Why does the iPod Classic suffer from a laggy interface?

Discussion in 'iPod' started by Justin122, Oct 12, 2010.

  1. Justin122 macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2008
    How could Apple drop the ball on something so simple?
  2. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    What do you mean? That is a pretty vague blanket statement. It is a physical hard drive in there so there will be more delay in accessing data than a solid state storage device.
  3. rgarjr macrumors 603


    Apr 2, 2009
    Southern California
  4. Fuchal macrumors 68020

    Sep 30, 2003
    I have a new 160GB and it's the same speed as every other hard drive iPod I've used
  5. Justin122 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2008
    Every new iPod window that I open up (e.g. going from the Artists section to an artist's individual section) suffers from a laggy transition, a laggy transition which I have not experienced on any other iPod (including the iPod Mini).
  6. eawmp1 macrumors 601


    Feb 19, 2008
    No other iPod uses a traditional HD.
    Makes you wonder why SSD drives are increasingly popular. :rolleyes:
  7. OllyW Moderator


    Staff Member

    Oct 11, 2005
    The Black Country, England
    The iPod mini he quoted has a HD. :p

    I've had no problems with lag over the 3 years I've had my 160GB classic, I'd take it back and have it checked out.
  8. 0007776 Suspended


    Jul 11, 2006
    The iPod mini and older versions of the iPod classic used traditional HDs
  9. Andronicus macrumors 6502a

    Apr 1, 2008
    Oh come on! Why did you remove my comment??! It was funny and a lot less inappropriate than a lot of things said on this site. Oh well at least tell me it made u chuckle before u censored me.

    Well on topic, it's slower because it's a physical hard drive. I wouldn't say it's "dropping the ball" just the way tech works. I have 3 classics and I don't notice any lag (not enough to make me rant about it online anyway) maybe it's because I never update them, idk. I know lots of people are predicting the demise of the classic, but I hope it stays for many years to come. It's my fav iPod. Hold 40,000 songs in your pocket!!

  10. JCCL macrumors 6502a

    Apr 3, 2010
    OP does have a point. The iPod classic introduced the split menu, where album artwork was shown on the side. Other thing that it introduced is displaying album artwork in artist's menu or albums menu, therefore reducing performance. And iPod Classic's performance (2007 model - to date) is significantly slower and lags a lot more than an iPod with video (5G and 5.5G) which don't have as much eye candy, but perform a whole lot better. It just really shows how Apple has abandoned this product line, as they never did anything to try to improve this.
  11. Justin122 thread starter macrumors 6502

    Sep 14, 2008
    I agree. It's a shame, because everything else about the iPod Classic is perfect apart from the back (scratches WAY too easily). I'm sure that a simple patch could fix this problem. I can deal with it, but I was just wondering whether it's a recent patch that has introduced lag or whether it's been like that throughout the life of the product.
  12. jeffy.dee-lux macrumors 6502a

    Nov 19, 2003
    sorry for resurrecting an old thread, but I'm new to the Classic and am starting to get really frustrated with the unresponsive click-wheel. I just upgraded from a 30GB 5G iPod, and it was perfect and super responsive. I don't bother with Cover Flow, but in general, there seems to be a serious lag problem specifically with the click-wheel interface, regardless of what menu or cover flow movement you're trying to control. I find if I flip Hold on and off again that gets it to start responding, but it's really annoying! I had been debating whether or not to just upgrade the HD in my 5G iPod, but decided to stick with the Classic, now I'm regretting that, and thinking about ordering the HD after all.
  13. iOzzie macrumors regular

    Feb 22, 2010
    I'm in the same boat, while it works great and has for over 2 years now, it's still really laggy occasionally.

    Question, how much stuff do you have on there, i have 19,000 songs, 89 vids, 65 podcasts and 1026 photos, with 35GB free 113GB used.

    Maybe its gradually slowing down over time as it fills up, although I thought with 35GB free it should be fine. I really hope

    a) It's updated and not forgotten as it hasn't had a update for ages now.

    b) Steve said its not going, so that a new model really kicks ass for big collections
  14. Pozz macrumors newbie

    Mar 25, 2011
    I found that a factory restore and a resync helped a bit with the laggy ui ( my itunes library is a bit of a mess tho so ymmv)
  15. mac4drew macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2003
    Overall, I would say that the iPod Classic is, hands down, the worst Apple product I have ever owned.

    The lag time on my Classic when navigating songs has been totally unacceptable since the day I took it out of the box a year and a half ago. At the time, I was amazed that the software was so laggy and unpolished. The first time I saw an iPod Nano running the same interface and doing it well, it finally all made sense. Apple cares so little about the iPod Classic (and have the market locked up so well) that they only developed software for the iPod nano and ported it to the Classic.

    Honestly, it is the first time I have received "legacy support" class software on any new device. It's a lot less than I expected from what used to be Apple's flagship product.
  16. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    There is little to no lag on both my 120GB classic and my 160GB (2009) classic.

    The only section there is even noticeable lag is the cover flow feature and even that is not that bad if you are using the latest firmware on the older 2007 models (80GB/160GB).

    The only complaint I have with the classic is the use of inferior click wheels that are at times unresponsive.

    The idea that the hard drive is the reason it is slow is absurd, it is still has the fastest transfer rates of any of the iPods..so the idea that the hard drive is the reason for the slowness is unfounded.
  17. vincenz macrumors 601


    Oct 20, 2008
    Is that really true? I didn't know that. How can a HDD be faster than the flash memory in all newer iPods and iPhones?
  18. ethandt macrumors member

    Jul 26, 2009
    Apple should add in a user setting that allows you to switch to the Classic interface without all the added artwork that slows down scrolling through your music.
  19. combatcolin, Apr 9, 2011
    Last edited: Apr 9, 2011

    combatcolin macrumors 68020


    Oct 24, 2004
    Northants, UK
    The old 3rd gen (last iPod with buttons) is in a different league response wise compared to the current classic.
  20. mac4drew macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2003
    How much music do you have stored on there? How much of it has album art? How much of it is lossless? I believe it takes the iPod classic longer to retrieve album art and ever track details from lossless songs, and it stands to reason that if it has a big database of album art to deal with, the lag time will add up.

