back to article Hipsters snap up iPod Classics for $$$s after Apple kills rusty gadget

Apple quietly withdrew its iconic iPod Classic from sale this year – and now the hard-drive-packing music players are fetching handsome piles of cash on Amazon. An unused sixth-generation silver 160GB model will set you back $1,500 from one tech hawker using the web souk to flog old gear. If that's a bit too steep for you, don …

  1. keithpeter

    hard drive players...

    ...any other candidates spring to mind?

    1. Steven Raith

      Re: hard drive players...

      I can't think of any off the top of my head, but they're only really relevant (from a technical perspective) if you really think that you'll need more than 128gb of capacity at a semi-reasonable price. Mind you, you can quite happily get media players that support high capacity SD cards these days so even that's not a problem. Obviously when it comes to design, usability, etc, subjective opinions are subjective...

      Saying that, I have FrankenPod (a working 160gb iPod built from two broken iPods, one 80gb, one 160gb) sitting in the glovebox of my car, as it has for the last three years, and it's still ticking along (mostly) happily, although I think the HDD is dying on it so I'll be looking at this in anger soon methinks. :-(

      Steven R

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: hard drive players...

        Cowon X7 - seems to be unavailable on Amazon.

        Archos 5 IT - doesn't seem to be featured on their website anymore. It had a 500GB HDD, but it was a resistive-screened Android tablet.

        iRiver gave up making HDD-based players years ago.

        Personally, I'd look into a device that can play nice with big microSD cards.

      2. Montreal Sean

        Re: hard drive players...

        I have a 6th gen 80GB model that is still seeing at least 5 hours of use a day connected by usb to my cat stereo. On battery it still manages ~25 hours of play per charge.

        I also have a 6th gen 160GB model that has barely been used, bought it for home use connected to my stereo but almost never turned it on. It's battery still runs almost 30 hours.

        I love the Classic, much more than the 4th gen Touch that I was given as a gift.

        1. FunkyEric

          Re: hard drive players...

          Wow! You have a stereo cat!

          1. Handy Plough

            Re: hard drive players...

            If this is true, I want, no DEMAND one for christmas. What times we live in...

          2. boltar Silver badge

            Re: hard drive players...

            "Wow! You have a stereo cat!"

            Plenty of people do - you never heard people say "Here puss puss!" ?

    2. Haku

      Re: hard drive players... ...any other candidates spring to mind?


      I'm still regularly using my 10 year old iRiver iHP-140 (which they had to re-brand as the H140 apparently due to HP complaining or something), replaced the battery once and earlier this year I swapped out the (heavily used and nearing the end of it's useful life) 40gb HD for an 80GB one.

      Sure my Android phone has the ability to play mp3s and is significantly smaller, but the iRiver player's main function is playing/recording audio and it has physical buttons for control of the device, including a full-function wired remote control with screen, which rules superior when you want to control it without having to look at a screen.

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: hard drive players... ...any other candidates spring to mind?

        The iRiver H1xx and H3xx series are very good. Their value also shot up after they were discontinued. Keeping them going was a cinch, as they took the same batteries as iPods - though the cable connector's polarity needs to be switched.

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: hard drive players...

      Most other market players gave up when smartphones became mainstream.

      The days of people carrying two or three devices around are long gone. Dumb phone, MP3 player and a handheld games console.

  2. DougS Silver badge


    I can't see the last generation of these ever being worth all that much. Now if someone has a first generation iPod that's still new in the box, I could see that being worth a lot someday. You know, to the sort of people who collect anything from original Star Wars action figures to restored 60s muscle cars - stuff that lets older people with too much money relive their youth.

  3. A Non e-mouse Silver badge

    HD Availability

    I thought the classic iPod was terminated due to Apple no longer being able to get the HDs for them?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: HD Availability

      There's reason to believe that's at least part of the reason. The manufacturer contracted to make the tiny hard drives for Apple (Toshiba IINM) discontinued production of 5mm-thick drives (the kind used in the iPods), and the return wasn't there to retool the Classic to take the thicker 8mm drives.

  4. Deryk Barker

    Just goes to show

    There's one born every minute.

    1. boltar Silver badge

      Re: Just goes to show

      "There's one born every minute."

      Thats probably what the greeks said when they flogged a load of old stones to Elgin.

  5. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

    So... the MP3s sound better on spinning rust devices than on those modern soulless "flash" memory stores, which are digital to the core?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: So...

      The main reason the Classic was so loveable was the capacity. Even now, 128GB flash is still a touch steep, plus there's the issue of the exFAT format standard in SDXC devices (because at 128GB, you're approaching the size limit of FAT32). Not to many SD-capable devices accept SDXC and the exFAT format, and repartitioning an SDXC card isn't without its issues.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb of storage out there for a reasonable price, and even a 32 Gb smartphone is too pricey just to play music on. For now I just have an Iphone playlist in itunes and put in a few tracks and change it every week or so. Oh well.

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      >I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb of storage out there for a reasonable price,

      Try a Sansa Clip Zip, it appears they can work with 64GB cards:

      I'd personally buy two Clip+ players (the older, monochrome display model) and two 32GB cards...

