So, for people like me that still get good use out of theirs
I guess the thing is to get a spare while you still can.
Amid all the colour and movement generated by Tuesday's launch of new iPhones and the Apple Watch, Cupertino looks to have quietly killed the iPod Classic. A visit to www.apple.com/ipod/ or its national variants reveals a range of iPods that includes the iPod Shuffle, Nano and Touch, plus the Apple TV. But there's no mention …
I'm fairly sure that real world shops that do sell them (like my local supermarket), will still sell them, until they have no more to sell (at which point they will get no more stock from apple).
They won't just put the ones they do have in a box and throw them in a river.
While phones + memory cards are an alternative, their absolutely terrible acoustics and dreadful battery lifes make them unsuitable to replace a dedicated portable music player (yet) IMO. My Note 2 + 64GB can hold my music library in .ogg format but even with the excellent Media Monkey I still find my old Cowon S9 to be far superior in sound quality and to last much longer out of one full charge.
The death of the iPod may be just the sign that people have replaced the actual quality of their listening experience with the convenience of carrying one device.
I don't think the iPod was ever regarded as having decent "acoustics"? The sound quality was never one of its strong points.
There is absolutely no reason why any phone with a decent set of headphones can't better an iPod and will be perfectly acceptable to the majority.
Maintaining a large music library looks a lot less attractive when Spotify, rdio, Pandora or Apple's own iTunes Radio and Beats Music put millions of songs a couple of clicks away.
Indeed? How does that work when you want to listen to that particular song in the car, or a particular band while at the gym, or your favourite conductor doing Beethoven in your lounge, or any situation where you want your own choice of music at hi-fi quality ? If they had a tardis, people from 1974 would love our computer gadgets, and laugh at our terrible music players.
On the upside, Spotify and other low-fi services work well in an elevator situation.
I stuck a 128GB memory card in my Note 3. Good stuff, and miles better than tw*tify, but how does that work when you receive a call, use your Note 3 as a satnav ?
"'I stuck a 128GB memory card in my Note 3.' Good stuff, and miles better than tw*tify, but how does that work when you receive a call, use your Note 3 as a satnav?"
If it's anything like my phone, it either turns the volume down, or pauses the current track, which is a lot more useful than a standalone music player that you have to scramble to turn the volume down on when you receive a call.
"how does that work when you receive a call, use your Note 3 as a satnav ?"
Much better, for me at least. I don't have a Note 3, but a OnePlus One which I hook to my car via Bluetooth.
When I take a call, the music automatically pauses, and then resumes when the call ends.
While using sat nav, the music dims while the voice is giving a direction, then returns to full volume afterwards.
All in all, everything is better now I'm using my phone as my music player.
My reasonably historic car stereo can connect via USB to a 30-pin iPod, so as to allow navigation and playback of its collection via the controls built into the steering wheel. Anything modern isn't so useable with that particular hardware — sure, you could use Bluetooth to stream audio but then you're having to navigate on the device and push rather than on the car and pull.
So it's an affront to any reasonable person's desire to be free of vendor lock-in, essentially forcing me to buy an Apple-brand spinning platter rather than a cheaper USB thumb drive*, but I will probably grab an outgoing Classic.
* but not cheaper if I have to buy a new car stereo too.
All in all, everything is better now I'm using my phone as my music player.
Horses for courses. I have a couple of identical Sansa Clip Zips, one always attached to the Hi-Fi, the other for mobile use. Not expensive - the Clip is cheap and expandable, with good sound and supports Rockbox. Music is 2 hard buttons away - amp on, Zip on. The car has a seperate satnav and a USB stick for music. A Perl script keeps the sources in sync. I prefer that setup to constantly plugging/unplugging a single device and fiddling with touchscreen apps to get some music. Many cars now have USB integration: If it weren't for that, using the phone would be more attractive.
The only hole is keeping the Hi-Fi zip charged. It can't charge and play music at the same time. I would really like a full size "tabletop" media player, mains powered. But the industry won't make these, because they don't want you to go off-net. They want you on the net, and therefore offer complicated network based solutions to a simple problem that was solved long ago (listening to digital music).
I was looking the other day, before yesterday's announcement, and it already seems as though the prices have skyrocketed on Amazon and on Ebay.
