For Christmas this year, I decided to surprise my husband with a new MP3 player. He had been using a 4th Generation (I think; I can’t keep all of them straight!) 20GB iPod, but after several years of daily use, the battery life was being affected.
I briefly thought about buying my husband a different brand, such as a Zune or a Creative Zen, but didn’t know how easy it would be to transfer all of his music from iTunes to this other software. In the end, I decided to stick with the Apple brand, especially because we’ve purchased so many of these over the years (this was the seventh iPod between us: two 1GB Shuffles, one 4GB Mini, two 4GB Nanos, the 20GB 4th generation iPod, and now the new one) and have never had problems with any of them.
There are several differences between the old 4th generation that my husband was using and the new “iPod Classic”, as Apple has taken to calling these things. First of course, is the storage capacity. Eighty gigs is a HUGE amount for a portable device, and my husband is nowhere close to filling his iPod up, even though he has several TV shows, full-length movies, YouTube clips, and all of his music on there.
I could have gotten the 160GB iPod Classic for a hundred bucks more, which is a better dollar-per-gig deal. However, I figured that my husband would never use that much space and that he would probably get another new iPod in a few years, so why bother with spending the extra money now.
Another difference is that the iPod Classic now plays videos. The device requires video files to be in a special format (I don’t know what it is offhand, but it’s not AVI, DiVX, MPEG, or any of the usual types), which means you have to run your vids through a converter before loading them (if you don’t buy them off iTunes, I mean). The conversion is a long, tedious process, but my husband doesn’t seem to mind it. He loves having video playback capabilities on his iPod, so he’s willing to jump through all these hoops to put his movies on there.
And finally, the iPod Classic has a feature called Cover Flow. This essentially allows you to browse through your music by looking at album covers. For example, if you have the latest Linkin Park CD loaded on your device, you can play all the songs from it by clicking on the cover art. This admittedly looks pretty cool, but isn’t exactly a selling point. Just an extra perk.
The rest of the iPod’s features, including games, calendar, photos, contacts, etc. are the same as older generations.
Overall, I think the 80GB iPod Classic is a great portable music and video player. It’s a bit on the expensive side compared to other brands, but at least you’re getting a name you can trust. I paid the full retail price of $249 for this one, as it was a last-minute Christmas decision and I bought it from a local store, but it can be had on Amazon.com or other websites for $10-$20 less.