Our new iPod "classic" – which comes in much more compact packaging than older iPods. The large cube box has been replaced with a much slimmer case. Also, you don’t get a charging block with it anymore.
After much debate and self-reflection in our home over the past couple of weeks, we decided to get an 80GB iPod Classic. We new that we were due for an upgrade from our old 20GB 3rd generation iPod. It’s tiny monochromatic screen was hard to see much on. The size wasn’t too much of an issue (of course, that’s partly because it couldn’t display video or photos). We played around with the iPhone quite a lot and debated getting an iPod Touch. There’s no denying that it has a gorgeous screen and sexy interface.
However, once we started looking at what we actually use an iPod for, the Classic was the right choice. I listen to music mostly in my car and that slick interface (you have to turn it sideways) wouldn’t work in a DLO transpod. Further, flicking around music probably isn’t a smart thing to do while driving. Also, we use the iPod as a hard drive to backup photo & video storage while on vacations and 16GB wasn’t going to be enough (I can average as much as 500 photos a day, which is about 3.5GB per day when shot in RAW).
All that being said, it also came down to a judgement in value. I simply didn’t want to pay more for something that did less of what we need from it. We don’t have the extra dough to be spending on frivolous features that we’ll rarely take advantage of (i.e. – the iPod Touch). We really did consider getting an iPhone, which would be nice to reduce the number of gadgets (phone, Palm, camera, iPod, laptop) but in the end, I think that even the mighty iPhone falls short of any one of those devices when compared directly. It’s not as good a camera as Angela’s Canon Elph, let alone my D50. It doesn’t have the third party software that Angela’s Palm has (nor will it ever as far as Apple is concerned, it seems). We have mobile phones that do a good job of syncing with our macs (for contacts, calendars, etc.). Angela’s iBook is great for surfing while not at home (though, obviously for only one of us at a time should be we apart). Lastly, I’ve enumerated why the iPhone is not the perfect iPod for us. Sure, the convenience of one sleek gadget versus five bulkly ones is alluring, but ultimately not a reasonable option for us. At least not for the present time (I probably will get a iPhone if a 3G network version is available when I decide to replace my w810i).
There’s been some typical blog/complaining about the interface upgrade, which I suppose was the most significant change between the 5G and 6G iPods. Given that I was using a (seemingly ancient) 3G, I don’t miss whatever they are pining for, to tell the truth. The "Ken Burns effect" on the album art in the background doesn’t bother me, though I suppose it looks more attractive with some cover-art more than others. Perhaps Apple could allow for users to select which art gets used? I don’t find the Cover Flow feature to be that great on the Classic, but it’s also not particularly sluggish, either. Some recent reports have indicated that the sound quality has dropped due to a change in some of the internal hardware, but only audiophiles are likely to pick up on this. Frankly, if the quality matters that much, I doubt these people listen to music on an iPod they downloaded from the iTunes music store. As I stated above, I listen mostly in my car on an FM modulator; the sound quality is at least as good as the FM reception on my stock Ford stereo so I don’t get too uptight about that sort of thing. Audiobooks and podcasts sound just great, as far as I care.
All things considered so far, I like the iPod Classic so far. The interface is an improvement in my opinion when compared to the old one. The cost to value ratio is great, given how great a gadget the origional iPod form factor is after six years (which is forever in gadget time scales).
Here’s some visual comparisons between the 3G iPod (back when they essentially only came in white) and the current 6G iPod Classic (now that none come in white):
Okay, so the iPhone and Touch have much larger screens, but this is a big jump in screen space (not to mention gorgeous color).
Wow, that is a slim little device. Now why could they put a hard drive in the iPod Touch?