I suppose the only other option now is a 128Gb iPhone 6 or hammer your 3G/4G data allowance and use iTunes match.
Or manage which 60Gb you carry around with you, maybe once a week.
Or buy something from someone else, since you can download all you music in DRM-free formats anyway.
I think there's no cloudy conspiracy here, it's just shrunk to a small enough niche they can't be bothered. As you mention, phones and iPads now offer comparable levels of storage anyway.
Obituaries for the device may therefore come to the conclusion the iPod was killed by the cloud.
And what happens when
1) You go roaming and every Mb of data costs £1?
2) You are in a place that has no mobile signal nor WiFi? There are places within 5 miles of the M25 that have no coverage at all.
What price streaming then eh?
sure the device was old and there are others to choose from but from my experience, my old iPod touch runs for a lot longer when compared to any smartphone I have used even when the phine is in Airplane mode.
Being an 'Old Git', I already have copies of all the music I want to listen to so why would I want to stream it? If someone can sensibly explain and persuade me that I should stream suff I already have then I'll happily buy them a pint.
I guess it is even more simple than that, only those who do not care about such things are likely to buy enough volume to continue to interest makers of this stuff. Put simply you do not count several times over, you do not buy from iTunes, you do not rack up ISP charges you are not their market. Now go away. Their attitude not mine. When a company knows what is best, the off message buyer simply does not count.
Perhaps someone else will provide the sort of device that those with a collection of their own can use to their benefit. The apple band wagon has stomped on most of the competition by convincing most buyers that apple are the only way.
PS, I have no apple products and NEVER carry round any music when I am out. I am clearly not a target demographic so I am free; neither a fanperson, a wanabe or anything else of the ilk, just me.
I do have one use for apple, I have just had one for breakfast, very juicy it was too!
For the numerous times when I am in a place where there is no phone coverage I have a few playlists of offline music on my phone. Could never see the point of having a separate device anyway tbh and since 2005 when I got my first smartish phone I have always tried to have a device that could store music, take pictures, access the interweb and make calls and send texts. And there are also things called travel chargers which also come in handy when not in reach of a power socket for a few hours.
Actually I have even found that most travel adapters can plug into the shaver socket in airplane toilets, so as long as there is more than one toilet you can charge your phone for quite a while in the air before the queue gets too long and people start to kick the door in.
>Being an 'Old Git', I already have copies of all the music I want to listen to so why would I want to stream it? If someone can sensibly explain and persuade me that I should stream suff I already have then I'll happily buy them a pint.
Same here, however, the crap music they are pouring down the radio/tv/Interwebs these days really is not worth storing because once the hype has vanished, even the biggest fans realize how crap it actually is - that, sir, is what you need streaming for.
Killed by the cloud. Hmmm, for me the "Cloud" is at the other end of my (rather good, 7k+ down consistently) ADSL 1 connection. Using this connection (which will never in my lifetime be improved by the incumbent telco) I'm never going to be in a position to upload any significant quantities of my own data.
perhaps they looked at their list of every customers iTunes library of legally purchased music and found zero people had paid for more than about 30GB of music. I'm sure by now they are able to extrapolate what a heavy user will require based on spending habits of their top customers. Given the classic doesn't really do video there can't be many who even filled one with music let alone legally.
Obviously there will be some nerd along to explain how much better lossless MP3s sound through their iPod headphones, and that they only get 37 tracks on their iPod before it's full...
Making statements like "Obviously there will be some nerd along to explain how much better lossless MP3s sound through their iPod headphones" is just adding to the corporate mantra of "just about good enough is what we strive for".
It really is terribly sad that the vast majority of digital music users have allowed themselves to be convinced to accept shoddy renderings of their favourite music, played through earphones which don't even get to the level of "crappy".
Where people attach pejorative terms to others who view quality as a good thing, we as a species suffer.
Obviously there will be some nerd along to explain how much better lossless MP3s sound through their iPod headphones
Oh dear, oh dear, oh dear...
How shall I educate you, let me count the ways:
1. Perhaps you need to go to nerd-school for retraining. For surely it cannot be beyond your imagination that one doesn't have to use Apple headphones... Gasp! The shock! Not that it's that important, all headphones sound crap on the train, but I have a pair of semi-foldable £20 Sony things with closed backs to as not to annoy everyone else. But the other thing you can do with an iPod is plug it into a dock. Which is how I deal with kitchen podcast listening, while cooking.
