IPod Classic

IPod Classic

infobox computer
title = iPod Classic

caption = iPod Classic 6th generation.
manufacturer = Apple Inc.
type = Portable media player / Digital audio player
connectivity = USB 2.0 (3G, 4G, 5G, 6G)
FireWire (1G, 2G, 3G, 4G)
lifespan = October 23 2001–present
operatingsystem = 1.5 (1G, 2G)
2.3 (3G)
3.1.1 (4G)
1.2.1 (4G Color)
1.3 (5G)
1.1.2 (6G)
2.0 (6.5G)
input = Click wheel (4G, 5G, 6G)
Scroll wheel (1G)
Touch wheel (2G, 3G)
media = Hard disk from 5 to 160 GB
(Currently 120 GB)
display = 160×128 2-inch monochrome LCD (1G, 2G, 3G, 4G)
220×176 2-inch color LCD (4G Color)
320×240 2.5-inch color LCD (5G, 6G)
power = lithium polymer battery
lithium ion battery
related = iPod shuffle
iPod nano
iPod touch
The iPod Classic is a portable media player marketed by Apple Inc. To date, there have been six generations of the iPod Classic, as well as a spin-off (the iPod photo) that was later re-integrated into the main Classic line. All generations use a 1.8-inch hard drive for storage. The "Classic" retronym was introduced with the introduction of the sixth-generation iPod Classic on September 5, 2007 (styled as iPod classic); [ [http://events.apple.com.edgesuite.net/s83522y/event/index.html?internal=g4h5jl83a Apple - QuickTime - September 2007 Keynote Address ] ] prior to this, iPod Classics were simply referred to as "iPods".

Technical information

User interface

. The buttons are:
* "Menu": to traverse backwards through the menus, toggle the backlight on older iPods, and jump to the main menu on newer iPods
* "Center": to select a menu item
* "Play / Pause": this doubles as an off switch when held
* "Skip Forward / Fast Forward"
* "Skip Backwards / Fast Reverse"

Operating system and firmware

iPod's operating system is stored on its dedicated storage medium. An additional NOR flash ROM chip (either 1 MB (1 MiB) or 512 KB (512 KiB)) contains a bootloader program that tells the device to load its OS from the storage medium. Each iPod also has 32 MiB of RAM, although the 60 and 80 GB fifth generation, and the sixth generation models have 64 MiB. A portion of the RAM is used to hold the iPod OS loaded from firmware, but the majority of it serves to cache songs from the storage medium. For example, iPod could spin its hard disk up once and copy approximately 30 MB of upcoming songs into RAM, thus saving power by not requiring the drive to spin up for each song. Rockbox and iPodLinux offer open-source alternatives to the standard firmware and operating system, respectively. However, at the current time these are both unavailable for use with the 6th generation iPod Classic due to encryption used on the official firmware.

Additional features

In March 2002, Apple added limited PDA-like functionality: text files can be displayed, while contacts and schedules can be viewed and synchronized with the host computer. [ [http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2002/mar/20ipod.html Apple Introduces 10 GB iPod—2,000 Songs in Your Pocket] , "Apple, 2002-03-20. Retrieved on 2007-02-18.] Some built-in games are available, including "Brick" (a clone of Breakout), Parachute, "Solitaire", and "Music Quiz". A firmware update released in September 2006 brought some extra features to fifth generation iPods including adjustable screen brightness, gapless playback, and downloadable games (available for purchase from the iTunes Store).


First generation

Apple introduced the first-generation iPod on October 23, 2001. The first iPod had a black and white screen and featured a 5 GB hard drive capable of storing 1,000 songs encoded using MP3 and was priced at US$399. Among the iPod's innovations were its small size, achieved using a 1.8" hard drive, whereas its competitors were using 2.5" hard drives at the time, and its easy-to-use navigation, which was controlled using a mechanical scroll wheel, a center select button, and 4 auxiliary buttons around the wheel. The iPod had a rated battery life of 12 hours.

On March 20, 2002, Apple introduced a 10 GB model of the first generation iPod for US$499. vCard compatibility was added, as well, allowing iPods to display business card information synced from a Mac.

