Why iPod Classic (after all these years)?

Matthew Hanzel Avatar

Ah, the iPod Classic. Its spinning hard drive, its bulkier form factor, its sometimes slow performance, its 20-minute skip protection, the debate about the sound chips, its capability to take your entire music library with you. The good ol’ faithful iPod Classic. Haven’t been updated since 2009 (upgrading the storage from 120GB to 160GB), many people predict the demise of this lovely device, especially due to the popularity of iPod Touch and the slump of iPod sales in general. Practically the last 30-pin connector device still left on the market (besides the old iPhones and other iPods of course), we can expect Apple to pull the plug real soon.

All the facts considered, I bought one earlier this year (with a good promo, actually), and trust me I still love this device. Judging from the above fact, it may seem a bit crazy to buy this old device. Not only that, Apple has stopped updating this device’s operating system since I-don’t-know-when, and the technology is considerably backward when compared to the recent devices: hard drive vs flash drive, moving components vs non-moving components, single-purpose vs multi-purpose.

First thing first. This is clearly not my first iPod Classic. I had an older version about five years ago. Nevertheless, I still love the classic interface (the name is rightfully given: classic), which is dominated by the click-wheel. The interface that paved the way for a revolutionary user interface for portable music players, I think I really need to have one last ‘artifact’ of this family of devices. All else have been transformed into multi-touch devices, with this as an exception.

Another thing that I love is the storage. 160GB is the biggest still in the market, and while there is a 128GB iPad, I can’t see any reasons for Apple to make a single-purpose device (i.e. for media consumption sans apps) with that amount of storage. The thing is, I don’t only store songs (I have about 9,000 songs on the iPod, almost all in 256kbps bitrate), but also podcasts, audiobooks, and iTunes U. Smart devices, as I believe, have to make their owner smarter. So, daily, I use the iPod Classic not only to listen to lovely songs, but also lectures, books, informational shows, and many other things. Just lovely.

That is why, with the iPod Classic in its 11th hour, this awesome device is still useful in many ways. I do have complaints for the iPod’s OS and its various software features, but I love it still. Long live the iPod Classic!

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