NOTICE: This review is for the NEW 2009 160GB iPod Classic, NOT the 2007 160GB iPod Classic!
The new 160GB iPod Classic is easily Apple Inc.’s best iPod to date, and out of all of the iPods that I own, this is my favorite.
First, the capacity of this iPod is simply unbeatable. I’ve yet to see another portable media player that can match the iPod Classic in capacity. I have a huge music library, and it’s nice to be able to carry every song that I own on my person at all times. What’s more, thanks to the iPod Classic’s capacity, I also have room to carry a few videos with me, and some of my photos. If you don’t like having to pick which songs to load onto your portable media player, the iPod Classic is the way to go.
The second thing that I love about this iPod can be summed up in two words: it works. The 160GB iPod Classic that was introduced in 2007 was extremely buggy, had a non-responsive Clickwheel on many units, crashed frequently, and required a hit-and-miss firmware update to stop the hard drive from spinning even when the device was “off,” which often lead to dead batteries. All of these problems left the 2007 160GB iPod Classic warming shelves and earning it the infamous “honor” of being the “worst selling iPod ever,” according to Apple. I’m pleased to say that the new 160GB iPod Classic released earlier this month has virtually none of these problems. There’s no “spinning hard drive bug,” the Clickwheel is incredibly responsive, and the device isn’t crash-prone. While it’s true that many of these issues were fixed with last year’s iPod Classic, there hasn’t been a truly functional 160GB model until now. To put it bluntly, this is the iPod that Apple should’ve released in 2007.
Another thing that I really like about this iPod, and the iPod Classic in general, is it’s ability to double as an external hard drive. While I believe that the iPod Nano is also capable of this, the only iPod that really has enough space to function as an external hard drive is the iPod Classic. The hard drive functionality admittedly reduces the number of devices I have to carry on me at any given time. If you regularly work with large files and are considering a new iPod, the iPod Classic is the way to go, plain and simple.
So what are the caveats? Well for starters, as with every other iPod Classic, this is a hard-drive (rather than flash-memory) based device. As a result, it has moving parts which make it unsuitable for running or any physical activity that exerts mechanical shock onto the iPod. Unless you exercise constantly with your iPod though, this really shouldn’t be an issue. The only other caveat, which is more of personal taste than an actual flaw, that I can find, is that Apple has not made any cosmetic changes to this device since they introduced it in 2007. Now don’t get me wrong, the point of an iPod “Classic,” is to retain the “Classic” design, but after seeing how much better a black Clickwheel looks on the silver iPod Nano, I’d have thought that Apple would have given the silver iPod Classic a black Clickwheel as well. However, I admit that this is entirely my personal preference and not a “flaw” per se. I’ve put a quick list of pros and cons together, which can be seen below:
Pros: Largest iPod Capacity-wise, long battery life, “Genius” feature, excellent value for your money, well-built, doubles as an external hard drive, and improvements to Cover Flow.
Cons: Hard Drive (rather than Flash memory) based storage medium; device is cosmetically identical to the 2007 80GB model. (I still don’t understand why Apple hasn’t colored the Clickwheel black on the silver model to match the iPod Nano.)
Finally, I would highly recommend this product, which is why it gets five stars from me. I don’t like the iPod Nano; it’s too small for my hands, and the screen is too small for my eyes. While the iPod Touch may have app store access and Wi-Fi, I find it to be a really gimmicky device, that makes for a poor portable media player, (Apple was wise to position it as a handheld game system,) and is really an “iPhone without a phone.” In contrast, the iPod Classic is an excellent portable media player, it has an excellent interface, and it only costs $249 dollars. To put things in perspective, the 2009 160GB iPod Classic costs $70 dollars more than a 16GB iPod Nano, and $150 dollars less than a 64GB iPod Touch. All in all, I highly recommend this product.
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This is the second iPod I own. The first one was a 30 Mb 5th Generation Ipod Video.
First, the plus.
There are many improvements in the 7th generation comparing it to the 5th, although I think most of them were introduced with the 6th Gen. The whole Cover Flow/Genius capabilities are definetly an improvement to the previous software. The games are a nice bonus. I’ve only had it for three days, but I can already see that I like the new interface a lot more.
And the disk space, I mean, WOW! The ipod is basically the same size as my 30 Gb one, but it’s capacity is over 5 times bigger. I am an avid music fan, have tons of music, and my musical taste ranges from ambient to heavy metal, but I think it’s going to be a long time before I fill this one up. I think this is the best feature of this iPod, and by itself, the reason you should buy it.
