back to article Apple iPod Classic

The iPod Classic marks the most widespread update Apple has ever made to the 'standard' hard drive-based iPod range. The name's been tweaked, the user interface given a radical overhaul, and while the new model may look like the previous version, it's actually quite different. Apple iPod Classic Apple's iPod Classic: black …

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Anonymous Coward

Looks decent

The 160GB model looks like the first one I'd upgrade from my 40GB 4G model. What's come before have always felt like fairly minor improvements, some extra disk space but nothing amazing. Again this is still a small improvement but the jump to a 160GB hard drive is much more like it. The other features like showing the album art (pretty much useless when all my MP3s are ripped from CD) and video playing (sounds like a recipe for motion sickness) are completely irrelevant to me but this looks like a good machine. The build quality as always is Apple's weakness and depends on you taking care of the device and the lack of a user replaceable battery is always a niggle but there can't be any doubt Apple still lead the way with the iPod. I know it's become a consumer cliché as a device and you can often look at other devices simply because they aren't Apple but the thing is, no one else designs them as well.

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Dan

Peripherals

So they're locking down the compatibility of iPods with third party add-ons? There is a thriving market for that stuff - some crap, some not, but the point is that having third parties involved makes for more choice, as opposed to components that only satisfy Apples legal and marketing depts.

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The thoughts of an iPod virgin

I recieved my iPod Classic 80Gb on Tuesday. After years of holding off on buying an iPod/iTunes and using Creative's offerings with WMP, I have to say it's a real revelation to see how these devices should work.

It's such a slick user interface, and a great screen. I find iTunes is significantly slower that WMP, but the consistency between the iPod and iTunes is a very nice feature - especially browsing using coverflow, which I find works more than adequately on the iPod. The white background works well in my opinion, as it gives better contrast against the content.

The 80gb capacity means I can keep all of my MP3 collection in my pocket. No re-syncing every few weeks for me any more!

From the perspective of a first time owner, rather than someone upgrading a previous gen iPod, I'd definitely recommend the new Classic.

It's a shame I've already scratched the back of it :(

(note to self : keep keys and ipod in different pockets)

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Other problems

Apple's documentation on TV out for the classic:

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300233

Apperently, the $100.00 A/V kit works, as do the $50.00 universal dock and the new $50.00 A/V cables (neither of which are currently avalible) but the $20.00 cable that worked for the 5G doesn't work for the classic.

The classic's world clock is broken, too. The DST settings is applied to all of the displayed clocks, wither it's appropriate or not. i.e. I have one clock set for Los Angeles (a DST zone) and another set for Honolulu (no DST in the tropics). The classic insists there is a two-hour difference, but that's only true in the winter months.

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Anonymous Coward

Sorry to be picky, but...

>> Incidentally, the 160BG is the better value product: you pay £1.43/$3.11 for each gigabyte, whereas the 80GB model charges you £1.99/$2.18 per gig

That might be true if the iPod Classic were simply a data storage device. You could equally argue that the 80GB model is better value because it only costs £5.30 per hour of battery life as opposed £5.70 for the 160GB model.

Would you say that a £600 laptop with 2GB RAM was better value than an identical £500 laptop with 1GB RAM - purely because the former is £300 per GB and the latter is £500 per GB?

Come el Reg you can do better.

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Anonymous Coward

@Anon

Why is the album art useless because your MP3s are ripped from CDs ? All mine are too but iTunes will retrieve the album art work for you as long as your connected to the net and logged on.

There's still a huge amount of misunderstanding out there about how iTunes and iPods work, I still know of people who think once you put music from a CD you own onto your iPod, DRM is automatically included into it.

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160GB better value

Well, you'd expect the 160GB model to cost less per GB. There's a fixed cost + hard drive equation going on here.

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By "Classic", they mean "Old and Slow"

Just how Really Bad are the new Classics?

Here is my list so far -

/- VERY Slow menu switching response (up to SIX seconds)

/- Display of clock rather than song info when "Now Playing"

/- Inability to use existing LEGAL 3rd party dock products (including Apple-advertised)

/- Audio skipping during operation of menus

/- Slow connection to Mac/PC

/- Inability to disable "split-screen" menus

/- Lagging / Unresponsive click-wheel

/- Camera Connector not working

/- Inability to use EQ settings without skipping / distortion

( I will be buying a 5.5G model rather than this premature abomination )

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Useless album art

May be calling album art "useless" was too harsh - what I meant was it is of no use to me. I just like to see the basic info, track name, artist and album. I see no point in using up limited processing resources, disk space and battery life on something not essential.

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My wife loves hers

She upgraded from a 60GB iPod to the 160GB Classic. Black.

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Anonymous Coward

Still no OGG support...

The only thing keeping me from buying an iPod is the lack of support for OGG files. I have 1100+ CDs in my collection that I have encoded in OGG format. It is a royalty-free format/specification so I really do not understand Apple's decision not to support it. Of course there is a "lack of demand" for it... (Their customers do not ask for it - and since I am not YET a customer - I guess my opinion does not count???) Well I WOULD be a customer if you supported OGG...

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J

OGG

"It is a royalty-free format/specification"

Maybe it is not supported exactly because of that...

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on audio compression

The prevailing wisdom is that the higher the bit rate the track is encoded in the better the quality, and the uncompressed is better yet. While this is true - it remains a fact that the human ear cannot perceive these differences beyond a certain point. Once you have a AAC encoded above 160 or so it starts to become indistinguishable.

