What MP3s Could Replace the iPod Classic?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Scepticalscribe, Feb 10, 2015.

  1. Scepticalscribe Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #1
    Now That The iPod Classic Has Been Sadly Discontinued, What MP3 Players Could Possibly Replace The Iconic iPod Classic?:

    The announcement of the demise of the iPod Classic has been much discussed on these threads, and the whys, wherefores, and regrets have all been aired.

    Some of us have regretted the passing of an iconic device, which revived Apple, and which utterly transformed the marketing, purchase and consumption of music (and the relationship of recording companies to both artists and the market), while others have shrugged and sneered, suggesting that we 'get the Cloud' and move on, because, well, everything is of its time, and that time passes.

    Business models change, too, with time, and I can see this while deploring some of the changes.

    However, I am starting this thread to see what people are doing to listen to music on the move now that the iPod classic is likely to become less easily acquired or obtained.

    For myself, the iPod classic was one of the most wonderful devices ever invented, as it fulfilled a crying need of mine, the need to be able to listen to hours and hours of music, as I travel a lot, (planes, trains, buses, cars) or am staying in hotels and similar spots, an awful lot of the time.

    Indeed, my classic has been a constant companion, in either a briefcase, or in a pocket (or lap, or desk, or table) for the best part of a decade. I am one of those who likes to be able to carry my entire music collection in one, neat, portable device, and all I want from an iPod is to be able to listen to music.

    Moreover, the Cloud does not interest me where music is concerned; this is because I have concerns over data - and privacy - and I have even greater concerns over 'ownership' issues. I'm of the world where, when you bought a vinyl LP, or a CD, you 'owned' that; you could not broadcast it, but you could play it, on your own devices, for as long and as often, as you wished.

    The new model of continuously renewed rented ownership makes access to music an ongoing income generator, rather than one, where, once money has changed hands, the transaction was completed.

    Re classics, I have two which are still working perfectly well. And, realising that the device would most likely be discontinued, I also was fortunate in that I was able to acquire a spare classic or two, which should see me through the next few years.

    However, on the matter of devices that exist solely (or mainly) for listening to music (and no, I am not really talking about those that can download apps, and so on) are there any substitutes that people are using, or would contemplate using, or would care to recommend or offer observations on? Even if it means leaving the Apple ecological system?

    In any case, I note that Zune has been discontinued, while Creative have produced some pretty good MP3s. This past week-end, I was shown a stunning MP3 device, by Astell & Kern, stunning, but stratospherically expensive.




     
  2. decafjava macrumors 68000

    decafjava

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    #2
    May I ask how big your library is Scepticalscribe? One advantage of the Classic was the huge space for a reasonably sized library of music, even losless. I presume that the iPod nano would not be a acceptable substitute for that reason though I imagine if you travel with your laptop that might be a workaround?
     
  3. roadbloc macrumors G3

    roadbloc

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    #3
    I've gone and got my BlackBerry a 128GB SD Card just encase my Classic ever dies on me, something I feel many others will do once their beloved Classic finally plays its last track.
     
  4. Scepticalscribe, Feb 10, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 10, 2015

    Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #4
    Thanks for your replies.

    A little over 8OGB at the moment (and growing).

    And no, the Nano is not ideal - though I love the form factor of the Nano - for that precise reason.

    I am a music lover - I have never owned a TV but my CDs number hundreds and hundreds (as, sadly, does my vinyl collection; must get a turntable that can play them, too). Indeed, I can hardly pass a music shop without strolling in and making some sort of an impulse purchase, so my CDs are constantly being added to.

    This past week end (I had attended an Ennio Morricone concert - it was a belated Christmas present from my brother, as the original concert, which had been scheduled for December was postponed due to Morricone's ill health), I bought a Morricone CD, (no surprise there), 'Breakfast In America' by Supertramp, (which I have as an LP, but, again, hadn't heard in an age) and seriously debated buying 'Rubber Soul' (an album I haven't heard in ages) by The Beatles.

    And this morning's post brought a CD by the late, great, David Munrow (some lovely Renaissance music).


    ----------

    Hm. I don't have a Blackberry, but I can see exactly where you are coming from.