    Yes, and I believe this issue is actually either software related or related to lack of processor power, or maybe the OS is designed to have constant communication with the storage device and the pipe gets jammed up (possibly while the system waits for the hard drive to spin up) and this messes with responsiveness. I don't care, it just sucks and it didn't exist on older iPods with less showy interfaces. I would love the option to just shut off the album art if it would make responsiveness better.

    Does this supposed faster transfer rate (for which I would like to see a source) account for spin-up and/or seek time in the hard drive? I would think that would add a significant time cost to any uncached operations. Since flash memory does not need to spin up, I would think it would have a bit of an edge in the "everyday use" department.

    But the truth is, I'm not really a hardware expert. All I know is, this product is markedly worse than the one I bought five years ago and I have come away less than satisfied.
  21. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    As per iLounge's 160GB 2009 review

    "One other performance statistic worth noting is the iPod classic’s transfer speed relative to the current iPod nano and iPod touch. We used the same 1GB test playlist of mixed audio and video files with all three of these devices, as well as older models as noted in the nano’s and touch’s separate reviews, and the iPod classic dusted the other models: it transfered the 1GB in 57 seconds, versus 1 minute and 29 seconds on the iPod nano and 2 minutes on the iPod touch. In other words, in our testing environment, it would take less than 30 minutes to put the same 30GB of content on the iPod classic as it would take 60 minutes to put on the current 32GB iPod touch. It’s surprising that the iPod model that has the least need to swap its contents is the fastest at doing so. "

    80GB of 120GB same for the 160GB since they both are running on the same playlists currently. I'd say 70% of my songs have album art attached to them and the only time I really notice a delay is, like you have pointed out, when the hard drive spins up..even then its so little I wouldn't even consider complaining about it.

    I think its a processor or cache problem because if it were software related I would assume we would have seen a firmware update that addressed this. Could also be a change of click wheel manufacturers between the 5th and classic models that are inferior.

    Only delay the hard drive should impose for the entire system is when it spins up, even then a slight delay at most 2 seconds and once it spins up there shouldn't be anymore lag or performance issues with it...but yet I still experience a non-responsive click wheel when the hard drive is already revved up.
  22. puma1552 macrumors 603

    Nov 20, 2008
    Those with issues should state whether they have the old, fat, 2007 160GB Classic or the most current (2009) 160GB Classic.

    The 2007 models are known to have been plagued with lag issues, but the 2009 models should be dead fast.

    Both of my 2009 160GB models are just as fast as my three flash nano 5Gs. In fact, the Classics are the most enjoyable to use. Granted, I only have 13GB of music, but nonetheless, the iPod shouldn't be lagging, especially if it's the most recent model.

    Also, it is true that the 2009 160GB classic takes a steaming deuce over all other models in terms of transfer speeds. I loaded 13GB (1600+ songs) onto one of mine just tonight and it was done in under 5 minutes.

    The Classic is a joy to use.
  23. mac4drew macrumors regular


    Mar 4, 2003
    Here's the thing. While it may be faster to transfer lots of songs to the iPod classic, what you have quoted there says nothing about the time it takes to retrieve and play a song, or lookup album artwork, in real world, everyday use of the hard drive by the onboard OS (i.e. navigating to and playing back music). And it most certainly does not account for spinup and spindown.

    My complaint has never been with transfer time. I think transfer time is as fast or faster than it was on my old iPod with the glowing red buttons. Frankly, I don't really even care much about transfer time as I usually only copy one or two albums at a time after my first big migration, which I leave going overnight.

    And that's where you and I disagree. My old iPod with the red glowing buttons never made me wait, even for a nanosecond. I feel like the performance of my 2009 160GB iPod Classic is markedly worse than my old iPod. Not to the point where it is unacceptable (I still own and use the iPod as my primary music player), but to the point where I am a bit disappointed as a long-standing Apple customer.

    Usually my experience with Apple products is that newer models have better performance, and this is simply not the case here. While it's true that this model has more functionality than my old black-and-white iPod which only played music, I would give it all up for something with a big hard drive that just navigates and plays music well.

    The additional unresponsiveness of the click-wheel is just another issue that irks me, along with the inability to switch off the clicker on the headphones and have it just use the internal speaker.

    Overall, in my opinion it is a B+ grade product, released from a company which usually does not settle for less than an A minus. I believe it could have benefited quite a bit from software that was better tailored to the needs of the device instead of what is obviously the exact same software that was written for the flash-based iPod nano.
  24. MrMac'n'Cheese macrumors 6502a


    May 11, 2010
    The lag is due to it having a hard drive.

    The lag is the needle reading the disks and platters.

  25. iEvolution macrumors 65816

    Jul 11, 2008
    Lag occurs outside of the spinning of the hard drive, though it does occur when the drive spins up it also randomly occurs even when stuff is loaded in the buffer.

    Poor software development or click wheel deficiencies are the likely culprit.

    It is important to note there is no lag problems with the Zune 120GB HD and considering the 120GB uses the same hard drive the 120GB iPod Classic did it would seem unlikely the hard drive is the actual problem.

    Considering the 5th gen doesn't have much lag either would once again point to software deficiencies or click wheel deficiencies.

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