Should I replace my iPod now or not?
March 12, 2012 8:46 PM   Subscribe

Would I be a fool to buy a new iPod Classic now, or should I wait for an update that may never come?

I dropped my old 160-gig Classic last summer and bricked it. I've been getting by with a Nano, but managing the meager space on it is getting tiresome. I really miss having 160 gigs to play with.

Has anybody heard whether Apple plans to release an update anytime soon--if ever--or should I just go ahead and buy?

I have been checking the Mac Buyer's Guide, and it's been saying the same thing for two years--don't buy.
posted by Camofrog to Technology (15 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
It's really hard to tell whether Apple intends to ever upgrade it again. But if they do, I really can't imagine what it would be, other than, I dunno, 250GB standard. If all you really want is a giant hard drive to play music on, you may as well buy it now while you still can.
posted by Tomorrowful at 8:52 PM on March 12, 2012

I've been having the same issue - I screwed up my old one, which was a refurb, and now, I'm sort of sitting on my hands, waiting for something else.

I've decided to hold off as long as humanly possible, but for me, that could be indefinitely. My circumstances have changed, so I don't need every song I own with me at any given time. If that were to change, though, I'd definitely just say "fuck it" and buy another refurb.
posted by SNWidget at 9:08 PM on March 12, 2012

I wouldn't buy one, hard drives are on their way out due to inherent lack of long term reliability and bottlenecking speed issues. Compromise and get a 32 or 64 GB iPod touch and make smart playlists. I do that and I have close to 180 GB of music in my iTunes folder alone. The additional capabilities and speed of an iPod touch are so worth it, and especially so if you can handle remembering to charge the thing on a daily basis.
posted by oceanjesse at 9:16 PM on March 12, 2012

Apple is never going to update the Classic. I'm shocked they didn't discontinue it at the media event late last year (they didn't mention or even show a picture of it). If you want one, might as well get one. It'll probably be replaced by a high-capacity version of the Touch eventually. Touches are great, but the Classic has some advantages with built-in physical controls and long battery life.
posted by zsazsa at 9:35 PM on March 12, 2012

seconding a lot that has been said here...rotational media is dead. my prediction: when the iPhone 5 (or 5s) comes out, there will prob be a 128GB model, a 128G iPod Touch, and the classic discontinued (with lots of sad fanfare and etc)
posted by sexyrobot at 9:40 PM on March 12, 2012

I'm also both a fan of the iPod classic and surprised it hasn't yet been discontinued yet. It must be that the thing costs nearly nothing to produce, and people keep buying the things. Apple could discontinue it at any time, or just replace it when a 160 GB SSD is less expensive to buy than a HDD.
posted by b1tr0t at 9:44 PM on March 12, 2012

But . . . but . . . but . . . I LOVED my Classic, HD and all. I love the click wheel interface. The long, long battery life. And the 64-gig Touch is $360 vs. $230 for a 160-gig Classic.

Smart playlists only get me so far b/c I also like to have a ton of podcasts available, too, and iTunes podcast management ain't so great--so much easier to just say fuck it, load them all.

I admit it would be sweet to have all the functionality of the Touch, but I am also eligible to ditch my Droid for an iPhone, so it'd be redundant. I guess I do just want a massive, portable hard drive. I'd rather spend the $230 and save myself endless hours of management headaches. Uptown problems, indeed.

I guess it's the Classic, then. Thanks, y'all!
posted by Camofrog at 9:54 PM on March 12, 2012 [2 favorites]

Technology rule of thumb: if it does what you want now at a price you are willing to pay, then buy it now.
posted by b1tr0t at 10:00 PM on March 12, 2012 [15 favorites]

Even if it did get updated, it isn't likely to be until September or October. Other than more space, I can't imagine it would be significant enough of an update to justify waiting. I'd just buy one.
posted by backwards guitar at 4:06 AM on March 13, 2012

If you end up with the iPhone (or a Touch), look at Instacast for your poding needs. A few niggling flaws, but otherwise a thousand percent better than iTunes for managing podcasts.
posted by robocop is bleeding at 5:18 AM on March 13, 2012

Have you considered signing up for iTunes Match? It's not perfect but should reduce your need to manually manage music. What's nice about it is it'll automatically delete older music if it runs out of space. As long as you have a pretty persistent connection, it works fine. It's only supported on iOS devices, though, so no Nano.

(I agree that there were lots of nice things about the classic iPod with wheel.)
posted by davextreme at 6:26 AM on March 13, 2012 [1 favorite]

I use Google Music (er, Google Play) on my Android phone, and find that it provides me with a decent amount of flexibility. I can stream most of my MP3 collection when I have a good signal, and can selectively choose to make certain artists/playlists available offline. Offline storage is only limited by the size of your microSD card (which is to say, still not as big as an iPod Classic). Amazon Cloud Player offers a similar service, and Spotify actually has some fairly robust offline syncing and "local music" options that allow you to sync non-spotify MP3s from your desktop to your device.

THAT SAID, I quite like my current-gen iPod Classic. I use it a lot less frequently than I once did, and find that bits of the device's software seem somewhat half-assed, but it's a very, very solid device. Rotational media may be dying, but Apple engineered the hell out of the iPod Classic, making a compelling point that there are still niches where it excels. The clickwheel and presence of hardware buttons make it a far more usable music player, as long as I'm willing to carry another device in addition to my phone.

Also, if you think you might use it, the iPod Shuffle is a great little gadget. Great for working out (especially the hardware buttons and clip), and damn cheap. I'm lamenting the fact that, after 4 years of being paranoid about losing the thing, mine finally slipped through a hole in my pocket last month.

Also, the Smart Playlist workaround isn't quite as bad as you might think it is. Make sure it includes anything that you've recently added, and then fill the rest with your most frequently-played tracks and albums. You can also make an 'Always Include' playlist. Before purchasing my Classic, I had a 15GB 3rd-Gen iPod that I filled this way.
posted by schmod at 7:15 AM on March 13, 2012

I use Google Music/Play and Stitcher on my Android; neither offer the ease and speed of the clickwheel, and both require a data stream that I don't always have. I use my Nano for working out, even though it's very difficult to fiddle with while running at a full sprint.
posted by Camofrog at 7:50 AM on March 13, 2012

If you're eligible for an iPhone, consider it. I can't tell you how great it is to only have to carry one device, as opposed to the cell phone + iPod Touch I had to carry before.
posted by IndigoRain at 8:07 PM on March 13, 2012

Yeah, I'm a fan of the Classic myself. Click wheel/buttons just can't be beat for while-driving, use-by-feel functionality. When mine got stolen, I replaced it with one from eBay for half the price.
posted by SampleSize at 3:06 PM on March 14, 2012

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