There's no hotter – or cooler – iPod than the iPod touch. With its light weight, small size, extensive features, and lovely touchscreen, it's a compelling package.
But buying an iPod touch isn't as simple as just getting the device itself. You'll also need to consider accessories, warranties, and other items that can make your use of the device more enjoyable. I’ve designated each one required, strongly recommended, recommended, or optional based on how important I think each one is.
1. iPod touch
Obviously you're buying the iPod touch itself. The only real choice here is how much storage to get: 32GB or 64GB. All fifth-generation models are identical except for that. My advice: buy as much storage as you can afford. The more storage you’ve got, the more fun you'll have and the longer you'll be happy with your touch.
Don't risk scratching or more seriously damaging your new iPod touch by not protecting it (because, let's face it, even the most careful of us drop these things from time to time). Get a case to prevent scratches absorb shocks from jostling and drops. Get a slim one, too, because part of the joy of the touch is its slim, trim frame.
3. Screen Protector
The iPod touch sports a beautiful touchscreen. But it picks up dirt and smudges from the oil on your fingers pretty easily, so the screen often looks dirty. Protect your iPod touch's screen with a thin, plastic overlay screen protector.
Anyone who's seen Apple's TV commercials for the iPod touch knows that along with being a great media player, the device is exciting because it can run games and apps from the App Store. If you're not using these third-party programs, you're not getting the full iPod touch experience. Download some apps – most range from free to US$9.99 – and join the fun!
You better have some music to load onto this thing. After all, it is an iPod! Whether you buy music or rip CDs that you already own is up to you, but with over 13 million DRM-free songs at the iTunes Store – and numerous other strong MP3 download service options – it's the best-ever time to buy digital music.
The iPod touch comes with a 90-day phone support, 1-year hardware support warranty, but you’re probably going to have your iPod touch longer than that. Extending the warranty to a total of two years for all support will cost you just US$59. You may not end up using that warranty, but if you do, you'll save a lot more than $59.
Though the earbuds that come with the iPod touch are good, you may want a higher-quality means to listen to your music on the go. Third-party headphones will cost anywhere from US$50-$500.
You may want a better-sounding way to play the music packing your iPod touch than earbuds or headphones. If so, check out the many speakers that are available to deliver the home-stereo experience from your phone.
9. A Wi-Fi Hotspot Account
Unlike the iPhone, the iPod touch can only connect to the Internet when it has access to a Wi-Fi hotspot. You may have one in your home or office, but what about when you're out and about? They can be hard to find. Some communications companies – like AT&T and T-Mobile – offer subscriptions to their hotspot networks, which can be found in places like Starbucks. Subscriptions aren't cheap, but they can be useful, depending on your needs.