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-   -   The iPod classic: the long goodbye? (http://forums.macnn.com/113/tech-news/502029/the-ipod-classic-the-long-goodbye/)

 
NewsPoster Jul 7, 2013 08:15 AM
The iPod classic: the long goodbye?
It's hard to believe that Apple's venerable iPod classic was <a href="http://macnn.com/rd/289211== http://www.apple.com/au/pr/library/2007/09/05Apple-Introduces-New-iPod-classic.html" rel='nofollow'>first introduced</a> in 2007. It's almost unheard of in the tech world for a product to stay on the market for six years remaining virtually unchanged in that time. Yet here it is, still kicking on despite predictions that it would be axed over the past couple of years. However, with the release of the 128GB iPad and flash storage prices continuing to fall, it seems that Apple might be on the cusp of introducing an iPod touch and iPhone with a 128GB capacity. So is it still worth grabbing an iPod classic while you still can?<br />
<br />
While a 128GB iPod touch or 128GB iPhone have yet to surface, it is quite possible they could make an appearance this year. For serious music listeners, even that may not accommodate a large music collection quite like the 160GB iPod classic. It will, however, suffice for most people and that might just be enough to see the iPod classic and its iconic click wheel navigational controls disappear. It is unlikely that we will ever see a Lightning connector version of the iPod classic either, so it really does seem as though its days are finally numbered.<br />
<br />
If you're like me, and you love your music, you've probably opted for a smartphone with at least 64GB of storage, whether it is built-in like the iPhone 5 or can be supplemented with a microSD card. But even then you will still need to have room for your apps and photos among other files. Carrying a separate MP3/MP4 player is not really ideal, but it can have its upsides. For example, you can potentially save battery life on your phone while also being able to carry your whole music collection around with you.<br />
<br />
I'd certainly been spoilt by the storage capacity of my older generation iPod and found switching to smartphone made me feel constrained when it came to taking my music on the road. Simply being able to set a device to sync my whole collection without having to pick and choose is a great convenience. Apple's iTunes Match service helps to address the limited storage space on iPhones, but requires users to download songs or albums to their device meaning that if you are out of storage, you are out of luck or have to delete files. Streaming services can also help you access whatever you want whenever you want, but can chew through your data allowance if you aren't connected to a Wi-Fi network.<br />
<br />
The spinning hard drive in the iPod classic may not be as thin or fast as flash-based smartphones, but it does offer high storage capacity at an affordable price. I've been using the current iPod classic for the past week couple of weeks and I have to say that it has convinced me that I am prepared to sacrifice the convenience of carrying one device in order to be able to listen to any album from my collection whenever the mood takes me. It's been great on my lengthy commute on public transit to the office, and fantastic in the car on road trips. <br />
<br />
The battery life of the iPod classic is rated at up to 36 hours for audio playback. In addition to a 40,000 song capacity (128kbps AAC) it can hold 200 hours of video, or 25,000 photos (which can be viewed on its 2.5-inch screen). It also still has the ability to be set up as a portable external hard drive, which can come handy in a crunch. In addition to viewing photos, the iPod classic has three games built in, can be used as a clock, alarm clock, stopwatch, store calendar appointments, to dos and contacts. It is still, surprisingly, remarkably versatile.<br />
<br />
If Apple brings out a 128GB iPhone, I can't say with absolute certainty that I will still want to take the iPod classic to the office with me. That said, my audio collection is 132.5GB with a number of albums ripped in Apple Lossless. I could comfortably fit my entire music collection on a 128GB iPhone if I was prepared to set iTunes to automatically convert higher bit rate songs into 128kbps AAC. As someone who loves high-end audio and who uses high-quality headphones, I would notice the difference in audio quality - but I would still have all my music with me. Or, I could stick with the iPod classic and have it all in an optimal format.<br />
<br />
What do you think? Would you like to see Apple keep the iPod classic alive through 2014 or longer? Will you miss it when it's gone?<br />
<br />
By Sanjiv Sathiah<br />
<br />
<div align="center">The iPod classic</div><br />
<br />
<div align="center"><img src="http://photos.macnn.com/news/1307/ipod-classic-lg.jpg" /></div><br />
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<div align="center">LCD display (320x240, 163ppi)</div><br />
<br />
<div align="center"><img src="http://photos.macnn.com/news/1307/ipod-classic-lg1.jpg" /></div><br />
<br />
<div align="center">The classic click wheel</div><br />
<br />
<div align="center"><img src="http://photos.macnn.com/news/1307/ipod-classic-click.jpg" /></div><br />
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<div align="center">End of the line?</div><br />
<br />
<div align="center"><img src="http://photos.macnn.com/news/1307/ipod-classic-logo.jpg" /></div>
 
bobolicious Jul 7, 2013 08:30 AM
...the product has the potential to be upgraded with a 320G drive, higher end DAC/amp, lightening connector and even a touch screen...?
Of course lossless downloads and an iTunes player with custom headphone EQ such as Accudio might help the audiophile scenario as well...
 
