Reflections on the New iPods

I’ve been an iPod user for four years now. My first iPod was the iPod Video 60GB which has by far been one of the best pieces of electronic wizardry I’ve ever owned. I’ve used it everywhere from my bedroom to the cockpit of the planes I used to fly for a living and it is still a rock-solid piece of equipment.

While the iPod Video is the best I’ve had it isn’t the only MP3 player I’ve owned. I bought my first MP3 player way back in 1998 or 1999 and it was a 32MB gizmo from RIO. In addition my wife and I each own 1GB iPod Shuffles that we use for the gym and other places in which bringing the larger classic doesn’t make sense.

All that being said, my iPod Video had one problem, it wasn’t big enough for my CD collection. When I first bought it I had about 50GB of music, but over the last 4 years my CD collection has grown to the point that, when ripped, it takes about 70GB of space. Time for a bigger iPod.

When the new iPods came out last week It was time for me to upgrade. I ordered a 160GB iPod Classic from Amazon the day they were released and last Monday it arrived. I feel guilty putting the old 60GB out to pasture as it has literally followed me around the world, but it was time and Apple’s latest offerings have not dissappointed.

So what has changed other than capacity? It’s not the sound quality, it’s not the design UI, it’s everything else. The new iPod is smaller, faster, and all around better than what I had with a sound quality that hasn’t changed a bit. For example, to completely fill my old iPod takes about 2 hours from my Mac. To copy all 70GBs of music to my new iPod however takes about 45 minutes. In addition, where the old iPod would take 30 seconds or so to boot after being left for a couple of days, the new iPod does so almost instantly and without any of the subtle hard drive sounds that now make my 60GB iPod seem so old.

Although I haven’t had  the time to compare the longevity of the two devises I must say that on design and hardware alone the new “Classic” is a long way ahead of it’s Video counterpart. Hopefully in 4 more years it will be just as sad of a departure as the 60GB has been.