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iPod Classic 160GB
Unlike any of its earlier attempts at making the perfect video player, Apple has finally given the world a power-packed, neatly revamped iPod. The Classic has inherited many of its predecessor’s traits, but there are new features too.
Design and Features
The 160GB Classic is the fattest member of the iPod family, with dimensions of 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.53 inches. The 80GB is obviously slimmer, and weighs a bit less, but then the 160GB is for power users. If you're one, nothing but nothing is going to stop you from buying this.
A cool split-screen effect lines up menus on the left and images for selection on the right. Coverflow has been included, but it feels different without a touchscreen interface. That said, it still does what it’s meant to do – get you started with album artwork. Navigation is taken care by the click wheel. If you want to know how to add album artwork, please check out my feature on soft fixes for iPods.
However, value addition isn't the only change the Classic has gone through. The AV output feature has been very inconveniently removed. You can set a maximum volume limit, so that you don’t go damaging your ear. You can also use the player as a portable hard drive.
The sound certainly feels more refined compared to the fifth generation, and this too was expected. The player supports MP3, AIFF, WAV and AAC, plus Apple lossless and Audible files. Native WMA files aren't supported, but protected AAC files work – provided they are bought from the iTunes store.
There are, however, loads of presets for different genres of music. The earphones provided are pretty good. FM Radio still eludes the iPod, for reasons I can't quite understand.
Video format support include H.264 video, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio, M4V, MP4, and MOV file formats. Video conversion can be a pain, and iTunes is yet another pain in the posterior. You still can't drag and drop, and support for third party applications like Winamp have been removed.
Start up time for videos is fast, and you won’t face any trouble even while the videos change (or music, for that matter). It’s the navigation that's a bitch. But you have to realize that once the player is full, the 160GB of content can be quite a handful to manage efficiently.
The battery life is amazing – I'm sure Apple's worked on it. It’s fatter and can hold strong for long. I managed to watch a little more than two movies of approximately 2.5 hours each. Music playback is equally well-matched, with about 10 hours of playback.
If iTunes puts you off and you're seriously inconvenienced by the absence of drag-and-drop, perhaps you could consider the Creative Zen Vision:M (30GB). It costs Rs 10,500 in gray and Rs 14,600 officially, while the 160GB costs Rs 14,000 in gray and Rs 20,400 in Apple Stores.
All said, if you're the type who commutes long distances and/or travel often, and want to carry all your music and movies, look no further than the 160GB iPod Classic. As of now, the warranty is global, so even gray pieces are covered. In any case the product's a steal, so go for it!