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lteo
Apr 15, 2008, 11:12 AM
How accurate is the Buyer's Guide usually? I'm thinking of buying an iPod Classic for a friend's birthday next week. The Buyer's Guide says: Buy only if you need it - Approaching the end of a cycle. I've never used an iPod before (yes I live in the stone age).. so what would you do if you were me?



mkrishnan
Apr 15, 2008, 11:22 AM
The guide is based on historical product cycles. With the iPod classic, it's hard to say. On the one hand, it's unlikely Apple would have a large market for an even bigger than 160GB one. On the other hand, they could do all kinds of other things, like replace it with a touchscreen / hard disk iPod. I'd guess at some point they will do this and ditch the famous scrollwheel (maybe not for the nano or shuffle, though). But it's hard to know. They could also do a variety of little things like... release it in colors, make minor changes in battery life, screen brightness, thickness, etc, or reduce the price by streamlining (e.g. removing the 80GB option and selling the 160 at the current 80 price).

If you were buying for yourself, I'd suggest that you get a refurb or even a used one. I'm not sure the extent to which those are options for you for buying a present (depends on the circumstances).

Since you are buying for someone else, are you fairly sure that the Classic style is what they want? The Touch seems to be a hotter commodity / get more attention at this point.

FWIW my disclosure: I have three iPods currently, having purchased a total of four ever (my first broke after about four years). My iPods are a 4th generation iPod Photo 30GB, a 2nd generation iPod Nano 2GB Silver, and an iPhone 8GB.

cubbie5150
Apr 15, 2008, 12:32 PM
Maybe just get your friend an Apple Store gift card so s/he can buy when ready...

rockthecasbah
Apr 15, 2008, 08:05 PM
Maybe just get your friend an Apple Store gift card so s/he can buy when ready...

That's a pretty good idea.

Though the buyer's guide says the Classic is nearing the end of its cycle, I think it's got a good few months before they update it. Given Apple's recent update trends, they have waited for the fall to release major iPod updates after they sell a fair amount of back stock off through the annual University iPod promotion. I wouldn't call for new Classics until late August or September.

Technology is always being updated and surpassed, but the fact that Apple's last few updates have come around that time frame gives the current Classic a great amount of life still. I say buy and let your friend enjoy, but if you really are that bothered by only having what may be a few months of being the most recent tech, a gift card may be right up your alley.

pscoble
Apr 15, 2008, 09:21 PM
Well for the past three+ years its been in the fall with a particular "Apple Music Event." Its been in September in most cases. So that would be when a major update would probably be but there might be minor updates too (Colors ect+) I would say the classic is a fairly good buy right now if thats what he wants.

3247
Apr 16, 2008, 03:49 AM
I don't think there will be a major classic update. Maybe one or two increases in HDD size but eventually the iPod Classic will be dicontinued in favour of the iPod Touch and Nano.

donmei
Apr 18, 2008, 09:51 AM
I dont know. I have an Ipod Touch 32gb and an old 20gb ipod.

The old fashioned scroll wheel is FAR superior for use in a car, or anywhere else where you want to get your music going with minimal distraction.

I really wish they would impliment a "soft" scroll wheel with center enter buton in the touch.

Don

Ryon
Apr 18, 2008, 11:26 AM
Just to chime in about the people who are saying the classic will be discontinued: I don't think so. Many of us have huge libraries and, as far as I can tell, hard drives will always be way ahead of flash memory in terms of storage capacity. I just ordered a 160 GB classic because my 60 GB wasn't cutting it anymore, and I prefer to be able to sync my entire library over having to pick and choose what I want to transfer. It cost me $299 for a refurb. If Apple decided to discontinue the classic, the best available to me would be a 32 GB touch, at $499. In that case, they would have lost a customer. The touch is certainly nice, but some of us need to be able to store lots of songs and videos, not surf the web! :)

If they start producing hard drive based touches, or if flash memory makes some fantastic gains in its capabilities, then maybe.

Re: the original question at hand, a gift card might be a nice idea, but I'll echo the others here who said the classic probably won't be seeing any upgrades until at least September, and even those might be minor. Probably something like when they rolled out the 5.5G.

butterfly0fdoom
Apr 18, 2008, 01:45 PM
I don't think the classic will be killed anytime soon. The fact that Apple stuck a suffix to it shows that they have a plan for the classic in the future. What could happen is that we may see the HDD phased out in favor of SSDs when the cost becomes low enough, since the nano is limited to 1 flash memory chip and the touch is limited to 2 chips. Apple has their iPod line segmented pretty well now, and that can easily continue.

GimmeSlack12
Apr 18, 2008, 01:47 PM
I don't think the classic will be killed anytime soon.