Second generation

The second generation iPod was introduced on July 17, 2002. Using the same body style as the first generation, the hold switch was redesigned, a cover was added to the FireWire port, and the mechanical wheel was replaced with a touch-sensitive wheel. The front plate also had rounded corners and edges. The second-generation class was available in 10 GB for US$399 and 20 GB for US$499. The first-generation 5 GB Classic was carried over, but its price was reduced to US$299.

Notably, Apple began selling PC-compatible versions of the iPod starting with the second generation. These versions came with a 4-pin to 6-pin FireWire adapter and were bundled with Musicmatch Jukebox instead of iTunes.

In December 2002, Apple unveiled its first limited edition iPods, with either Madonna’s, Tony Hawk’s, or Beck’s signature or No Doubt's band logo engraved on the back for an extra US$50. [Dalrymple, Jim. [http://www.macworld.com/news/2002/12/10/ipod/index.php Limited Edition Madonna, Tony Hawk, Beck iPods] . "Macworld", 2002-09-10. Retrieved on 2007-01-07.]

Third generation

On April 18, 2003, Apple announced a completely redesigned third-generation iPod. Thinner than the previous models, the third generation models replaced the FireWire port with a new Dock Connector and introduced the Touch Wheel, a completely non-mechanical interface with the four auxiliary buttons located in a row between the screen and the touch wheel. The front plate had rounded edges, and the rear casing was slightly rounded as well. A new wired remote connector was introduced. Whereas first and second generation Classics had an auxiliary ring around the headphone port for the remote, the third generation Classic had a 4-pin jack adjacent to the headphone port. A 10 GB model was sold for US$299, a 15 GB model for US$399, and a 30 GB model for US$499. All iPods were now compatible with Mac and PC out of the box, simply requiring Windows users to reformat the iPod before use on a PC and both iTunes and Musicmatch were bundled with all iPods. The battery life was reduced to 8 hours, partially due to the use of a lithium-ion battery as opposed to a lithium polymer battery.

The 15 GB model was replaced by a 20 GB model and the 30 GB model was upgraded to 40 GB on September 8, 2003. Support for Musicmatch was also discontinued at this time and only iTunes was included in the box.

Fourth generation

Announced on July 19, 2004, the fourth-generation iPod replaced the touch wheel from the third generation with the Click Wheel from the iPod mini, putting the four auxiliary buttons underneath a touch-sensitive scroll wheel. The casing was also slightly slimmer. Pricing was reduced and the lineup was simplified, as the 20 GB model was sold for US$299 and the 40 GB model for US$399. Notably, Apple began reducing pack-in accessories starting with the fourth generation. While a dock, carrying case, and wired remote were previously included with higher-end iPods, the higher-level 40 GB iPod only came with a dock. In addition to using the iPod mini's Click Wheel, the fourth generation Classic used the more energy-efficient components of the mini, allowing the fourth generation iPod to over 12 hours of battery life while using the same battery as its predecessor.

A special U2 edition was announced on October 26, 2004. The plastic front piece was black and the scroll wheel was red. With 20 GB and the signatures of all four members of U2, the special edition iPod was priced at US$349 and also included a US$50 coupon for a US$149 collection of U2's entire back catalog.

A Special Harry Potter Edition was announced on September 7, 2005. It was released with the release of the Harry Potter Audiobooks in iTunes. [http://www.apple.com/pr/library/2005/sep/07potter.html] It had a Hogwarts logo engraved on the back, and all 6 Harry Potter Audiobooks which were available at the time preloaded.

iPod photo

At the same time that the U2 iPod was announced, Apple also unveiled the iPod photo.

Positioned as a premium version of the standard fourth-generation iPod, the iPod photo featured a 220x176 pixel LCD capable of displaying up to 65,536 colors. The photo supported JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG graphic file formats, and could be attached to a television or other external display for slideshows. The battery was rated for 15 hours for music playback and 5 hours for slideshows with music. The photo was available in a 40 GB version for US$499 and a 60 GB version for US$599.

On February 23, 2005, the 40 GB model was replaced with a slimmer and lower-priced (US$349) 30 GB model. The price for the 60 GB model was dropped to US$449, and accessory pack-ins were reduced, making the dock, FireWire cable, and television cable extra-cost options.

iPod (with color display)

On June 28, 2005, the iPod photo was merged into the monochrome iPod line. The 30 GB model was dropped, and the 20 GB monochrome iPod received a color screen. The price for the 60 GB model was also dropped to US$399.

