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The Next iPod Classic

Apple iPod Classic

Apple iPod Classic

I’ve only owned one iPod, a 80 gig Classic iPod. For years I resisted buying an iPod because the storage size just wasn’t what I wanted, especially for the high prices mp3 players go for, and most of the early models were only good til music, with updates coming out slowly (do you remember that there used to be an iPod Photo? That didn’t last long til iPods with video came out). My first mp3 player was a Creative Zen V, which I bought due to its cheap cost and built in FM radio. I had no intention of using it for most of my music needs, and used it mainly as a podcast storage player as well as cheap radio for work. Unfortunately the hardware didn’t last long, and after it broke, I decided to trade it in for an iPod, giving up my FM radio in exchange for 80 gigs of storage space. (Also, I returned my Dell laptop at the same time, and bought a Macbook Pro, so having Apple and iTunes dedicated hardware just made sense.)

Cult of Mac posted a report the other day quoting Steve Jobs as saying the Apple iPod has not been discontinued.

The venerable iPod Classic hasn’t been update since September 2009, and even that was a negligible update to the last model, the sixth-generation iPod debuting in 2007. The long gap, coupled with Apple’s increasing focus on their iOS devices, have prompted some to ask if we’d see the discontinuation of the iPod Classic sometime soon… especially as it looks increasingly likely that the next iPod Touch might come with as much as 128GB of flash storage.

If you love the iPod Classic, though, don’t pay the morbid speculation any mind. Apple CEO Steve Jobs himself has weighed in upon the matter, writing a (nearly hysterical) MacRumors reader and saying that they have “no plans” to kill off the iPod Classic.

On one hand, Steve Jobs’ comment sounds very similar to what Nintendo has been saying since they launched the Nintendo DS, claiming that the GameBoy was the “third pillar” of Nintendo’s console and handheld strategy, and yet not a single word has been mentioned about a GameBoy in nearly 7 years. For all intents and purposes, the GameBoy is dead. I still own my iPod Classic, except the headphone jack is broken and only pumps out a mono signal, and since I have a (crappy with broken screen) iPhone 3G with 16 gigs, the need to carry a dedicated mp3 player that is also not my cell phone is not there. Sure, I miss having all of my music portable and in my pocket, but now I save on pocket space.

I still don’t want the Apple iPod Classic to disappear though. I agree with Cult of Mac that the iPod Classic is largely legacy tech, especially with flash storage gaining and the App Store being so lucrative for touch screen iPods and iPhones. But here’s what I think the iPod Classic should evolve into:

iPod Classic Seventh Generation – your entire music storage home that syncs wirelessly with your computer automatically, while still offering headphone jacks, docks, and all that fancy technology. It should have built in bluetooth to allow you to stream effortlessly through any receiver you have set up in your home. In effect, the next iPod Classic should be a portable AirPort Extreme Time Capsule dedicated to the music experience.

I’m sure there are some other great ideas out there, but this is what I want. I want to be able to store all my music on my iPod, and manage the whole thing on my iPod, and share all my music on my iPod. But chances are, the iPod Classic is dead. It paid for Apple as we know it. Let the name live on, even if the hardware is dead. RIP iPod Classic. Love live the iPod Classic.

One Comment leave one →
  1. georgert permalink
    04/28/2011 2:30 am

    My 30GB ipod was sold off when my collection hit 28GB. My current 160GB Classic now has 80GB of music, books, podcasts and movies, with more to add. While a 128GB Touch sounds great I’d be willing to bet I would max that out before long. The Classic serves a great niche. I travel a lot and got rid of most of my books with a Kindle. The Classic covers most all of my other media. I often put videos on my iPod that I show to others by jacking the iPod into a TV. Apple could make the Classic more relevant by producing a good set of video glasses because others on the market are mostly not great, and provide more user control over video display, such as slow-motion.

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