      1. dogged

        > Try a Sansa Clip Zip, it appears they can work with 64GB cards:

        64gb? They LAUGH at 64GB!

    2. ashdav

      Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb


      You need more than 64GB of music?

      You Sir, are a wanker.

      (Post with a real name in future)

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

        Or just a person with a large music collection and a desire to (a) keep it as high a quality as practical, which usually means 256kb/sec AACs and 320 kb/sec MP3s, and (b) keep whole albums intact.

      2. John Robson Silver badge

        Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

        Wasn't the original selling point that you could carry *all* of your music with you.

        That's still a valid desire. Our classic tends to live by the hifi or kitchen radio, with all the CDs in the loft, but it comes out for gigs and any reasonably journey.

        We can't really do that any more - is this because the new assumption is that we don't own music, but rent it over those ever present 6G mobile networks...

        1. Charles 9 Silver badge

          Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

          "We can't really do that any more - is this because the new assumption is that we don't own music, but rent it over those ever present 6G mobile networks..."

          It's a touch early, but flash is catching up. 128GB SDXC cards are now available, with 256GB in the works. The iPod classic topped out at 160GB (I have one of these), so it's becoming a case of an alternative being able to take up the slack pretty soon.

          Apple's supposed to be releasing the 6th Generation iPod Touch soon. Odds are passing fair the top end will sport 128GB, putting it level with the 120GB Classic and not far behind the 160GB. The eventual 256GB model in a year or two will surpass them both finally.

          1. Omgwtfbbqtime Silver badge

            Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

            Yes, I'd buy a ipod touch that will take a 128Gb SDHC card......

            What? no slot for SDHC?


      3. BoldMan

        Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

        I'm not the OP but yes I do like to be able to carry my entire music collection (about 70GB) with me so I can choose what I want to listen to at any time. Thus my 80GB iPod classic is perfect for this.

        You sir, are a judgemental tosser.

      4. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge

        Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb


        You need more than 64GB of music?

        You Sir, are a wanker.

        (Post with a real name in future)


        Please post a photo of your birth certificate. I'm pretty sure ashdav isn't your real name... Although in general I agree that it would be easier to use these forums if everyone posted with usernames, unless they were posting something that merited going anon (like info on the company they work for or a love for One Direction).

        Ignoring that rather unfruitful topic, I think you probably need to calm down a touch. Going all capsLOCK for something as minor as people wanting to listen to more music than you seems just a little OTT. Perhaps we could just put that down to surprise, except for the gratuitous insult.

        I have about 25GB of music now. Recorded in 320 Kb mp3. That's a couple of hundred albums' worth. Obviously if it was in FLAC format, that would be even bigger. Or if there were more albums.

        I have about another 5GB of comedy stuff. I'm Sorry I Haven't a Clue episodes, Hitch Hikers Guide to the Galaxy radio show, etc.

        Then there's podcasts. Some things I listen to weekly, so there's either one or zero unplayed episodes, or stuff that I'm catching up on so there might be a hundred. I think there's about 40GB of that. But it changes, and if I find a new show to try out, that could go up by a few gigabytes overnight, then slowly down as I listen to them.

        That means I have an 80GB iPod Classic. And my brother's old one as a spare.

        I'm not quite sure why you find that so hard to comprehend. The maths isn't all that difficult.

        If it wasn't possible to have all my music and spoken word stuff with me at once, then I wouldn't have. But it is, so I do. Now the phone is out for two reasons. It's an iPhone, and doesn't have the storage - and it's a work phone and the battery is to be used for more important stuff, like work, or pesonal, calls and emails. The first is solvable, the second is going to have to wait for a quantum leap in battery performance, or the steady improvement in battery tech to outpace the growth in power hungriness of smartphones for a few years.

        Next, I could manage my audio collection better. I could only transfer the stuff I need to the device, as and when I need it. But I can't be arsed. I don't know in advance what mood I'll be in when I select a tune or podcast to listen to. And if I like a new podcast, I'd like at least the next ten episodes on the iPod, so I don't have to sync with the computer too often. Lazyness perhaps? But my tech is supposed to work for me. Not the other way round.

        Also I use it to run sound to my speakers at home. Again, I could use my computer as a media server, but that would mean setup costs to connect my music system to it, and running it all the time (which costs electricity). Mr iPod does that job perfectly fine, as well as being available to pick up and take wherever I'm going.

        Finally I could use the cloud. This would work at home, although it seems rather wasteful to keep downloading the same thing over-and-over again. The internet doesn't have limitless capacity, resources are not infinite, and it seems a shame to use a finite resource when I can use local storage.

        When I'm out-and-about, the cloud is a shit solution. It doesn't work on the London underground, or large sections of my local train network. Especially the bits in tunnels, or deep tree-lined cuttings. Or aeroplanes, visits to friends in the country, my own flat. And on trips abroad the cost of roaming is hideous. Finally my work phone is on my work dataplan, which is 1GB a month. That's fine for email, browsing and maps for personal and work use. Not so much for the 20-30 hours of mobile audio I get through a month. I'd guess that's probably a couple of gigabytes worth.