Mike Wuerthele Jul 7, 2013 09:06 AM
I've said for a long time that an iPod touch with a hard drive would be pretty sweet. A better DAC and Lightning (or dare I say, Thunderbolt!) would be icing on the cake.
 
Sanjiv Sathiah Jul 7, 2013 09:26 AM
@bobolicious - I like your thinking. It would be a niche device, but one that I would buy in a heartbeat.
 
angelmb Jul 7, 2013 03:58 PM
1.- With my iPod 5G I don't let a call interrupt my music collection.

2.- The iPod is already on the books as an icon of design & engineering achievement. How could anyone with a keen sense for pleasing things not miss it once it is gone.? I will keep mine forever even if it ends sitting on a drawer side by side with my 24 years old GameBoy.

3.- It might be the finest example of Apple obliterating Microsoft's efforts. That along makes for a good reason to appreciate it even more. [creepy evil laugh]
 
Spheric Harlot Jul 7, 2013 04:09 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by EstaNightshift (Post 4237605)
I've said for a long time that an iPod touch with a hard drive would be pretty sweet. A better DAC and Lightning (or dare I say, Thunderbolt!) would be icing on the cake.
Thunderbolt would be pointless unless you have storage that could make use of its speed, in which case you're looking at Flash (not the cheaper, slower low-power kind used in iPxxxxs), plus the cost of the controller. Add to that the tiny market this would be aimed at, and you have a high-end niche product.

I'd love one, but I'm sure as hell not prepared to spend $800 on one just to have better DAC and a capacity that exceeds the already unmanageable 160 GB of my current one.
 
Mike Wuerthele Jul 7, 2013 06:31 PM
Quote, Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot (Post 4237627)
Thunderbolt would be pointless unless you have storage that could make use of its speed, in which case you're looking at Flash (not the cheaper, slower low-power kind used in iPxxxxs), plus the cost of the controller. Add to that the tiny market this would be aimed at, and you have a high-end niche product.

I'd love one, but I'm sure as hell not prepared to spend $800 on one just to have better DAC and a capacity that exceeds the already unmanageable 160 GB of my current one.
I didn't say it was practical :D
 
bobolicious Jul 7, 2013 07:03 PM
the debate will no doubt continue:

http://macintoshhowto.com/itunes/which-ipod-has-the-best-audio-quality.html
 
edinburghmac Jul 8, 2013 01:03 PM
Apple needed to up the capacity of the iPod classic years ago - I bought the the 60GB 5G the day of release (already had the 10GB original scroll wheel) but haven't bothered to go up to the 160GB. I now rip all of my CDs in Apple lossless format and while I am prepared to downsample to 256kbps AAC I'm not going back to the days of 128k AAC. My library is too big to fit on the 160GB classic so I use my 32GB iPhone4 for music with an unlimited data plan (£12.90/month on the UK 3 network) and have tried iTunes match for a year but dumped it in favour of Amazon Cloud player due to the 250,000 song limit (my library is about 35K songs + video). I will probably dump Cloud player this year as it's not been as reliable as iTunes match, but won't sign back up to Match unless they lincrease the song limit. I've recently tried the Seagate Wirelss Plus 1TB hard drive as an add on to the iPhone but don't find it very user friendly - hopefully software updates might make this better in the future.

I realise that my usage scenario is not that of an average user but I don't think Apple really want to cater for my requirements - they'd prefer to have customers who buy their music form the iTunes store (which I've never done). I prefer to have my music in higher quality physical form but I guess they see me as the past (after all, they've removed optical drives from all but one of their computer models - and I'm sure that will go in the next refresh). I wish Apple would be a little bit more flexible in catering to the diversity of their users but I guess the accountants see this as not maximising their profit margins. Saying all of that, I will still try and find an Apple solution as I'm ethically opposed to the intellectual rip-off that is the Android platform.
 
jaskets Jul 8, 2013 04:23 PM
I am still bummed that I didn't buy a backup Nano when it still had a click-wheel. I lament the day that my original iPod Nano, that I use for the gym, mowing the lawn, etc. dies. I love my iPod Classic too for listening to music through my two docks or on road trips. I HATE using my iPhone to listen to music in the car. A touch screen is just a horrible interface for an on-the-go music player. Unless you are looking right at the screen and very deliberately swiping it is hard to control, it is as bad as texting and driving. Now if I had a new car with iPod integration on the steering wheel, that might change. But I still don't want a big glass front devise bouncing around while I am lifting weights or doing yard work. Maybe I am just old and outdated...
 
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