Fifth generation

The fifth generation iPod was introduced on October 12, 2005, shortly after the introduction of the iPod nano. The fifth generation ipod featured a 2.5" 320x240 QVGA screen and a smaller Click Wheel. The fifth generation iPod is the first iPod Classic to be available in an alternative color scheme in a non-special edition form, as a black option was added alongside "Signature iPod White", and marked the second full redesign of the iPod's aesthetic with its re-arranged proportions, its return to a fully flat front plate, and its more rounded rear casing. The 4-pin remote port was removed as well, causing backwards accessory compatibility issues. A 30 GB model was offered for US$299 and a 60 GB model was offered for US$399. The 5G iPod was also offered in the U2 special edition for US$349 with 30 GB.

The fifth generation iPod plays video in MP4 (up to 2.5 Mbit/s) and H.264 (up to 1.5 Mbit/s, baseline profile only) formats. Video such as TV shows, podcasts, music videos, and movies may be purchased from online stores such as the iTunes Store, or downloaded from Google Video and other sources, then imported to the iPod via iTunes software.

Videos or photo slideshows may be played from the fifth generation iPod on a television set, projector or monitor with the use of the Apple iPod AV cable or via a dock using an S-Video cable. It is also possible to do this using some camcorder cables with an RCA connection at one end and a three-banded eighth-inch (3.5 mm) A/V plug at the other, however the red and yellow plugs (normally the audio right and video signals respectively) must be swapped around in order to achieve the correct signal.

The fifth generation iPod was updated on September 12, 2006. This update included a brighter screen, a search feature, gapless playback, support for iPod games, and newly designed earphones. The refreshed iPod also had a longer video playback time. Support for iPod games for the 5G and gapless playback for all iPods were enabled through a firmware update. An iTunes installation CD was also no longer bundled, requiring users to download iTunes from Apple's website. During this update, the 60 GB model was replaced with an 80 GB model, and prices were cut by US$50 for both the 30 GB (US$249) and the 80 GB (US$349) models.

ixth generation

During a special iPod-centric event on September 5, 2007, Steve Jobs introduced the sixth generation iPod and the retronym suffix "Classic". Featuring slightly thinner bodies, the sixth generation Classic also sported dramatically improved battery life, claiming up to 40 hours of music playback and 7 hours of video playback. The front plate of the iPod is now made of anodized aluminum instead of polycarbonate plastic, and "Signature iPod White" has been replaced by silver. This means that it is the first time that white is not a color option for any iPod in the iPod family. The sixth generation Classic also introduced a completely overhauled user interface, incorporating more graphics and Cover Flow. The sixth generation Classic was offered in an 80 GB (20,000 songs) model for MSRP US$249/GBP£159 and a 160 GB (40,000 songs) model for MSRP US$349/GBP£229. The U2 special edition has been dropped.

During the Let's Rock Apple Event on September 9, 2008, the 80 GB and the thicker 160 GB model were discontinued in favor of a thin 120GB version retailing for US$249.

Acoustics issues

According to certain tests performed both by hearing and through computer analysis of the sound, the 6th Generation iPods lack sound quality in the mid range, and produces less spatial information (i.e. stereo sound plays 'inside your head' instead of 'outside') due to higher impulse in the treble compared with 5G.Fact|date=September 2008 [ [http://homepage.mac.com/marc.heijligers/audio/ipod/comparison/measurements/measurements.html Measurements ] ] Apple has not yet commented on this problem.

A firmware update, 1.1.1, released by Apple for the iPod Classic is said to, among other things, improve the sound quality. [ [http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/ipod-classic-firmware-111-fixes-hissing-problem/ iLounge- iPod classic Firmware 1.1.1 fixes hissing problem] ] However, no details on these improvements were given on the Apple website.

