Friday, September 3, 2010

A Classic Lost in the Shuffle?

I hope the iPod Classic doesn't fade away and radiate

The iPod Classic - A classic in every sense


Yesterday, I alluded to the importance of my iPod to my daily commute. Thanks to Volkswagen, for it to work on my stereo, it is hidden in the armrest where it's connected to the stereo. With set up, I have limited control...I can only advance or take a track back. By hiding it from me, Volkswagen has saved me countless car accidents. Dankeschön!

The one major flaw in this setup is that I lose access to the display features of the iPod - I have no way of knowing what song is playing, unless I know what the song is. This annoyed me at first, but I have learned to embrace it. Car rides turn into my own personal game of "Name that Tune". If I can't name the tune in one minute, to Shazam I go to identify it. I often wonder if I'm the only person who uses Shazam to ID my own music.

My car and my iPod are in perfect harmony. I'm convinced they were made for each other. I am also convinced the iPod was made just for me...it's the only iPod on the market that holds all of my music.

Yes, I'm one of those dorks that wants all of my music at my fingertips at any given time.

Which is why I was concerned yesterday when Apple made their big announcement about their current iPod lineup. Apple unveiled new iPods across the board...new Shuffles, new Nanos and new iPod Touches.

But no love for the iPod Classic? This scares me.

On the bright side, Steve Jobs didn't say they were discontinuing the iPod Classic. I'm clinging to that like Kate Winslet clung onto the door in "Titanic" and letting Leo sink instead of scootching over to share part of it.

As much as I love my iPhone and iPad, both featuring, in effect, built in iPods, they don't compete with the iPod Classic. Maybe I'm becoming an old fuddy duddy, but I still like the click wheel interface over the the new touchscreen iPods. The Classic blows for watching movies, but in a pinch it's better than nothing, and back in the day when iPod/iPhone battery life was short, you could always throw a couple of movies on the iPod Classic to watch on the plane when your other devices' batteries crapped out.

My current iPod Classic is my third "classic" iPod. The first one I owned was a 20 GB model that was one of the first generations of iPod. It was given to me by a friend who had only Windows-based computers and although this particular model was billed as one of the first Windows-compatible iPods, it wasn't. But it worked fine with my Mac, and was a HUGE improvement over my first MP3 player, the almost impressive at the time, Creative Nomad:

It held 22 songs. We laugh now, but it was light-years ahead of anything available at the time

The free iPod served me well for a couple of years, and then I graduated to the much larger black iPod, which was a workhorse. I think I got about three or four years out of it and even successfully put in a larger hard drive and replaced the battery myself. I was proud of my accomplishment in that regard, but I wouldn't recommend replacing an iPod hard drive on my worst enemy. It's not taking the old one out or putting the new one in that's difficult...it's putting everything back in that's the pain in the ass.

There's a reason an iPod is so tiny...they really pack the electronics in. There's no wiggle room in there. And when I replaced the hard drive, I may have had left over padding that I couldn't fit back in. That's when I realized I will never replace an iPod hard drive again.

I'm all for progress...I won't bemoan new technology, but I really hope the iPod Classic doesn't become the Concorde of iPod players... far more advanced than anything out there, but of limited appeal to the point they won't make them anymore.

Here's hoping Apple continues to make the iPod Classic or at least introduce an heir apparent for it.

And while I'm on the subject of Apple, am I the only person who finds it odd that Apple can make the new Apple TV and only charge $99 for it, yet the iPod Classic, which does much less that the Apple TV, costs $234?

I can bemoan it, but I'd still run out and buy another one the second my current one dies. I'm the iPod junkie and Apple's my dealer.

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