There are also video capabilities, which have always been a plus, and some other stuff, but I didn’t see a major difference from the previous versions.
But then, why did I give it 4 stars? I wanted 4.5 stars, but Amazon doesn’t let me do that.
Here are the cons.
First, as previous reviewers have stated, the sound quality seems to have downgraded from the 5th Gen iPod. The sound lacks depth, the songs sound more flat. I don’t mean to say that the sound is bad, because it still has a very good sound, and I’ve tested it with headphones, computer speakers and my car stereo. I’m just saying that the 5th Generation iPod sounds better, and the difference is quite noticeable.
The other thing, which might be just my iPod, because I didn’t see other reviewers mentioning it, is that the click wheel seems to be less sensitive/responsive than the 5th Generation one. This is not necessarily a bad thing, but it is annoying sometimes that you try so select a song or an option on the menu and the wheel doesn’t respond right away.
There’s also the fact that using Cover Flow seems to make the iPod proccess slower, but then again, loading the covers of literally thousands of records is not a quick task, and you can always not use Cover Flow, so I won’t hold this against the iPod.
To sum it all up. If you have a lot of music and want to carry it all with you; if 30, 60, 80 or 120 Gb is just not enough; if this is your first iPod purchase, or if you just really, really like the new interface and games (I know I did), then I highly reccomend it, and you won’t be dissapointed. To me this is definetly the best music player on the market. You will need to sit down and learn how to use iTunes, but when you do, you’re just going to love this little gadget.
However, if you have a 5th generation iPod that’s working just fine, and you prefer sound quality to disk space, you might not want to buy this one. Just try to be more more picky with the songs you put on it, I guess.
I am quite new to the portable mp3 world, although I have about 250 gb of music on my computer. The only mp3 player I own is a 1 gb Samsung Pebble, which I use at the gym. This was the only mp3 player I thought I needed since both of the stereos in my vehicles have mp3 disc players. But then I started thinking…since my new Camry has an auxilary jack to hook up an mp3 device, wouldn’t it be great to have one and get rid of those giant cd wallets?! The first task was to get permission from my wife to spend 250 bucks. After a little hesitation, she agreed. And then it was on to the research. Since I have such a large collection of music, the capacity of the device was number one on my list (as well as positive reviews & quality). I was pleasantly surprised to see that Apple had reissued the Classic in 160 gb form instead of the 120 gb. So after much personal debate between the Zune and the new 160 gb iPod Classic, the iPod won out.
Although the iPod is a fantastic little device with a large capacity, the software is not without its troubles. I downloaded the most current version of iTunes (verison 9) and immediately began importing my mp3 files from my hard drive. This process can take some time, but not much longer than any other media player. I was so excited to finally have the majority of my music all on one device; and have the cover art as well (I just think that is awesome)! After loading a large chunk of my files into iTunes, I noticed that only a handful of the albums had the cover art. I attempted using the “get cover art” function, but it didn’t work. My only option was to track down the cover art online, right click, save, and then add the picture to the album file in iTunes. I know that it’s not such a huge deal, but when you’re dealing with A LOT of music, it can become quite a pain & time consuming. I later learned that the files have to be spelled exactly like they are in iTunes. And if they didn’t come from iTunes in the first place, 9 times out of 10, the album art won’t come up anyway. I would like to see a function that gets the cover art from other online sources, not just iTunes; and without a strict spelling criteria. There’s no reason that the way I name my “The” bands should restrict the retrieval of cover art. An example being “Animals, The” instead of “The Animals.”
So other than the minor annoyance with the cover art, the player itself is fantastic. I found the interface very user-friendly and intuitive, without much of a learning curve. Again, I am new to the world of iPod, but I can honestly say that I am very pleased. I wanted to write a review for people that have a large digital music collection that came mostly from ripping cd’s to their computers. I am one of the people who still enjoy listening to an entire album, and is not satisfied by just downloading the single, so I still buy physical cd’s & collect vinyl. I would definitely recommend the 160 gb iPod to any music fan with a large collection. Just remember to be patient when getting the artwork for all of those older albums. If you don’t have a collection full of Taylor Swift, the Jonas Brothers, or Beyonce, iTunes just may not recognize your music!
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