First Week With The 160 GB iPod Classic

by Chris Adamson

Here's an unformatted collection of thoughts and experiences since picking up a 160 GB iPod Classic, the last one in stock at the Apple Store in Alpharetta GA, last weekend.


Chris Adamson
2007-09-13 18:14:34
Correction: the chapter tool is still there. I mistakenly thought that it was gone due to my finding an Ars article with a redirect-to-uselessness link to an Apple podcasting page, and the fact that using Apple's search tool with the term "chapter tool" turns up nothing. But no, it's still there, and presumably still beta and still Mac-only after all these years.
2007-09-13 19:26:26
I recently re-ripped my CD collection in Lossless format. My old 15GB iPod couldn't handle the files. It would choke on seemingly random files. I ended up converting to 192kbs into a second library. Kind of a pain to maintain.

I wonder if the Classic would handle the Lossless files better?

You'd think Apple would realize that CoverFlow doesn't work logically and fix it.

2007-09-14 08:55:17
"2nd gen click wheel iPod?" What in the world is that??? My 2nd gen iPod doesn't have a click wheel. I may be wrong, but the click wheel didn't show up in the "classic" line until the 4th gen. The 2nd gen introduced the touch wheel that didn't physically move, but still had four physical buttons around the wheel.

Anyway, thanks for the report. I've got my eye on this particular beast, and maybe I'll wait a little while for bugs to get worked out...

Chris Adamson
2007-09-14 09:01:13
Dru: My bad then... what I had was the 10GB 2nd gen, which replaced the mechanical wheel of the first gen with a touch-senstive wheel.
Constable Odo
2007-09-14 09:11:35
You trying to drag so many files at once and crashing the Finder on your iPod is not so unusual since that even happens on full size Macs. I don't think the Finder can practically handle a lot of files at once (memory problems) even though in theory it should be capable of doing so. I hope Leopard will solve that problem with a modified file system. OS9 was even more of a problem when dragging/copying lots of files. It's really annoying after waiting hours to find out you've wasted your time.
2007-09-14 15:26:04
this mini-review was all about the music ...

love the music ...

but want the video too ...

so, some discussion about amorphous resolutions would be appreciated ---

how does the the classicPod compare to the gPod (ie the google VOIPod - um, i mean the touchpod) when it comes to handling output of handbrake (or quicktime) formats that are _notionally_ larger than the SD (720x480) original content? .... not so much for the the on-screen display but for the output to the big screen tv.

ps: attn webmaster -- why are the controls for this webform built with javascript, not with CSS? .... no one wants to leave on javascript or actionscript because they reduce cpu prformance by 50%! not to mention the transition cost of spinning beachball for 5-10 seconds! ... it is annoying to constantly turn-on & off jscript each time there is just one single feature on a web site that requires it! .... i hope in the future that safari/html5 will support more finely grained prefs for whitelisting urls by _specific_ web services!

my bad
2007-09-14 15:31:09
test of webform controls - jcript required?
2007-09-14 15:37:50
ah ha!

so it is the fickin' _preview_ control on this webform that requires jscript!!

... not the post command, just thye prview.


i knew i was right (as if truth, justice and the american way could ever be wrong ;-)

Chris Adamson
2007-09-15 19:02:38
A 1.0.1 update for the iPod Classic went out on Saturday, September 15. I'll add a comment here if I notice any significant behavior differences.
2007-09-17 20:55:12
What am I missing here? Bought my first 160 GB ipod classic today. Opened the box and really NO Instruction Manual here! I am new to Apple and sure expected more for my $350. I can't even save the settings for its clock or year! Connected the USB connector in hopes of ripping my Beach Boys CD. No cigar here either, even though I did sucessfully rip to the laptops' library. Looks like I need the Apple store people to show me how to ...! What a Pain in the BACKSIDE. John K7JB
2007-09-18 10:50:45
The instruction for the ipod should be inside a white sleve at the bottom of the box.

I had Major problems with my 160GB iPod. First I uplaoaded about 2000 songs. It also became sluggish and was unable to add any videos. I would get the spinning beachball of death!.

My guess is the ipod was processing the album art and the gapless crap.

eventually the ipod crashed, I had to reset it.

then, i uploaded the movies first, and it again got stuck at the first movie.

I restored it, and upgraded the firmware to 1.0.1

again, tried to upload the videos, and this time it worked the way it should.