2. You can't have lossless MP3s. But higher bitrate is better. Or at least better than lowest, and I couldn't be arsed to test all the way up the scale so went for 320-odd. Storage is cheap. That gives me about 25GB of music. About 200 CDs worth. But then there's another 5GB of comedy audiobook and drama CDs.
3. Podcasts are legal. I've never downloaded any music, legally or otherwise. It all comes on shiny plastic discs in order to be able to avoid having to be totally paranoid about backups.
4. Convenience. I like a big wodge of storage, so I can be lazy. I have the choice of all my music. In case I'm in the mood for something different. But I have a wide range of podcasts on the thing. And I like to have all the ones I've not listened to yet. They get deleted when its synched with the PC every week, so I can downoad more. Alistaire Cooke's 'Letter from America'. Thanks BBC, I remember that from years ago, I wonder what it's like. Download all 900-odd episodes you've released? Oh, OK. Turns out it was interesting, as a historical picture of the US from the 50s onwards. Sure I could manage it properly, micromanage each week the couple I was listening to off my PC and onto the iPod, but why? Also some BBC comedy, a few shows I like. Mike Duncan's excellent 'History of Rome' podcast. First episode's a bit dodgy, but it's great after that. And there are hundreds of them. Why muck about playing with storage? Shove it all on, listen through it over a year or two.
I find I like Radio 4's 'More or Less'. OK podcast it. But hang on, there's 4 years of back issues. Oh well, download the lot. Turns out it was interesting. Sure I could think about manging all this, or I could just tell a program on my PC to download everything that looks vaguely interesting, then bung it on a portable device and away we go. That came to about 40GB of podcasts.
Perhaps when the iPod dies I'll see if Neil Young's Pono thingy is any good. I like bright yellow, and I like Toblerone. Or my smartphone battery and storage shennanigans will have improved sufficiently to allow it to take over.
As it's probably the only device left that connects by the old 30 pin erm, connector.
But it is a pain, mine is nearly but not quite full of legal (lossless) music. Yes I can tell the difference, depending on what it's connected to.
The other pain is the convenience of car use. As a lot of manufacturers have a love in with Apple, you may not be lucky enough to fill a USB stick/SD card with lossless files as support over various manufacturers is patchy.
"Yes I can tell the difference, depending on what it's connected to."
Me too, but I really can't tell the difference when travelling at speed on Her Majesty's carriageways, despite a posh Bose system...although I expect the V6 engine doesn't help.
Colour me odd, but a CD rip to FLAC to the music server and then a script / batch job / Foobar to convert to MP3 on a handful of USB sticks for the car. That's worked for me for nearly a decade ... and not an Apple in sight, apart from braeburns.
Oh, and I can legally leave the original CDs to the kids in my will ...
>> Maintaining a large music library looks a lot less attractive when Spotify, rdio, Pandora or Apple's own iTunes Radio and Beats Music put millions of songs a couple of clicks away. <<
I have a friend who uses spotify. Whenever he's browsing his playlists for stuff for us to listen to there are gaps where music that he used to be able to stream is no longer available. I never have that problem with my large music library.
"Whenever he's browsing his playlists for stuff for us to listen to there are gaps where music that he used to be able to stream is no longer available."
And here we have another reason why I abominate this emphasis on "cloud." This is the Ministry of Truth in all its ugly glory. When all movies and songs and books are stored in the cloud and "hoarding" (I see the pejoratives for those who prefer to keep their own data are already being circulated) is a thing of the past, how easy is it to simply delete undesirable parts of history, or to edit songs and movies to suit modern PC sensibilities? All you have to do is alter or remove one file from the cloud server, and it instantly affects everybody. Looks like Winston Smith and his ilk will soon be out of a job.
I give it 10 years before our government starts making it illegal to keep your own copies of media files and mandates exclusive use of the cloud for exactly this reason. Once that happens, our journey to Orwell's nightmare will be complete. What will the penalty for keeping a diary be then? 30 years in a joycamp?
