pages / PDF’s that are loaded via Safari via WiFi and “cached” – but this assumes very long HTML page
    I expect this to be fixed as first thing when the SDK is out as this is most likely #1 asked for feature.

    Some people were experimenting with using iTunes to get the content in, but I did not want to “unlock” the Touch, so I cannot comment.


  8. So why having such a strong OS and so much memory only for music, foto & video. Who’s going to watch dvd films on ipod touch? Nobody, for that are big screens, maybe some interesting short film you have done on your last trip. They could easily done a preview app like in tiger or leopard if they want it to do, but they are interesting on selling content from apple itunes store like music or other stuff, in my opinion that’s why are this limitations, other way i don’t understand …you have a lot of memory (8Gb), you have a fast processor, ram memory and a wide screen …I would buy a ipod touch to upload technical books and information… i got to wait till they do some software upgrades

  9. Cerberus Says:

    Quote:
    So why having such a strong OS and so much memory only for music, foto & video. Who’s going to watch dvd films on ipod touch? Nobody, for that are big screens, maybe some interesting short film you have done on your last trip.
    End Quote:
    You have got to be kidding. I welcome the ability to actually view any movie I have on my iPod Touch while on a multi-hour plane flight, stuck in coach. Even the ‘best’ 13″ business class laptop is a PITA to use on a plane, and if you thought that having a nice 15″ or widescreen 17″ would be most elegant and a boon to ‘native’ DVD movie watching, you will have to pay first class prices in order to swing that bad boy out for use.

    I travel EXTENSIVELY (more than 8 days a month in a plane for 4+ hours a trip, that does not include ‘onsite’ time, just the time on a plane) and the plane is not just for sleeping now.


  10. But then if there were a PDF tool on the Touch there could be a PDF sync tool in iTunes to take the PDFs onto the device. I would much rather have a dedicated PDF app that can do bookmarks, the ability to jump to a page, etc etc than viewing them online. That would make my 32GB Touch so much more useful.

  11. Pascale Says:

    I’ve got an ipod touch and send pdf via email.

    So once reveived, even offline, I can read them. I read them with the ipod horizontal, I feel it’s more convenient. 🙂

  12. arun Says:

    hai, to be simple how do read pdf files in my touchi i am planning to buy that.my main purpose is that i want to use as e book reader.


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