        In terms of cost and ease of use, an iPod with weekly sync to my PC is the option that makes most sense for me. Your mileage may vary. You should learn that other people's needs may be different. You should also learn politeness.

      5. Gannettt

        Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

        I AM the OP (see, username!).

        i have about 70Gb of music, and like to keep albums together. I also have about 400Gb of audio comedy, plays, audiobooks, etc, but that stays on the NAS box. I have a Sansa Clip+ with a 32Gb card, totally maxed out. When my collection was much smaller, I had a 20Gb HDD player, and liked the 'shuffle all' function - you never know what you going to get next, which I liked.

        I agree with the poster who thinks that the tech companies are trying to move us towards streaming from the cloud, ie rent. Removing microSD slots and charging the earth for anything more than 16Gb of storage tell their own story. I guess I'm old-fashioned (I'm the wrong side of 40) and like to have my stuff to hand, not stored on a server thousands of miles away.

        I'm glad I've stimulated a bit of debate on this one. I, and it would seem a lot of others, don't like the direction tech companies are going in as far as consumers owning the content they have paid for.

        As for your last comment - as it's Christmas, I forgive you!

        1. dogged

          Re: Worst thing they did. I can't find any decent MP3 players with more than 64 Gb

          The Sansa Clip+ will will take 128GB cards cheerfully (see posts passim) so your cheapest upgrade is considerably less painful than ebay prices for an iPod Classic.

  7. Snorlax Silver badge

    Damn. I sold a badly scratched 120Gb Classic with a knackered battery to a gentleman with a neckbeard for £120 a few weeks ago. I thought he was mad but it looks like he got it cheap...

    I always preferred the Zune's sound quality but I think I was the only person who ever bought one.

  8. chebucto

    Crazy like a fox

    The clickwheel is still the best UI for portable music IMHO. The big size was a plus, too, for those want to sync their entire music library (rather than picking and choosing).

    Here's hoping they (or someone) releases a clickwheel device with substantial flash memory in the future.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    As an aspriring hipster

    I guess I'll have to pop into my local branch of We Saw You Coming....

  10. Frank Bough

    bad HDD

    I've got a broken 80GB Classic (failed HDD, natch), if the drive's IDE, could I just swap in a big CF card?

    1. Charles 9 Silver badge

      Re: bad HDD

      Tiny HDDs use a thin and flat interface ribbon. I think it electrically matches PATA but requires an adapter to let a PC see it. I had this problem salvaging footage from a broken HDD video camera.

      BTW, while 128GB Compact Flash cards do exist, they're pretty expensive (about $250+ expensive) and reserved for professional applications. Plus you gotta make room for the adapter.

    2. FatBuu

      Re: bad HDD

      Yup, few quid on eBay will get you a little ZIF to CF converter board. If you're a cheapskate like me you can then plug an SD card to CF converter into it and pick up a cheap SD card.

  11. red death

    Even a Touch with more storage isn't the complete answer until someone sorts out decent battery life for it...

  12. Dogsauce

    Is the author trying to flog one and therefore talking up the price? These things are junk in all the second hand shops around where I live.

  13. Truth4u

    A fool and his money

    That said, if anyone has an old Amstrad CPC, I'm willing to pay half a million dollars

    (not really)

  14. Jay 2

    Over the weekend I sold my 160GB 6th gen iPod on eBay. It didn't go for the mega-money described in the article, but it was OK. It was a great device, and I could store all my music (now > 64GB). So if the mood took me to listen to a particular mix of 3am Eternal whilst on the move, then it wouldn't be a problem.

    However about 2 years ago I got a 64GB iPhone 4S. And as that was always with me, the iPod was demoted to sitting on a shelf. So having a bit of a clear out I decided it was surplus to requirements and off it went. The main problem with the 4S is that at 64GB, not all my music will fit on there, so I have to do some playlist tweaking. I always said if there was 128GB iPhone I'd get one, but at ~£700 SIM free (for a 6), that's not exactly cheap. I guess that's one of the downsides to signing up to Apple's ecosystem in blood. I know their kit is expensive, but the sheer markup on flash storage is one of my pet hates.

  15. Fringe

    Hipsters? Poseurs, more aptly

    Real hipsters run, at a minimum, cassette Walkmans, while the elites carry MD Walkmans, playing music recorded via analog patch cable.

    1. Stevie Silver badge

      Re: Hipsters? Poseurs, more aptly

      Real hipsters carry a two-band three transistor AM radio in a greatcoat pocket (nothing smaller will hold the device) and a pocket full of PP9s to keep it humming along.

    2. David Paul Morgan

      Re: Hipsters? Poseurs, more aptly

      I still have my Aiwa 'beat box' portable cassette recorder/player and my Sony MD Walkman (4xplay for audio/talking books, 2xplay for 2 CDs per disk)

      I used to timeshift radio 4 programmes for listening on the train or in the car (via the cassette audio adapter!)

      I had one pre-recorded MD - Reef

      by the time sony got to the 1GB MD format, memory cards and dedicated music players had already stolen their thunder. As I've said before, I love Walkman on my Xperia! (ony a 32GB uSD as I stream)

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