Most likely it was killed by the fact most phones have a decent music player these days. I expect the average non technical person (i.e. not a register reader) has a small enough MP3 collection to fit on a phone easily, so why buy two devices? When the iPod classic launched there was little choice but to have a separate phone and MP3 player.
Don't be daft.
That costs a lot.
No ubiquitous universal Internet coverage in ANY country, nor will there ever be.
Streaming and Cloud is complementary to having your own copies.
I have all my music on CD/DVD/Vinyl/78 etc as well as saved on my Server, my laptop, my media PC, my 160G Byte Archos player and only a subset on my Android phone. I don't yet have any of it stored on my "personal cloud" aka hosting. I may do that as an off site backup, but at someone's house that has fibre and no cap. Too slow on my broadband.
Does any current iProduct take an SD card?
Just a heads up for people looking for other media player options. Sony has released some really nice players. They play all file formats FLAC, WAV etc.. and can handle high sample rates
Check this one out, stick a 64 or 128Gb chip in there and off you go.
As far as I know you wont need any software, you will be able to just copy like a USB drive. So you wont need to use Sony's terrible software and you wont have to use Apple's terrible software to copy the music either.
This player has far higher audio quality than an Ipod too.
Wow I was only letting people know about another options since Apple has given up with the Classic, how did that attract a down vote, baffling.
Cool! Do the Sony players plug into the BOSE docking station I have in my living room? Or the logitech speakers I bring when I go travelling, the are sound like shite but I can run them on a couple of 'AA' batteries if there is no mains available.
How about the docking stations all my friends seem to have? Can I use the Sony players to play my latest music when am visiting them?
Only stupid tinny gadget speakers have no Aux In. Every HiFi since 1950s can be fed from an earphone socket with a suitable cable.
Also the data has to be changed from Digital to Analogue somewhere. Some phones and MP3 players have better DACs than your typical plastic dock with 1960s transistor radio speakers inside jazzed up with alloy domes on the voice coil.
Why don't you trade in your "shite" Logitech speakers for the awesome UE Boom, and enjoy over 10 hours continuous great quality sound on one charge, via Bluetooth from just about any phone or music player including this rather nice looking Sony, or a rather nice looking iPhone?
The main use for my iPod is to sit in its Bose dock at home and act as my main music library - it contains all the CDs, LPs and tapes which used to clutter up the shelves.
A mobile phone is no use for this - you can't use it for other things while it is sitting in a dock on the shelf; or if I've gone out and taken the phone with me then nobody else can play music.
Seems to me a phone is only good as a music player if you just listen to music yourself over headphones, which I do basically never.
There is still a use for a dedicated music player. Anyway, the iPod (Classic) still works fine.
While I agree, I also think this is a temporary situation. I suspect that as we now have iPhones with 128GB memory in them, it won't be long before we get an iPod Touch with 128GB and so by the time your trusty iPod fails they're likely to be available and may be all you need.
Or of course, there's always the option of having a NAS with iTunes server built in (most seem to these days) and keep your music on there and just stream it to the cheapest iPod available at the time that supports it.
I don't know how is it nowadays, but my Nokia 5800 Xpress shamed any music player (be it Apple or whatever) in the market, between 2009 and 2012. I even recall one of my colleagues miffed when we compared the same music at the same bitrate and with the same headphones and he found that is beloved iPod was beaten :-P
Well, I need to get a spare 1 or 2 iPod classics then. My current 120GB still works (Thank God!) but the screen is starting to develop dead pixels, the lock button is on it's way out along with the headphone jack.
I bought it as a music device, back when it was possible to get a Zune or a Creative MP3 player that had expandable memory. But the iPod Classic WORKED BETTER than these. My Classic works better now than my phone playing music, because it's easier and quicker to navigate through the lsit of Artists.
There is not another product like it. It will be the only Apple product I miss. RIP matey, and thanks for all the Fish (from Marillion).
Well lets hope the itouch or the new ipods get a 128GB option soon.
My old 120GB Classic has served me very well. Great on the train where you can never get a 3g/4g signal.
Battery last the entire return journey and does not waste the battery on my HTC one (which struggles to keep its charge for the day as it is).
It plugs directly into my car again not reliant of 3G/4G and I have my entire CD collection on it.