    For now, I am amply supplied. My current classics work, and I do have a spare, ordered - and put aside - the minute I heard that they were to be discontinued.

    My concern is for the future…...
     
  5. MickeyVee macrumors member

    MickeyVee

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    #5
    I went the A&K100 II route and would never look back. Superb interface and stunning sound quality but getting music on it from a Mac is a PIA. My iPod classic (5G U2 edition) is now retired.
    You can go cheaper with a FiiO X1 or X5 or an AK100 MkII and then add a MicroSD card to increase storage. They're not just MP3 devices as they do all formats including HiRes and some do DSD.
    If you're looking just for MP3, they might be overkill.

     
  6. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #6
    Ah, thank you very much.

    Is the A&K 100 Mk II really that good?

    This is what I was shown in a high end audio store where we - the young man perched on a high stool, and I - had this very discussion - 'what will I do now that the wonderful, iconic, iPod classic has been so treacherously assassinated and is now discontinued by Apple'?

    (This is a place where I had bought - many months ago - a B&W P5, along with a B&W Zeppelin and a pair of B&W MM1s, so they knew me). By way of reply, the young man (who agreed with me), hopped off his stool, rummaged in a drawer, and produced this exquisite device, recommending it highly, and informing me that it is what his boss uses, now that Apple have discontinued the iconic iPod classic.

    Whereupon, he instructed me to listen to it, using my own B&W headphones (stowed away in my briefcase).

    I have to say that the build quality is stunning, and the sound excellent. I did hear that transferring music tom a Mac to the A&K is something of a PIA (lovely expression and acronym), which was gloomily confirmed by the high end audio store yesterday on the phone.

    (Actually, this brought right back to mind the tedium, the utter tedium, of dealing with Windows stuff in the days before I had iTunes, when I destroyed God knows how many blank CDs trying to create playlists with a dreadful system that was anything but intuitive, one which required intense concentration, a lot of hard work and utter sobriety - God help you if you tried to put together a playlist while ever so slightly intoxicated; the potential for disaster loomed ominously large).
     
  7. venomgt95 macrumors 6502

    venomgt95

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    #7
    I just bought a FireWire charger for my 3rd Gen iPod. So HOPEFULLY i will be able to revive it! :)
     
  8. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #8
    Good luck with it, and I hope it fully comes back to life for you.
     
  9. sracer macrumors 603

    sracer

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    #9
    One thing that many others don't get about the iPod Classic is that it isn't simply the storage size of the device that makes it unique. It is the visual and physical UI that makes it unique.... and unfortunately irreplaceable.

    I have a variety of devices that are attempting to fill the gap, but none are proper replacements.
     
  10. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #10
    And the sheer, effortless, ease of use…….

    But yes, I agree with you. The capacity, the visual and physical UI, ease of use (including ease of transferring songs on your computer to it…) have all added to this - icon's - irreplaceability.
     
  11. racoop macrumors member

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    #11
    I lament the loss of the Classic too. Holding onto mine with extra TLC these days.

    But, I'll be willing to bet a six pack of my favorite beer that Apple comes out with some kind of high capacity music player this year. Maybe a 128 GB Touch.
     
  12. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #12
    You would bet a six pack of your favourite beer on such a thing? My, that is the true sign of an incorrigible optimist.

    To be honest, much though I love the iPod Touch, and even more, though I would dearly love to see the introduction of a device such as you mentioned - (an iPod Touch with a SSD of 128 GB would be most welcome indeed), I will reserve my pleasure (and a six pack of my favourite beer) until the advent and dawning of that happy day.
     
  13. Jessica Lares macrumors G3

    Jessica Lares

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    #13
    I still think it's too early. Anything you buy now, will probably have the same issues like dying batteries and hardware starting to malfunction, so why think about it now? Is spending $700 on a solution that will last you as long as an $500 unopened box iPod worth the extra money? Especially when it means that you have to go out and spend additional money for the bigger SD cards?

    I'm a consumer. I like music, I collect demos, b-sides, instrumentals, live sets, etc. But I really don't want to buy a device that is designed to play high end formats.
     
