Outgrew iPod Classic -- suggestions on alternatives?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by janstett, Apr 29, 2010.

  1. janstett macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2006
    Chester, NJ
    Summary: I'm looking for something to take over from my iPod classic, a media player that's small but has a lot of storage space (240gb or more), and more importantly, can handle having 40,000 songs on it.

    I have a big media collection (over 500GB of music) and I am one of those wackos who wants all his music with him all the time. I'm willing to downsample to 160-192k AAC for my iPod.

    First I tried using SimplifyMedia with my iPhone, but I ran into bandwidth problems with my ISP, so for now that solution is out.

    Then I went back to my iPod classics and put in a 240gb hard drive in my 5th gen classic, and tried it both with the native firmware and rockbox. The problem I have run into is that once I got all my songs on the iPod, the sheer volume of songs prevents me from playing in shuffle mode. I can drill down on a particular artist, etc., but what I want to do is shuffle the entire library, and my library is just too big for the iPod to handle. In rockbox it reboots and in the default firmware it times out.

    So, can anybody suggest a media player with the following attributes:
    • Tons of storage (240+ GB). Ideally I'd like to have my media in its original lossless format but I'm willing to downsample.
    • Can handle huge libraries without a problem. Shuffling the entire library is a must.
    • Sized on the order of an iPod classic. It can be bigger but I'd prefer something smaller than a portable CD player.
    • Bonus if it can play ALAC or FLAC.
    • Bonus if it can handle 24-bit and >48Hz

    Archos 5? 500gb version looks good but has a 35,000 song limit.
  2. Labaguette macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Good ol' Germany
    why not get the 160GB iPod Classic and either get 40000 Songs @ 128kbit/s or 32000 Songs @ 160kbit/s? otherwise split the library by random into blocks of 120GB playlists and use your 240GB HD - i got about 15000 songs on my iPod classic 160GB 256-320kbit/s and that's more than 40(fourty) days of music. You won't even realize that there's only 50% of an album in the random playlist PLUS Genius works with the whole library!

  3. mr.steevo macrumors 65816


    Jul 21, 2004

    The current Touch is 64 GB, but memory seems to double every year. That means in two years the Touch may have 256GB of storage.

    Can you wait that long??

  4. janstett thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2006
    Chester, NJ
    The problem is there is some limit to how many songs an iPod will hold. Scratch that, there is a limit to the iPod's ability to shuffle the library, as I already have the songs on there.

    I won't settle for partial because, even though I usually listen in shuffle mode, there are times I know something specific I want to hear.

    Another solution is to carry two iPods, but I don't like that solution ;)

    Mr. Steevo, even if memory doubles (I already have a 240gb hard disk in the 5g iPod), the thing that's broken is the iPod's ability to shuffle a library that large.
  5. alphaod macrumors Core


    Feb 9, 2008
  6. Labaguette macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Good ol' Germany
    sorry for the misunderstanding, i thought you could pack all your music on your iPod 5G 240GB and just make two intelligent playlists with 120GB and shuffle just one of these at a time. at the current iPod classics you could even hold the center button, choose browse album/artist and jump to any song in the other playlist because all files would still be on the iPod...
  7. miles01110 macrumors Core


    Jul 24, 2006
    The Ivory Tower (I'm not coming down)
    I'm not aware of any iPod-sized device with a HD larger than 240 GB. Probably won't happen for a while either.
  8. Labaguette macrumors regular

    Feb 21, 2010
    Good ol' Germany
    This here has up to 500GB of storage as factory default, anyway you could with that new WD Scorpio Blue 750GB for maximum space. No idea about battery duration though.
  9. Shasterball macrumors 6502a


    Oct 19, 2007
    Man, you guys must LOVE your music. Or maybe you use it for work?
  10. Rise Pig Rise macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    Accurately shuffling a serious mother of a massive library.

    Janstett -- I recently found this thread of yours from almost a year ago. I'm having the *exact* same problem and wonder how you were able to resolve yours. No one at my local Mac store believes me that the iPod is actually unable to shuffle a library over around 40,000 tracks.

    Were you able to find a workaround for this?
  11. janstett thread starter macrumors 65816

    Jan 13, 2006
    Chester, NJ
    Unfortunately I haven't been able to solve the problem. I've just about given up on my 240gb iPod. I used the command line utility to reduce the number of attributes in the iTunesDB down to a minimum; no go. Rockbox wasn't able to help the situation either.

    I even bought an Archos 5 500gb Android media player, only to find out it has a similar problem at about 33,000 songs. (My library has now grown to 47,000 songs). Other like-minded people did the same thing and bought an Archos 5 but Archos seems to be very unresponsive about fixing the problem.

    The closest thing to a solution is using an iDevice with AudioGalaxy (or anything similar) to stream from a computer to your device. The problem I have in this area is my ISP, Comcast, has a bandwidth cap that prohibits me from using AudioGalaxy without restraint. Grrrrr.....
  12. Rise Pig Rise macrumors newbie

    Jan 21, 2011
    "Obviously had no use for his brain, tryin' to jam me up. So I took it!" (Pooh-Bear)

    So cool about the very quick response, man. I appreciate it.

    Yeah actually I've been able to shuffle a library of 36,963 tracks on my iPod classic 120G, and it *almost* made it through the whole thing. Though I did find out it had to simply skip over tracks that were less than a second in duration. (No big deal, obviously.)

    But then I very recently increased my library to 66,666 songs (heh), and yeah... total fail. (Simply reboots when I trigger shuffle.)

    I actually bought a 160G last night, immediately loaded my 67K library on it, attempted to shuffle, and again.. glorious total failure.

    So I'll be returning the 160G for a full refund early this evening, and I guess the only solution left is for me to tinker with and modify my playlist down to 40K tracks this weekend. I will, however, see if it can possibly handle a higher number first.

    I'm an experi-mental (the stress being on "mental") musician, so I have about 10,000 bites of sound on my iPod, the duration of each being less than 10 seconds. (The rest of the 67K, however, are mostly average-length tracks.)

    So do you happen to know if such an abundance of extremely short tracks also jams the iPod OS and/or harddrive up?
  13. dXTC, Jan 21, 2011
    Last edited: Jan 21, 2011

    dXTC macrumors 68020


    Oct 30, 2006
    Up, up in my studio, studio
    About 33,000 songs, eh? Sounds like a 32K limit there. Perhaps the Archos assigns an ID to each of the songs when shuffling, and that ID (basically a pointer) is a 16-bit signed integer. This would cause an overflow error around ID # 32768.

    Similarly, this could explain Rise Pig Rise's problem. 66,666 is larger than 65,535, the largest integer represented by 16 unsigned bits.

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