iPod Classic 80GB


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kizzaaa

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iPod Classic 80GB Black

I've been waiting to upgrade from my iPod 30GB Video for quite some time. I was one of the first to order the new iPod Classic and so far... It's been good.

Aesthetics

In 2005 when the iPod Video was launched, it set a new standard for portable audio players. This time is no different. The iPod Classic doesn't only look better, it feels a lot more curvy and slim than its predecessor. It features a matte finish rather than a gloss like finish, which should make it more scratch resistant.

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Surprisingly my 80GB iPod Classic weighs no more than my old 30GB, the dimensions are basically the same. (iPod Classic is on the left, iPod Video on the right)

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Verdict: Aesthetics-wise it's lovely, but like most iPod's it's fragile.

Personal rating: rating_4.gif

User Experience

As stated in the iPod Nano (third G) review, the new user interface is a "remix" of sorts, in that it doesn't really add anything new, it just presents old options in new ways.

Coverflow

Coverflow is a glowing feature of the new iPod series. Cover Flow is a three-dimensional graphical user interface for visually rummaging through one's digital music libraries via cover artwork. Before purchasing the iPod Classic, one of my concerns was how smooth the UI would be. After playing around with it, I can safely assure you that Coverflow does run very smoothly (at 45% capacity). It looks great, it's functional and the animations are smooth and fast.

Menu layout

Pros (Y)

  • The new menu layout is better than the iPod video. When browsing through music each song takes up two lines so you can see who the music artist is, as well as the song name. Previously the iPod video only displayed the song name when browsing through music.
  • Playlists are now organised into folders, just like in iTunes!
  • While a song is playing, the cover art is reflected on the bottom to give a three dimensional effect.
  • A search option has finally been implemented, with improvements over the search feature in my friends iPod Nano second G.
  • A screen-saver like display appears after a few minutes of listening to music which displays the current operation (play, pause etc), the time in a large easy to read font and the battery status.
  • In the music menu layout there is cover art on the right hand side which fades in and out. This feature has reminded me of music that I haven't listened to for ages.

Cons (N)

  • When browsing through playlists, if you have a folder which contains over 400 songs it makes the menu may white out.
  • As stated above the firmware does feel a little buggy. Hopefully the next firmware update will correct this.
  • When browsing playlists if you add a new playlist or folder after the initial sync, they are not organised alphabetically in the iPod. This is something that requires getting use to.
  • When listening to music and browsing through the playlist menu and cover flow, the performance in the GUI does slow down but not dramatically.

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In terms of user experience, there are a few other improvements:

  • When a song is about to finish, the next song is played in a very gap-less fashion. Although the iPod video (with the latest firmware) could do this, it's a whole lot smoother now.
  • Seeking backwards and forwards is a lot more smoother and responsive compared to the iPod video. It feels like there's more cache in the iPod Classic.
  • The display of the iPod Classic is noticeably brighter than the iPod video.
  • Shuffle options are now available in the now playing menu.
  • A mass improvement with the battery life.

Coverflow: rating_5.gif

Menu layout: rating_3.gif (3.5 out of 5)

Music organisation: rating_3.gif

UI performance: rating_4.gif

UI performance while listening to music: rating_3.gif

Verdict: There are many improvements over the iPod video, however it still needs some work; if the playlist organisation and bugs were fixed/improved then this iPod would be a lot better. Besides that, the iPod Classic offers a decent user experience.

Overall personal rating: rating_4.gif

Overall

Eighteen months ago give or take I purchased the iPod video 30GB for $449 AU, which then dropped to $349 AU. The iPod Classic 80GB for $349 AU is highly great value for the capacity and the features. If you have a large music library and want to take it everywhere you go, then the iPod Classic is for you.

Features: rating_5.gif

Performance: rating_3.gif (3.5)

Value for money: rating_5.gif

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.Neo

I'm still waiting for mine to arrive, but .saxondale mentioned that the click wheel feels rather unresponsive compared to the one of the iPod 5g. Are you experiencing the same thing?

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kizzaaa
I'm still waiting for mine to arrive, but .saxondale mentioned that the click wheel feels rather unresponsive compared to the one of the iPod 5g. Are you experiencing the same thing?

Yeah, when scrolling it feels unresponsive compared to the iPod 5g. However when seeking backwards and fowards to another track, it feels quicker than the 5g.

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1759

Is there an option to turn off that split screen effect? I'm not nuts about having the album art on the right side of the menus like that. Everything else does seem like an improvement over the my 5g (30 gigs just isn't enough for me anymore).

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Avalanche

You say that playlist can be organized into folders but can it also make subfolders?

Thank you

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kizzaaa
Is there an option to turn off that split screen effect? I'm not nuts about having the album art on the right side of the menus like that. Everything else does seem like an improvement over the my 5g (30 gigs just isn't enough for me anymore).

I haven't found a way to turn off the split screen effect. There's no reference to it in the user guide either.

When I first got my iPod 5g I thought 30GB was plenty. I never knew my music library would grow so much.

You say that playlist can be organized into folders but can it also make subfolders?

Thank you

Yeah you can.

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saxondale.

Nice review.

Just had a play with mine today and my god, the menus are very laggy when playing a song. The click wheel is simply awful at the moment. Even with the new firmware update, definitely dissapointed with the performance.

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Jordan Green

Nice review, but from what Michael and yourself has said, I dont think i'll be jumping out my house to go to the apple store and purchase one! I think i'll stick my iPod Video 30GB out for a while.