I agree. The iPod Classic is a legacy product and most people still recognize it as soon as they see it. I'm sure they still sell TONS of these things. To the OP I'd say you're safe buying the Classic for a friend, cause no significant updates to the Classic will likely be happening anytime soon (other than increased storage).

roland.g
Apr 18, 2008, 02:37 PM
I agree. The iPod Classic is a legacy product and most people still recognize it as soon as they see it. I'm sure they still sell TONS of these things. To the OP I'd say you're safe buying the Classic for a friend, cause no significant updates to the Classic will likely be happening anytime soon (other than increased storage).

I echo the sentiment. Buying now is just fine. Especially for that type product. iPhone or other products I would say wait. But given that you are bound by a deadline driven purchase and the Classic is just that, I don't think that anything will change in price or features for at least a few months after your purchase. So it is a perfectly acceptable time to buy one.

mosx
Apr 18, 2008, 06:31 PM
I don't think the classic will be killed anytime soon. The fact that Apple stuck a suffix to it shows that they have a plan for the classic in the future. What could happen is that we may see the HDD phased out in favor of SSDs when the cost becomes low enough, since the nano is limited to 1 flash memory chip and the touch is limited to 2 chips. Apple has their iPod line segmented pretty well now, and that can easily continue.

Exactly. Theres always going to be a market for the high capacity iPod.

I have an iPhone. But as cool to use as it and the iPod touch are, they just don't compare to the capacity (and especially sound quality!) of the standard iPod.

I much prefer my 5.5G iPod to my iPhone and 8GB 3G iPod nano.

If I had to choose just 1 iPod to own, it'd certainly be a high capacity HDD based iPod.

If Apple kills them then they lose me as a customer.

psychofreak
Apr 18, 2008, 06:42 PM
Exactly. Theres always going to be a market for the high capacity iPod.

I have an iPhone. But as cool to use as it and the iPod touch are, they just don't compare to the capacity (and especially sound quality!) of the standard iPod.

I much prefer my 5.5G iPod to my iPhone and 8GB 3G iPod nano.

If I had to choose just 1 iPod to own, it'd certainly be a high capacity HDD based iPod.

If Apple kills them then they lose me as a customer.

By the time Apple gets to 256GB touch, most people won't care about the possibility of a 500GB Classic.

Ryon
Apr 18, 2008, 08:27 PM
By the time Apple gets to 256GB touch, most people won't care about the possibility of a 500GB Classic.

I dunno.. by that time there may be plenty of people with hefty libraries of HD movies and TV shows who might want to tote those around. Not to mention that there are already people out there with plain old music libraries approaching (or even exceeding) those sizes. And of course there are photos and games and whatever else...

The original iPod was only 5 GB and it was revolutionary! 1,000 songs, gee whiz! Storage demands always increase.

tangledweb16
Apr 20, 2008, 01:44 AM
I really don't think there is going to be another iteration of the iPod classic.....

If it's not killed off this year, then next year for sure.

mosx
Apr 20, 2008, 02:21 AM
By the time Apple gets to 256GB touch, most people won't care about the possibility of a 500GB Classic.

500GB iPod classic will be along well before a 256GB touch ;)

The "iPod hard drives" are already at 240GB dual-platter and 120GB single platter. Thats probably what the iPod classic will be upgraded to this September.

But I also want to say that there are those of us who value sound quality over anything else. If the iPod touch continues to sound as awful as it does (compared to the 5.5G iPod and classic) then many of us (me in included) will continue to not care about the iPod touch until it does sound good ;)

GimmeSlack12
Apr 20, 2008, 10:47 AM
500GB iPod classic will be along well before a 256GB touch ;)

Ugh, how would you manage such a library? my library of 50gigs (99% music) requires enough time as it is. How do you listen to all of that (500gigs)?

techlover828
Apr 20, 2008, 10:57 AM
Ugh, how would you manage such a library? my library of 50gigs (99% music) requires enough time as it is. How do you listen to all of that (500gigs)?

videos....

iMpathetic
Apr 20, 2008, 11:10 AM
videos....

Many, many videos.

northy124
Apr 20, 2008, 11:12 AM
Ugh, how would you manage such a library? my library of 50gigs (99% music) requires enough time as it is. How do you listen to all of that (500gigs)?

videos....

Many, many videos.

HD Music Videos, Photos, HD Movies, HD TV Shows Etc Etc.... The list goes on.

psychofreak
Apr 20, 2008, 11:13 AM
I still don't think Apple will have a moving disk 500GB iPod. As of now, most iPod owners don't even have a 500GB HD on their computer, never mind a media collection that big. The demand will be too low when iPod-flash has got to 256GB that they won't bother.

Tallest Skil
Apr 20, 2008, 11:17 AM
HD Music Videos, Photos, HD Movies, HD TV Shows Etc Etc.... The list goes on.

I like how you'd need HD on a 320x240 screen.

northy124
Apr 20, 2008, 11:23 AM
Ok then Downscaled HD Videos still a couple of Gigs and better than normal quality you get right now.

slu
Apr 20, 2008, 11:30 AM
I like how you'd need HD on a 320x240 screen.

If you could send HD Video out to a TV via a component cable, then does it still sound crazy? This is what I want. A portable (and dockable) media player. I would love the ability to share anything I want to anyone with a TV at the highest possible quality.

