For some years now, I've had a fifth generation 60Gb iPod Video, and I've been very pleased with it for many reasons - having your entire CD collection in one tiny, good looking box is fairly priceless anyway - but added to that I would say that the iPod, whilst certainly not an exotic piece of high-end hi-fi equipment, sounds astonishingly good for a portable audio player. Use it with a pair of decent headphones, Sennheisers being a personal favourite, and you won't believe what you hear. Another great reason for owning one is that so many other manufacturers have jumped on the iPod bandwagon. In my car, for instance, I have an interface box which sits between my car's CD player and the iPod - the ipod is then placed out of sight, and is controlled by the head unit. Lately, quite a few hi-fi manufacturers have also begun to recognise the iPod as a serious piece of equipment, and have started to make some fantastically good amplifier / speaker combinations - TL Audio's Fatman iTube, for instance, which uses vacuum tubes instead of transistors for amplification. The video capability of the iPod, far from being a poorly conceived add-on (we're talking about Apple here, who seem to have an unrivalled ability to conceive and design something that actually does what it says it can do, without endless bug-fixes and reliability problems) works like a dream. So, how could this be better? Take all of the above, make it smaller, add the most gorgeous user interface ever invented, then add wi-fi and the ability to stream video from your wireless router, increase the battery life, and make it sound even better. Even if you never actually turn the thing on, this is one of the most beautiful pieces of equipment ever made; the very definition of 'tactile'. A fairly mandatory buy with the touch is the docking station with video connector. I've been using mine to stream BBC iPlayer programmes through my home system - again, you won't believe what you're seeing. Sure, it's not high definition, but it's better than VHS video quality, definitely more than watchable. You also see it full screen on either the player or your TV, not the usual window if you're streaming it on a PC. The fact that all this is coming from something which isn't too much bigger than a credit card will never cease to amaze. Then there's the sound quality. I won't be getting rid of my older iPod which has everything I own encoded at a lesser bitrate, and what I've done with my iPod touch is to encode about 100 of the albums I play most at lossless quality. (This is on a 32Gb iPod.) Concerning MP3 and other encoding systems there is always a trade-off between file size and sound quality, and you lose more storage space doing it like this - but for doing so you are rewarded with a huge increase in sound quality, especially when you're playing it through a decent hi-fi system - at the risk of labouring a point, you won't believe what you're hearing. In case you haven't worked this out, I'm completely hooked, which I'm very surprised to say because about twenty years ago I sold staggeringly expensive hi-fi equipment and would never even have dreamed of something like this even slightly entertaining me. It's like the toy you always imagined as a kid, the one that could never really exist except in science fiction, but even better - with a constant ability to surprise at what it can do, and draw admiring looks from other people who then curse you for having 'had to' go and get one. Can't recommend it enough - go and get one, the bigger the better!