Yes it also plugs into docking station at home. Until we get truly universal and reliable internet coverage (also on tube/train) for free there will always be a place for a personal player.
Even my 15 year old daughter separates music and phone, even though her phone as far more storage.
I bought an iPod Classic just the other week to replace a 120GB model. Mainly for car use and for travelling. All this nonsense about Cloud and streaming comes to nothing when you're abroad or with no signal/wifi. I appreciate each person has differing needs, but the iPod Classic suits mine to a T. I like the choice I have too by having all my music on one device, plus the iPod works very nicely with my car as the media console has a dedicated iPod option.
I've used memory sticks and they take an age to read in the info especially when you hit over 32GB... with the iPod it's seamless.
As someone's mentioned, maybe it's time to grab a backup Classic, just in case the current one goes tits up.
But then again I still regularly use my 10 year old iRiver H140, which I upgraded to 80gb simply by swapping the drive out.
Sure I now have an Android phone which is noticably smaller and can do the same job plus a whole lot more, but that's the problem with it, it's an 'everything' device whereas my iRiver was designed for primarliy playing & recording audio which is controlled by physical buttons that give a tactile feedback a phone's touchscreen right now simply cannot.
...On my 160GB Classic, which is now getting on for 5 years old. So, what am I going to replace it with when it eventually, inevitably dies? It won't be my fixed- capacity, SD-card-slotless Nexus 5. I like having a dedicated MP3 player with at least a passable audio chip and long batter life (I can get about 35 hours of solid listening out of my Classic). Cowon X7? Not if the various stories of them bricking if you drain the battery are true. One of the various SD-card based ones? I rather resent spending between £50 and £500 on an SD card in addition to my music player, especially as the cheapest I can find a 256GB one is about £270.
A real shame.
Remember when the first ever one came out ( 1000 songs in your pocket! ). It got a pretty rough reception in some quarters. Nice design they said but how much! No one's going to pay that for an MP3 player.
Apple, they said, should stick to making computers and stop trying to be a consumer electronics company.
Wonder how that worked out....
Still have my 1st Gen Model (with actual mechanical moving scroll wheel!)
Jumpers for goalposts and so on.....
I still have a 30GB 4th gen iPod that works perfectly well. The battery life is even still usable (about 1/2 original) so I suspect the iPod classics that are currently out there will last a good long time. By the time most classic users (are there a lot of these?) have an issue I suspect the iPod Touch will be at 256GB or more and the iPhone double that. I do however, suspect that most iPods with hard drives will die from battery death long before their hard drives die (unless you're in the habit of dropping yours).
I have to compliment them on the hardware. I have a 30 gb 3rd generation iPod that has seen lots of action for the last 7 years and it's still going strong. The damn thing just won't die.
I has a lot of annoying (and frankly baffling) limitations, product of apple policies: no FM, a limited selection of compatible audio formats, a laughable selection of video formats... *iTunes*... but the mere hardware is superb.
Won't be buying any other apple products in the near future, though. The constrains they put on the users far outweigh their strengths in my opinion.
People go on about the glories of the cloud. Cloud music is great if you are in your teens and only want the flavor of the day, but if you have even reasonably eclectic tastes, a lot of what you listen to is just NOT there. It is not about convenience for us, it is about making sure every track out there is licensed, and accounted for. And if you would rather listen to Klaus Nomi than Niki Minaj, well as far as they are concerned you are simply out of luck.
I own three iPods, two 160's, and the one I use the most, a Gen 4 U2 iPod I converted to flash. Its very easy to open a dead or dying iPod, upgrade the battery, and convert to flash. My 20 gig is now a 64 gig, (soon to be 128 gig) and when I do the 160 Classics I plan on making them into 256 gigs. There is a lot to be said for a player than can hold all my important music, and 11 years of my favorite show.
My biggest fear is one day plugging them into iTunes and being told they are no longer supported.
I have a Nexus 4 (8Gb) with a Google Music subscription and an iPod Classic 160Gb. The former is great for when I'm within range of WiFi but its lack of expandable memory hampers its utility as a music player.
But even when I'm at home within range of WiFi and with a full battery charge, there's still times when the dedicated physical buttons on the iPod make it the device of choice.
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