BlizzardBomb
Apr 20, 2008, 11:55 AM
The "iPod hard drives" are already at 240GB dual-platter and 120GB single platter. Thats probably what the iPod classic will be upgraded to this September.

I doubt it. Those HDDs aren't expected to debut until 2009. As said before, Apple could just go to a single iPod classic at a lower price point, while the iPod touch nudges down in price a little further.

We probably won't see a 64 GB touch until 2009 unless Apple want to make a ridiculously expensive iPod touch. In 2009, I think we'll see the end of HDD based iPods, but for now, HDDs are still good enough to beat flash.

atoothelex
Apr 20, 2008, 06:01 PM
I started out with a 20GB iPod photo. I never thought i'd fill it up. Then came the 80GB video. And then the iPod Classic 160GB. I always manage to fill it up. (Mainly with videos and podcasts and such) I would love to see a 200GB+ iPod in the future. I can't wait for september!

butterfly0fdoom
Apr 20, 2008, 06:25 PM
Well, in my case, I have about 12GB of music. But when my 20GB 4G was dying out, I got an 80GB 5.5G (8GB wouldn't have cut it then, and it's even more insufficient now; that and it was $50 more than my 4G had cost me). And once I had that portable video capability in my hands, I started stuffing it with anime. Having video capability and large capacities does wonders to your mentality when it comes to filling the iPod. If it weren't so time-consuming to convert AVIs to MPEGs, I would have filled up my current classic already.

mosx
Apr 20, 2008, 08:41 PM
I still don't think Apple will have a moving disk 500GB iPod. As of now, most iPod owners don't even have a 500GB HD on their computer, never mind a media collection that big. The demand will be too low when iPod-flash has got to 256GB that they won't bother.

Well, most Mac owners don't even have a 160GB HDD in their system. Yet Apple still released a 160GB HDD.

Theres always going to be a market for large HDD based iPods. Especially when it comes to price.

Audiophiles, a growing market, love the large capacity HDD based iPods. HDD based iPods will always be cheaper than large capacity flash based iPods.

Even 1 million HDD based iPods sold during the Christmas season is enough reason for Apple to build and sell them.

Plus its not just about media libraries either. The HDD iPods also function as one of the smallest portable USB HDDs out there. I have the 80GB 5.5G iPod and I use it to hold all of my music and to back up unimportant data for transferring between computers.

I doubt it. Those HDDs aren't expected to debut until 2009. As said before, Apple could just go to a single iPod classic at a lower price point, while the iPod touch nudges down in price a little further.

Depends on who you ask. Some say those drives are already ready to be in the market, some are still working on them.

Apple would be alienating a large market if they dropped the high capacity iPods. They could lower the price, which would be nice. But doing away with them completely would be stupid.

We probably won't see a 64 GB touch until 2009 unless Apple want to make a ridiculously expensive iPod touch. In 2009, I think we'll see the end of HDD based iPods, but for now, HDDs are still good enough to beat flash.

From a capacity standpoint, the iPod touch is already ridiculously expensive. $500 for a 32GB iPod touch? Yeah the iPod touch is cool (I have an iPhone), but why spend $500 for that when the 160GB iPod classic is $150 less?

As I said, the iPod touch is cool. The features are neat, even though Apple has made it clear they're going to nickel and dime people to death with charging for the updates. I think that reason alone will be why the iPod touch never becomes as popular as the other iPods. But anyway, as a pure music player, the iPod touch doesn't cut it. The interface, while neat, is not nearly as simple and straight forward (and easy to use) as the iPod classic and nano for pure music. Theres also the sound quality and storage aspects. The 8GB iPod nano (I have one) sounds better and is much smaller than the iPod touch. It's also a lot cheaper. The iPod classic (especially the 5.5G) is a much better value for capacity and sounds better than both the touch and the nano.

Theres more people out there who want pure media players rather than "wireless platforms" and would rather have devices that are the best at playing music and video. In that sense, the iPod nano and iPod classic are much better overall values. For that reason, the HDD iPods won't be killed off any time soon.

If Apple kills the iPod classic then they essentially hand a market of 10s of millions of people to Microsoft and anyone else willing to get back into the HDD based MP3 player market.

Theres always going to be people who look at both players based on value too, not features. Besides, the features of the iPod touch are mostly for novelty factor anyway. Most people are going to ask why they should spend $400 for 16GB when the $350 160GB iPod offers 10x the storage and, in real world situations, more than double the battery life.

SactoGuy18
Apr 21, 2008, 07:54 PM
I personally believe Apple may release a replacement for the iPod classic that will combine a full-screen touchscreen interface (probably a simplified version of the iPod touch interface but with a mechanical volume control) and either 120 GB or 240 GB of on-player hard disk storage, along with more powerful battery for longer play time between charges. The iPod touch is just a tad too complicated for the majority of iPod users in terms of features, and with the current price of flash memory it's not worth the money.