The real clincher is the DAC (Digital Audio Converter). Digital audio conversion must be done regardless of the compression format or lack thereof. It's the changing of a string of binary data into soundwaves. If you have a high end stereo system, or PC with a serious studio quality sound card and speaker setup you will hear the difference between different compressions up to about 160, but not beyond unless you have seriously trained ear.

Carrying around lossless files on an ipod is really pointless because the DAC is the weak point. It's just too small to have proper DAC. Even with top of the line earphones in a soundproof room you won't tell the difference beyond 128 on an iPod (on AAC that is, MP3 is over 20 years old and quite sucky so larger files will make a difference).

...but that said, it's nice to have the larger files on the computer with the good DAC (and the Apple PCs native soundcards' DACs are not too shabby) and not have a separate library of smaller files to sync with the iPod.

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Anonymous Coward

iPod classic Can't be Opened Easily for Future Repairs!

I came accross this posting from a third party ipod battery company that had a chance to open the iPod classic and says that the

<a href="http://www.ipodjuice.com/juice-blog.htm#ipod-classic-not-designed-to-open-easily">ipod classic can't be easily opened</a> so how do you get it fixed a year or two from now?

-Laura

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Anonymous Coward

iPod classic Can't be Opened Easily for Future Repairs!

I came accross this posting from a third party ipod battery company that had a chance to open the iPod classic and says that the

<a href="http://www.ipodjuice.com/juice-blog.htm#ipod-classic-not-designed-to-open-easily">ipod classic can't be easily opened</a> so how do you get it fixed a year or two from now?

-Laura

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Compression

If you can't hear the difference between a normal CD and a rip at 192Kbps AAC then you need either some ear plugs or a better stereo at home....

It's compression, there must be some loss when you're compressing to that extreme.

However on the whole i do agree with your statement, i use a Nano purely because i like to cycle my songs around and also at 192Kbps the audio quality is fine for my usual usage of ona train or plane, Etymotic headphones are a worthy investment though!

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Anonymous Coward

Volume Limit

I've just upgraded to the 160 classic purely for the extra storage. It works fine with my onkyo hi-fi dock and sounds great. The only draw back I have found so far is the EU volume limit when using headphones - it seems even more neutered than before, so until goPod or someone comes up with a hack to remove this hated imposition I've had to go out and buy some high sensitivity headphones to get a reasonable volume.

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Nice but ill be even better when v1.1 software is released...

I've just upgraded from a 20GB 3rd gen to a black 160GB classic, noticeably nicer UI and certainly got lots more room. Am using Sennheiser CX-300 headphones (black to match) and am really enjoying it.

My only complaints are more to do with the way that apple seem to do digital upgrades to their product lines without notice. I very nearly got stuck with an 80GB 5G which I'd bought in advance of my birthday but managed to take it back and get a classic from the apple store. (Also a slight issue with an email telling me that they'd dropped the price of my headphones by £20 received the day that mine arrived - nice apple refunded the difference though). Doesn't exactly encourage early adopters...

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Screensaver...

I also just upgraded from a 3rd Gen 20GB. Really like being able to play the odd video (although I don't like the way I can't categorise tv show/movie/music video myself), also the 160GB storage is ace.

There are more UI inconsistencies than the review noted. I love the 24-hour clock, and also have the time set to be in the menu bar.

So I start some music, put the ipod out on my desk at work in front of me and this bloody clock comes up! Oh great. It shows me that it's playing something, the battery charge and the 12-hour clock. Even though everything else on the iPod is set to 24-hour, this is 12-hour... great. The worst part is that I don't want to see the time by looking at it (or if I do, it's in the menu bar) - I want to see WHAT'S PLAYING! but noooooo there's a screensaver now. That's great. Can't turn it off either... =(

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@ Scott re compression

Few people own sound equipment advanced enough to to be able to project the difference between AAC @ 192 and CD audio - even fewer have the ear to tell the difference if they did have the equipment. My point wast that the real weak point in digal audio reproduction is the DAC, not the data loss in the compression format. Without a high end DAC, the extra fidelity of CD quality audio is wasted. In fact what people often think they are hearing as imperfections in the compression format of tunes on their iPods, is actually the result of the DACs interpretation of the uncompressed binary stream. So carrying around lossless tunes on an iPod is just plain silly.

I do agree that good headphones are a worthwhile investment though - although I'm not sure that picking ear wax out of Etymotics is everyone's cup of tea!

Actually on a related rant - another real kick in the arse sound wise is the recent practice of boosting the volume on tracks and using compression to clip the waveform, in order to have louder recording then the next guy (aka the loudness wars). CDs are getting hotter and hotter and the sound quality is plummeting. I can see a market emerging for the old CD re-releases from the 80's / early 90's with no crazy wave compression.

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Wait for version 2!

The processor in this is terribly slow and really can't cope with the interface.

It chugs through menus, and coverflow feels like scrolling through molasses.

If you should dare and try to scroll through with coverflow with a song playing (I'm always searching for the next song to play) it will start to Porky Pig through the song you're listening to: pppeeerrggger-dddddeeerggggerrrr

Marvelous!

Incidentally the new nano coped much better with this.

I'm looking to replace my ageing 4G 20Gb, but the new nano while splendid is too small (storage-wise), and I would not pay money for the Classic in this state.

What do I do now? When's the next refresh due?

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That's odd.

"Incidentally the new nano coped much better with this."

Which is rather strange; I'm sure the people that do such things pulled them both apart and found the same (Samsung) CPU in the two machines. Oh well.

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