  14. racoop macrumors member

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    #14

    LOL your username says it all! Well, if I lose, as far as anyone knows my favorite beer is Pabst Ultra Light :D
     
  15. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #15
    Actually, I think it is very possible that you are absolutely right, and that it is too early. to hunt about for a replacement MP3.

    However, a fishing expedition, a fact finding expedition, - of the sort that simply seeks out information, rather than hoping to net a haul - is something I have always found to be very useful indeed.

    The thread was prompted, firstly, by the fact that Apple (and may the Gods I whose existence I doubt damn their greedy rotten hearts and profit swollen purses) have decided to discontinue the production of the iPod classic.

    And, secondly, it was also prompted by the fact that I was shown a stupefyingly gorgeous MP3 player by Astell & Kern on this Sunday past. The sight of this exquisite device was what gave rise to impure thoughts, the first thoughts of the kind that had crossed my mind in around a decade. These tantalisingly impure thoughts were of the sort that admitted the idea of abandoning the Apple eco-system in order to find a sturdy, capacious, beautifully built, MP3 that would play my music. [/SIZE][/FONT]

    Yes, I suppose it does, now that you mention it. Casting a slightly skeptical eye on some of the world's pronouncements has stood me in good stead…..Still, 'Scepticalscribe' sounds an awful lot better than 'Credulous-scribe', don't you think?
     
  16. Slix macrumors 6502a

    Slix

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    #16
    Well, someday, we'll need a replacement, I'd say, but for now, I don't really see it as a problem. I'm really into music, have 9 iPods, most of which I use on a regular basis, but my main classic is a 4th gen iPod with a 20 GB drive. More than enough for me right now, and the iPod is 10 years old. So I can't see why a 6th gen classic wouldn't work well for people for the next 10+ years.

    Plus, as sracer said, the iPod has so much uniqueness to it, the UI, the storage, the syncing, all of it, that almost make me never want to have to find something else, even if it means I'll be using a 20 year old device at some point.

    I hope that made sense. :p
     
  17. MickeyVee macrumors member

    MickeyVee

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    #17
    I've used a number of players from FiiO and AK. Note that the AK100 MkII and the AK100 II are two very different units with the AK100 II being the latest (and um, uses Android for the OS). It's got a beautiful UI, easy to use and I really like the mechanical controls, optical out and bluetooth remote. It's a great source and light years ahead of the iPod classic. I just can't listen to my iPod classic anymore (I'm using Shure and Westone IEMs and the HiFiMAN HE400i amongst other headphones)

    BUT! as I said previously, if you're just doing MP3's or music off the iTunes store, it may be overkill. An AK100 MkII (easy to get used now with the AK100 II out and people upgrading) would be a good value and inline with what an iPod Classic sold at new. Get the right tool for the right job.
    re Transferring Music:
    - AK 100 MkII - the micro SD mounts as a regular drive so it's just drag and drop right from iTunes (you may want to rename the files)
    - AK 100 II (latest version) - You have to download the Android File Transfer utility and then it's drag and drop.

    Hope this helps, M



     
  18. rsmith83 macrumors member

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    #18
    I still have a 160GB iPod Classic that stays in my car. I, too, drive a lot for work, so my entire music library goes with me. The battery in my iPod is shot so I have to keep it constantly plugged into a power source. I'm too scared to open it and try to replace the battery because I don't want to mess anything up.

    I am really upset about the decision to discontinue the Classic line. Apple constantly pushes iTunes at its customers, wants you to buy music from them, offers you iTunes Match, and then discontinues the one device with a large enough storage capacity to hold it all.

    I don't feel I should have to carry all my music on my phone, and it wouldn't fit anyway considering I only have a 64GB phone. I also think it's ridiculous to buy an iPhone or iPod Touch just for music, considering the phone is pushing $1000 off-contract and the iPod Touch is really overkill if you're just looking for a music player. I don't buy into this idea of streaming from the cloud to solve my storage space issues, because data plans on US carriers are still ridiculously expensive. It doesn't take much music or video to kill even a 10gb/month data plan. I live in an area where cell reception is spotty and wifi is not widely available, so even when I've tried streaming from things like Pandora, songs skip or pause while it loads.