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saxondale.

Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely MP3 player and since its a revamped OS, bugs are expected, also another nag: why couldn't they of made is completely aluminum like the 2nd Gen nano? the back is simply for looks which lasts about a day before it gets scratched up. I have dropped my nano so many time, from the upstairs of my house on a concrete floor even! and that has barely left a mark, i really couldn't see my classic even surviving if i dropped it from that height.

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kizzaaa
Nice review.

Just had a play with mine today and my god, the menus are very laggy when playing a song. The click wheel is simply awful at the moment. Even with the new firmware update, definitely dissapointed with the performance.

I know what you mean. My biggest complaint are the playlist bugs - playlists not being in order and occasionally whiting out. I'm a loyal Apple customer, but the iPod Classic does seem like a rushed job.

Nice review, but from what Michael and yourself has said, I dont think i'll be jumping out my house to go to the apple store and purchase one! I think i'll stick my iPod Video 30GB out for a while.

Yeah its not a bad idea. When I wrote that review I was trying to be as neutral and unbiased as possible.

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Slimy

In the first picture, which is which? I can't tell if you are referring to the second or first picture when you say which is which :p

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stezo2k
In the first picture, which is which? I can't tell if you are referring to the second or first picture when you say which is which :p

he was refering to the 2nd picture mate, the 1st one is showing all variations of the classic

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Quillz

Nice review. It's funny how the iPod classic is now just a "bigger" version of the nano.

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trek
Don't get me wrong, it's a lovely MP3 player and since its a revamped OS, bugs are expected, also another nag: why couldn't they of made is completely aluminum like the 2nd Gen nano? the back is simply for looks which lasts about a day before it gets scratched up. I have dropped my nano so many time, from the upstairs of my house on a concrete floor even! and that has barely left a mark, i really couldn't see my classic even surviving if i dropped it from that height.

Heh, but the matte finish isn't shiny ;). I've noticed that my new nano is a scratch magnet on the back... Probably time to invest in an InvisibleShield just for the back side.

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saxondale.

I'm currently looking for a slimline case for the Classic, anyone found a good one? Not a bulky one.

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.Neo
I'm currently looking for a slimline case for the Classic, anyone found a good one? Not a bulky one.

It's pretty retarded that Apple got rid of the sleeve that came with the iPod 5g. :/

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Glassed Silver
It's pretty retarded that Apple got rid of the sleeve that came with the iPod 5g. :/

:blink:

NO SLEEVE?! :o

prolly to push seperate sales of them...

Glassed Silver:mac

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.Neo
:blink:

NO SLEEVE?! :o

Nope. So far I haven't seen te option to buy one separate. :/

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Smigit

out of interest does anyone know of any real world battery tests for these iPods. I read apple claims 30hrs for the 80gig and 40 for the 160 but I'd love to see what people actually get. Ideally this would be music encoded in higher bitrate mp3 files or something relatively close in terms of filesize.

I'm very tempted to get one rather than send my X5 overseas and pay for a repair to get the battery replaced.

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FiB3R

You could replace the battery yourself Smigit, no need to send it away. Unless you are worried about voiding your warranty or something.

Check this out > LINK

Thinking about getting the 160GB version myself, but I've only just started using rockbox on my 80GB iPod Video, so I'll wait and see what happens there. flac sure dose sound good.

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iconboy

my question is will there be a forware upgrade to the 5G ipod video to give it coverflow and new icons? cause 80G is just overkill for me, while the nano's 8G is too small. For me 30G is juuuussssttt right ;)

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anonymous10489
my question is will there be a forware upgrade to the 5G ipod video to give it coverflow and new icons? cause 80G is just overkill for me, while the nano's 8G is too small. For me 30G is juuuussssttt right ;)

Probably not.

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.Neo
my question is will there be a forware upgrade to the 5G ipod video to give it coverflow and new icons? cause 80G is just overkill for me, while the nano's 8G is too small. For me 30G is juuuussssttt right ;)

Apple didn't even bother equipping the iPod 5g with the same search feature as the 5.5g has. So chances for them porting over the entire new interface are very low.

The thing is I don't need 80 GB either, but other iPod models don't cover my needs either:

iPod nano: not enough capacity, form-factor is way too small I like to actually hold something.

iPod classic: capacity is a bit overkill, form-factor just right, but it isn't the top model anymore.

iPod toch: not enough capacity, great touch screen UI, but overal it doesn't offer enough to justify its price (bit of a cheap iPhone rip-off IMO).

Hopefully by the next revision the iPod touch has matured enough to be a proper replacement for the iPod classic.

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jasondefaoite

Ya I was also disappointed with the capacity on the Touch. As a current 30G 5th Gen user, I can't downgrade to 16GB, and there is not enough of a difference between the classic and the 5th gen to warrant me spending money on it.

Any comments on the sound quality of the 6G Classic? I've read a number of threads panning it, and some one actually took the time to do some measurements...

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iconboy

i currently have a 4th gen 20G BW ipod that is still going strong and all i use it for is listening to music, so i was really waiting for this ipod touch announcment. Unfortunatley as old as my ipod is, its still bigger hdd wise compared to the ipod touch, so im torn with going with the ipod classic. my mom always told me, if it aint broke, why replace it? I guess i will hve to wait a little longer and just keep using my current ipod :p

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