After this I added less songs, about 1000 and disabled the album art in the settings. I then added more videos. and have had no problems. I will try more tonight. I have tons of music and videos.

2007-09-19 09:12:25
So my iPod classic 160GB failed. I went back to BestBuy for an exchange. After much interrogation they decided to give a new one.
I plugged it in, I immediately updated the iPod software thru iTunes.

I then copied 52 videos of 25 mins each with no problems. I copied 6,000 songs as well. No problems so far. It is acting the way it should.

I will add more songs tonight, hopefully it will continue to work.

In my opinion, Apple should do a recall of all affected iPods.

Chris Adamson
2007-09-19 10:47:47
1.0.1 hasn't fixed any of the glitches I've seen, and some are worse. In particular, sync'ing to the computer is still flaky (I just tried 10 times to unplug and replug the USB cable at both the iPod and Mac ends and it still won't mount). Also, post-1.0.1, I sometimes see a problem where I click to play a video, the menu slides out, there's a 1/10-second burst of sound, and the menu comes back in. Clicking the video again works fine, so it's just an annoyance.
2007-09-20 06:46:02
Very very very disappointed with my brand new IPOD Classic...UPLOAD PHOTOS! Yeah right...with a computer only! Apple sells a camera adapter for uploading photos thinking this very expensive advanced version of IPOD will be able to upload images from cameras as OTHER IPODS DO! But Classic F*%#*@G DOESN'T! Thanks for the screw Apple! Bigger isn't could Apple come out with such a product and not allow pro photographers and amateurs to upload images with such a large storage capacity directly from the camera! Don't buy the Classic if camera to IPOD transfer is a requirement as other IPOD's do!
2007-09-21 20:26:48

You said "ripped" a few DVDs... please help me... :D everytime I rip DVDs onto my mac they rip in a DMG file which is only good if I want to put it onto a blank DVD.... How in the world do you get the info from a DVD into a mov format or MP4 format to put on your ipod?s

Chris Adamson
2007-09-22 02:47:49
vanessa: Use HandBrake to rip DVD's (that you own, ahem) to .mp4 files. Drag these to your iTunes library to tag them, and then use iTunes to put them on your iPod.
Leigh Walker
2007-09-22 18:24:24
You know that the new Ipod Classics do not have the video out option, its off. I have the altec langsing mini theater and I cant watch my ipod videos on it with the classic because the video out has been disabled, I am very mad about this and also very disappointed.
2007-09-22 22:23:12
Hi Chris

thanks! handbrake is wonderful.... Once I converted the movie into a MP4 format I had to choose "convert selection for ipod" in itunes before I could transfer the moive to my ipod... all in all it takes about 2 hours... not a short process to watch one movie... :D