    Are there other music players that support the Apple file format from the iTunes store? Not that I've heard. And that makes me angry with Apple, because I've bought into this ecosystem and now I have all this music that I can play on my computer or my iPhone and that's about it.
     
  19. venomgt95 macrumors 6502

    venomgt95

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    #19

    As Tim said, they apparently couldn't get the parts to make it anymore. Maybe they could if they didnt use all that metal towards the iPhone 6+...
     
  20. Scepticalscribe, Feb 12, 2015
    Last edited: Feb 12, 2015

    Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #20
    Many thanks to all who have taken the time and trouble to reply thus far. I am grateful to you for your courtesy, ideas and information.

    Re 'Tim', maybe it is indeed true that he couldn't 'get the spare parts'. However, I have a feeling that the reason he gave for discontinuing the production of the iPod classic may not be the actual real reason, or may not necessarily be the main reason the production of this product was killed off.

    My suspicion, unkind though it sounds, is that they had come to the conclusion that the iPod classic was (and is) its own evolutionary cul-de-sac, or dead-end. In other words, it was a perfect model of music ownership that did not (and does not) allow for further income generating opportunities. It was a wonderful end, in itself.

    Those of us from my generation have rather different ideas of 'ownership' where music is concerned. We tend to think that if we buy a LP, or a CD, that this music is then ours to play when and where we please (but not, obviously, in public and for profit). Once you have bought the LP, or tape, or CD, you 'own' it, and the transaction has ended. However, this does not allow for further income for those from whom you bought the CD.

    Now, this flies in the face of the idea of musical acquisition form The Cloud, where you rent right of access, and for a finite period of time, unless you choose to renew it. You don't ever 'own' the music, you merely rent the right to download it and have access to it (if it is stored on the Cloud) for a specific period of time, and it is a right of access that must be constantly renewed.

     
  21. venomgt95 macrumors 6502

    venomgt95

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    #21
    You have no idea how correct you are. I too feel like his excuse for the Classics demise is a load of bull. Besides the nano/shuffle, the classic was the only other true music device. Keep it around, they are losing possible profits because you make a one time payment for music and such.
     
  22. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #22
    Thanks a lot for those detailed remarks. Very helpful.

    While I doubt that I will be in the market for an A&K in the immediate future (I have enough classics to meet my immediate needs for now), I am most certainly doing a spot of research with the future in mind, as I will wish to have a very well made device that can play my entire music collection.

    Anyway, I must admit that I really like the sturdy design of the A&K - rugged, solidly built and sturdily constructed appeal to me - and so, too, does the capacity of the SSD and the impressive aesthetic. Price and rumoured poor customer service are possible negatives. But this is a device I shall keep an eye on with a view to the future.


    Yes, my suspicion is that the wish to get rid of the sort of customer who still harbours such 'old-fashioned' views on ownership of music. Get the youngsters into the habit of paying for access, as well as content, and used to downloading, discarding, and churning their content, and you have a managed to persuade people to accept a rather different model of ownership.

    This is why it strikes me as necessary for Apple to discard the idea of a device that will hold all of one's content (they have couched it in terms of "convenience"), as that allows for the rentier model to be encouraged - that you also pay for 'rental' of this online storage, as well as paying for the right to have access to it.

    For myself, well, I'm old world where the idea of musical ownership is concerned. I like the idea that when I have bought a CD, that it is mine to play as I wish and that no further transaction is necessary. Moreover, I also must admit to harbouring reservations about privacy on the Cloud; personally, I also like to own my content in a solid, physical, corporeal form (my computer's memory, or an iPod) rather than the ether of the internet…...

     
  23. venomgt95 macrumors 6502

    venomgt95

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    #23
    The only thing i store in the cloud are my pics and app documents. Other than the stuff ive bought off itunes, i own CD's. Im one of the few left in the world who prefers CD copies to digital.
     
  24. Scepticalscribe thread starter Contributor

    Scepticalscribe

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    #24
    Likewise.

    While I can see the attraction of 'the Cloud' for some, for now, it is not for me. I like being able to lay hands on - or have ready access to - my own data, in a physical sense.

     

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