Another later update, 1.1.2, is shown to correct bug fixes, but is nonetheless another minor update.

oftware issues

The first batch of sixth generation iPod Classics have been reported to crash trying to load album art and connecting to iTunes after syncing for the first time. Some people also have reported that browsing through Cover Flow, playlists and navigation is sluggish. [ [http://www.ilounge.com/index.php/news/comments/ipod-classics-exhibit-random-crashes-lockups/11429 iPod Classics exhibit random crashes, lockups ] ] Windows Vista users also have to download Windows Updates to fix the syncing problems. iPods of the 6th generation (as well as the iPod nano and the iPod touch) introduced an additional checksum in their song database, making it initially impossible (without reverse engineering) to use the iPod with 3rd party syncing programs. [ [http://www.boingboing.net/2007/09/14/new-ipods-reengineer.html New iPods reengineered to block synching with Linux - Boing Boing ] ] This limitation was soon worked around by Gtkpod, MediaMonkey and Sharepod teams. [ [http://www.backdot.com/?p=50 Nerdfest Network default page ] ]

Since its release, the iPod Classic has also suffered from an On-The-Go playlist bug that occurs when users attempt to add songs to the end of the playlist once the playlist has started playing, rendering the "On-The-Go" aspect of this function effectively unuseable.Fact|date=September 2008

Hardware issues

Some users have reported a fault in the design of the click wheel, notably a lack of responsiveness. [ [http://forums.ilounge.com/archive/index.php/t-214862.html Classic Click Wheel Sensitivity-Is there something wrong with mine? [Archive - iPod - iPhone - iTunes Forums at iLounge ] ]

Contrary to the original, September 11, 2007 update of Apple Knowledgebase Article #300233, the iPod Classic Video TV Out does not function properly with the iPod AV cable + iPod Universal Dock. The sixth generation iPod requires the new Apple component or Apple composite cables with integrated USB power in order for the TV-out to function. This knowledge base article has later been updated to correct the inaccuracy. [ [http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=300233 iPod and iPhone: TV Out support] , "Apple", 2007-11-14. Retrieved on 2007-12-26.]

On November 27 2007, Apple released a firmware update (1.0.3) via iTunes, including improved Cover Flow, menu navigation speed and several other bug fixes.

Many users have reported instances of MP3s (and audiobooks) [http://forums.ilounge.com/showthread.php?t=205439&highlight=garym 160GB - Some songs skipping forward after 2 seconds - iPod - iPhone - iTunes Forums at iLounge ] ] not completely playing (skipping), or not playing at all, which as of firmware 1.1.2 has still not been rectified. In many cases the tracks played without incident on previous (5G) iPods. [ [http://www.anytag.de/forums/index.php?showtopic=6842 IPOD Classic chokes on only certain MP3 files - Mp3tag Forums ] ]

On January 15 2008, Apple released a firmware update (1.1) via iTunes. The features and fixes are simply listed as iTunes rentals and bug fixes, although early tests show Cover Flow improvements. The update has also been criticised by users who have reported the volume cap has been decreased so the volume is lower even at full. A small amount of iPods are also said to have bricked since the update. Some users have also complained of hissing noises emanating from the headphones after the iPod is put into sleep mode.

On February 6, 2008, Apple released a firmware update (1.1.1) via iTunes. The features and fixes are again simply listed as bug fixes, although early tests show that Cover Flow is more responsive, and the iPod hissing issue that came with update 1.1 has also been fixed. A small number of users have reported that the volume has been increased. Other fixes are not yet known.

On April 29, 2008, Apple released a firmware update (1.1.2) via iTunes. Other than some unspecified bug fixes, this firmware version comes with neither new features nor interface revisions. The unresponsive click-wheel has been corrected. Many users have reported Cover Flow to be faster to load and smoother when switching from one album art to the other. Music quality has increased but according to a few users' reports, battery life has decreased. This is also the first firmware update to stop users from using the iPod on computers using a version of Windows XP before Service Pack 2 as it needs iTunes 7.6. iTunes 7.5 is the latest working version on any XP before Service Pack 2.

With the release of the 120GB iPod Classic, software version 2.0 was released. However, Apple has not released this update for other iPod Classic users.

Despite these updates, there are still issues with the iPod classic. An update still has not fixed an issue with Compilations and Cover Flow, which bundles those albums such as DJ mixes and "Best Of ___" albums. An option in iTunes allows you to fix this, but it does not take affect on the iPod classic - leaving albums with the same name (such as Best Of, etc.) on the same album in Cover Flow and Album lists. Another bug that has not yet been fixed is when the volume is at 0, music can still be heard.


External links

* [http://www.apple.com/ipodclassic/ Official site]

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