Fred von Lohmann
2007-09-23 09:48:42
Check out the CPU usage while the iPod Classic is syncing. On my 1.8ghz iMac G5, it's maxed out (and takes 7 minutes to sync and eject). Syncing a gen4 iPod (clickwheel, black & white), in contrast, never uses more than 30% of CPU. I suspect this has something to do with Apple's recent move to do authentication checking in order to prevent software other than iTunes from connection to iPods. Could all that hash checking be to blame? If so, Apple just hurt its customers in an effort to block competition.
2007-09-24 11:46:11
I just purchased the iPod Classic (first one ever) and I already returned one due to "hardware issues" that the [so-called] geniuses at Apple in NYC couldn't fix, so they gave me a new one... but even with the new one I find that it just stops playing the music whenever it feels like it. It is so tempermental and I am constantly worrying about if and when it's going to stop playing...also, it shows what looks like tv "snow" on the side screen of the playlists menu... Now, since this doesn't happen all the time, it is difficult for me to bring it down to Apple for them to troubleshoot it... I was just wondering if anyone else is having this problem and if it is indeed a glitch in the iPod Classic gadget. Thanks.
2007-09-30 14:35:51
On occasion, after syncing my iPod Photo, it showed nothing under Music. No playlists, albums, artists. Nothing. The first time, I cursed and went back to my Mac and reloaded it. (That is, told iTunes to reload everything and left it there all day while I went to work without music). A few weeks later, it did it again, but this time I was due for a meeting and had to go. After the meeting, I checked it again and poked around. All the preference settings were still as I had changed them, so it had not forgotten everything. I reset it, and all the music was back. Now that I've moved on to an iPod With Video, I have not encountered that again, but that proves nothing.
2007-10-01 06:44:51
Chris, one thing that I've noticed is that my iPod needs to be "awake" before I connect it to my computer, or it kind of goes into this weird no-man's land where the USB subsystem is aware it's connected, but it doesn't talk to iTunes. But I'm typically syncing my latest albums on to it before work, 8+ hours since the last time my iPod was active.
2007-10-08 17:40:07
Just as a note, my 80 gig classic ejects instantly, my old 20G photo took about 20 seconds.
2007-10-10 08:52:59
Full support for enhanced podcasts and chapter artwork has been restored with the 1.0.2 firmware update (which also appears to fix every other iPod Classic bug that's been frustrating me).
2007-10-11 10:33:30
The audio on my Ipod classic is terrible. I have saved music files in every possible format and the audio still sounds terrible. I have also tried every adjustable setting available on the unit to fix the problem. The treble is so shrill in areas that it makes the speakers sound cracked. The stereo width is so narrow, you feel as if you’re listening to music in a tunnel…..
Steve S
2007-10-11 19:28:45
Also noticed another bug. Powering off the Classic (80GB) at minimum volume leaves a sound similiar to white noise, coming out of the ear buds. If I increase the volume past 20% or so, then powering off fixes the problem.
2007-10-14 16:31:48
I'm beginning to wonder if there is an issue with the new 160Gb iPod Classic. The Apple Store up here in Portland at Washington Square exchanged my brand new iPod for another after it malfunctioned and started "clicking" - usually a sign of hard drive failure. It also would not shut off either showing the Apple logo or Disk Mode only. The replacement lasted one syncing with iTunes and the 1.02 update before re-syncing a second time which failed and resulted in yet more "clicking" noises from the iPod, a blank screen and finally nothing. I could not revive it or the other one using every Restore and Restart trick in the book.

The unit was fully charged and even when I plugged it into the charger there was no sign of life. I'm connecting it to a Mac pro 8 Proc I own and my iPhone and older iPod Photo have no problems syncing to the MP. Weird.

2007-10-15 00:39:38
Not to mention the fact that NONE of the ipod ripping software options work for the classic. Not. One.
2007-10-16 11:32:33
i have the 80g classic and uploading stuff works fast and fine, and ejecting is as fast as previous ipods. the only problem is while playin a song it randomly shuts off on its own. Mostly when docked in bose speaker. i called apple and they want to blame the speaker for it. but my other ipod doesnt do it. anyone else have similar shutting off on it own problem, and maybe have it solved. I tried reseting many times and wiped everything out back to fac settings and re added songs and it still does it.
Trina Oliver
2007-10-17 10:52:19
I bought the ipod classic twice, returned it twice. It just got stuck, no matter what I did. I checked the internet for cases like mine. There are loads of them. Many causes for the freeze have been advanced, and many solutions have been suggested, some of them too technical.

If a product really works, then it works; it's as simple as that. One can't be put through all this mumbo jumbo and technical labyrinth, some of it through trial and error, to get this darned thing to work. And by the way, I bought the ipod classic with the simple intention to listen to music and relax my mind. It was never my intention to troubleshoot, do researches and make a whole technical dissertation out of it. If I had wanted mental challenge, a crossword puzzle would have been so much cheaper.

You see, it all boils down to this: FOR FEAR OF COMMITTING A MORTAL SIN, MANUFACTURERS SHOULD NEVER PUT OUT IN THE MARKET A DEVICE THAT THEY ARE NOT ABSOLUTELY SURE WORKS. This is the reason the world is so f----d up in the first place.


2007-10-17 16:41:10
Bre- . I'm having a similar issue with when connected to the JBL radial speakers. Music is playing then suddenly stops and the "battery full" indicator shows on the screen and the ipod switches off. The "battery full" indicator event on mine appears to be instigating the problem. I know its not the speakers as my other ipods don't do this.
2007-10-26 18:23:35
mik- frustrating right?! not broken enough to bring it back, anoying enough not to want to use it with the speakers. one of these days when i have time im gonna drive down to the apple store and show them the problem.. hopefully without having to wait an hour before it does it. ill let you know what they say or do
2007-10-30 07:58:45
My iPod classic (160gb) just stops for no apparent reason when it is used on my Bose SoundDock. Extremely annoying.

2007-11-01 13:12:41
seems a common problem
Chris Adamson
2007-11-05 04:35:41
I've been forced to turn off comments temporarily due to a wave of comment spam.