Why Touchscreen?
Sep 13, 2009 at 8:31 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 72

Arainach

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All the latest rage in Portable Players seems to be towards touchscreens. First was the iTouch/iPhone; now there's the upcoming Zune HD and the announcement that MS is cutting all non-HD Zunes. Let me be the first to say: I DON'T GET IT.

I own a 160GB iPod Classic (from when they first came out, not one of the just-announced ones) and a 30GB Zune. In the past, I've owned an 8GB Flash Zune, a couple of 4G iPods, a Creative Zen, etc. All of these players fulfilled the same basic functionality - play music, get out of my way, done.

There are several features that go into making a great player - sound quality (I tend to like the Zune more here), interface (another point to the Zune in my book), etc. But one feature that often gets overlooked but that I (and several of my friends) consider important is the ability to use a device while doing other things.

I can navigate my iPod/Zune in my pocket. I can navigate it while looking in the opposite direction on my desk. If I want to change a song, I never need to look at the screen. This disrupts my workflow less and is faster and easier. I can do similar things with my phone - I can easily start speeddialing someone long before I ever turn my head towards the phone.

Touchscreens deny me all of this. When using a touchscreen, I must always be looking at the device to do anything on it - change tracks, change volume, whatever. So I ask: Why do people seem to love them so much? I've used the iTouch and the Zune HD, and while they look pretty, as a music player they're far more inefficient for everything I do. So what's the big appeal? I'm hoping someone who enjoys the devices (which is fine, I'm not trying to bash them, I just don't "get" it) can explain it to me.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:07 AM Post #3 of 72

nc8000

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I personally love the touch screen. Less mechanical pieces that can break and if you find that you have left out some control then you just need a software update and then you have the new button or wahtever. Also the touch screen comes with the new convergence where devices do a lot more than just play music and you just can't get all the controls needed if you have physical controls rather than the virtual ones.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 9:08 AM Post #4 of 72

zeromacro

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Obviously touch screen appeals to those who typically look for more than just music. Wifi, apps, games, movies, and what have you. For music alone you're absolutely right, it adds to the inconvenience. The good thing about the S9 I have is that it has basic navigation/volume buttons on the top, which makes it convenient when it's in my pocket or whatever. For music alone I would either go for ultra portability or something with a larger space than 32gb (or the new 64gb itouch which are all rediculously expensive). You typically get more space or/and convenience if you're looking for just music. The market has been moving towards entertainment unification. Your typical cellphone now has camera functions, alone with the whole smartphone/iphone phase which does a whole bucket of other things than telecommunication that it was invented for. You used to carry a phone/camera/portable dvd player/mp3 player altogether, but they're becoming more and more unified into a single device.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 10:02 AM Post #5 of 72
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because an old man apple said it was cool, then all the other old blokes thought it must be cool, this will be what the young people want lets tell them they have have one or they wont be cool like us


because we all use ipods and the like when we have no where better for our eyes to be pointed like the pavement in front of us, the book in front of us, at the traffic hurtling towards you etc etc
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 11:05 AM Post #7 of 72

ZarakiSan

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Yes, it's a nuisance that you have to look at the device to control its touch screen. But at the same time, it allows for a much, much better user interface (Physically) than a regular player. Owning an iPhone, I can say I've not used my Zune for months, it just doesn't feel as quick and as useful as the phone does. Hell, I should sell it.

But remote controls or physical buttons on top do make things a lot more useful. I've a pair of remote controls, one is a Smarttalk which dilutes the sound heavily, likely because of a faulty wire. The other one is a Nike WatchRemote which works well, apart from the pause function not working, and the fact that you NEED a jail break to use it, or else you need to keep the right menu in Settings open at all times. Backgrounder fixes the latter, luckily, though the connection sometimes isn't epic.

I am hoping for a remote control like the Griffin Navigate, but smaller, without a screen, and with better sound than the Smarttalk at least.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 11:28 AM Post #8 of 72

HONEYBOY

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I couldn't be bothered as to whether my devices are touch screen or not but I find touchscreens to be more durable. Less buttons to go malfunctioning on me, provided I take care of the screen of course.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 12:01 PM Post #11 of 72

Pott

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Everyone's got different preferences.

The iPod touch has wi-fi which let's face it you'll only use with the device in your hands, and you need both to type.
A touchscreen frees up space which would have been taken by tactile buttons = possibility for bigger screen.
And it's very sad to say but there's the 'fashion' factor.

Only touchscreen I have is a Cowon D2+. It's a GREAT player though navigation sucks. But it sounds incredible, even with 'just' my Sennheiser CX500s.
However where Cowon did VERY well is that I can configure the physical volume buttons to act as forward/backward when the player is on hold. So I can still operate it from my pocket, to a certain extent.

I'm a bit like the thread starter I think. I put all the music I can on a player (I have about 60GB of my own CDs and unfortunately I have no player able to take in all this and I'm not interested in a HDD iPod), set it to shuffle and just skip or go back. Sometimes I feel like listening to just the album from which the song is, or just those artists. This is where the Sony is great, but the other two (Cown D2+ and Sansa Clip) don't let me do this.

If I were to get a touchscreen, it'd be one of the iPod touch sized PMPs to watch movies, but I have no need for that just yet.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 3:11 PM Post #12 of 72

fatman

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Touch screen is compromise with the sound quality in term of hi end audio standard. Because as a serious circuit design, it must consider the more power supply for the larger touch screen, will mean bigger current or voltage.It could be the source of blank noise.Everybody knows the touchscreen share the same battery with the sound sources segment. the complexed touch screen mould must interference the audio segement via power suplying.

As the hi end audio design rule is the simple the pure music.Too much functions must cause the degrade of sound quality.

Hisoundaudio has twenty years hi end audio design experience, Their AMP3 only prives 1' inch OLED screen and cancell a lot of non -audio functions, the result is the sound quality is really hi end grade. the sound of AMP3 is crisp, clarity and clear. In my experience, AMP3 is the only DAP can close to the sound quality of hi end CD player . I think the superb sound quality of AMP3 should contribute to the non-touch screen designing.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 3:29 PM Post #13 of 72

Pott

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You're getting way ahead of the argument there:

Yes, a touch screen draws more from the player and MAY result in a compromise on other aspects (be it battery life or sound quality)

But it doesn't mean, and far from it, that non touch screen players that sound better than touch screen players do so because of their lack of touch screen...
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 3:57 PM Post #14 of 72

ericj

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Quote:

Originally Posted by Skampster /img/forum/go_quote.gif
Touchscreens are the way of the future, just deal with it.


You realize that people have been saying this (in one form or another) literally since about 1969, right?

And every 6 years, the pen tablet is going to replace all laptops. Since about 12 minutes after the birth of the laptop.

Tactile buttons aren't going to go away. Ever.
 
Sep 13, 2009 at 4:05 PM Post #15 of 72

Punnisher

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In general, I'm turned off by the thought of using a touch screen. I was blown away by the touchscreen on the ipod touch, but I am sure the "new toy" factor would be short lived if I got one.

The perfect button arrangement was actually discovered by iriver with the h300 series. It has nine buttons in less than two square inches and all are easy to distinguish and press without error. No buttons on the sides either. Everything's on the front.
 

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