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Does it still make sense to buy an iPod Classic?

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Once they were all made like this: they were bulky, large, energy-hungry, delicate devices, to be kept with all care and equipped with a Lilliputian screen. We are talking about one of Apple's three or four biggest hits, namely the iPod.

In the Cupertino family of appliances, the role of what is now called the "iPod Classic" is strange and complex. At one time, at the time of presentation in November 2001, it was considered the white version of the black monolith of 2001 A Space Odyssey. As in Stanley Kubrick's film, the technology was so advanced that we savages were hypnotized that we contemplated it closely.

Have things changed today? Quite a lot of. At the beginning and for a few years, the iPod seemed like a gift for Mac users only. Then it became compatible with the PC too and this, in 2003, decreed its explosive success. In short, he started selling like a big guy. And you wondered: will Apple ever want to overcome this extraordinary formula that combines the design of a single device model (cleaned and updated every year) with its vocation to contain the entire archive of our music?

The answer came with the launch of the various devices that correspond to the family of iPod products: nano, shuffle, and then touch together or rather shortly afterwards to the iPhone. The rest, that is the good old original iPod, which had been declined in all possible ways (color mini-screen, simplified controls, huge capacity and minimum thickness as far as a hard disk allows it) had become a "Classic".

Today the Classic no longer has the wide range of models it had in the past. Indeed, it has only one, unique case compared to all other types of iPods that are present in two or three different "cuts". For the Classic it is 160 gigabytes, offered to contain up to 40 thousand songs (which a number to be feared and never reached by other types of devices in the family, on closer inspection) or contain up to 200 hours of good quality video, moreover unwatchable on the small color screen 320 by 240.

The colors available are two: silver and black; robust battery life, for an instrument equipped with a hard disk: 36 hours for audio and 6 for video (but in the field they are actually more: 40 and 7 hours). The solidity of the disc tested, however certainly "fallacious" compared to what can happen to it compared to a solid state memory.

For those who love it, those who love it, those who could not do without it. It contains more music and videos than all the others. Indeed, more than all the other summed: two variants of Shuffle (2 and 4 GB) two variants of Nano (8 and 16 GB), three variants of touch (8, 32 and 64 GB) together make 134 GB overall for the whole iPod range. The 160 GB of the Classic are exceeded only if you plan to add the two variants of iPhone touch (16 and 32 GB, for a total of 182 GB) in our total memory accounting.

Of course, on a Classic there are few applications and not even comparable to what you can see for an iPod touch or an iPhone. The screen, interface and computing power make it more like an average Nokia smartphone than the jewels of Apple's post-PC revolution. For.

A purpose in life is always found. You can use the Classic as if it were a walking disco, there are those who go there to run, there are those who go for a walk or by car. But in the ineffable opinion of the Macity editorial team, the best purpose for the home. The iPod Classic is the treasure trove of music, what HP and others are trying to do with the media center. The capacity is in fact comparable to the current generation of Apple TV, even if in the latter case it is an undersized device ready to retire in a short time.

In short: you take all the home music, digitize it with a decent standard (which can be AAC at 256 Kbps or the excellent Apple Loseless format, which reduces the "pure" music sampled for example to 16 bits for a CD and which requires 700 MB of space for a disk, at a size between 40 and 60% of the space, therefore 350 MB for 70 minutes of audio, without any loss of quality) and is kept forever at hand in the 'iPod Classic connected to the stereo.

The advantages? With the base in addition you can have for 45 euros its dock instrument with Apple remote control to manage it, possibility of recharging, also to connect it to the television with a component or composite AV cable. The video formats that can be managed by iPod Classic are numerous and, although not in high definition, make it usable for limited purposes in this sector.

The sensational news, for this use of the iPod Classic, its price. Our 140-gram darling (less than a pound and a half) costs in fact 229 euros in Italy (in the USA they are 249 dollars plus taxes, that is 170 euros plus taxes! While in Great Britain they are 189 pounds, equal to 206 euros). And it probably won't stay much longer in the iTunes store and the Apple catalog.

Maybe there will be an update in the size of the disc, maybe disappear slowly, just when the candles of his eighth birthday have just blown out, giving way to capacious and super-interactive and innovative iPods based on solid state memories. For now, nobody like him is as big as he is. And soon it will become a rarity, like the original Cinquecento.