A review: IPod Classic 6th Generation

By Jeff Copperthite:

A great MP3 player for an average price.  If you run out of room on this thing just storing music, then you have too much music.

One thing that people that know me can tell is this.  I love music.  I love playing it.  I love listening to it.  I love reading about it.  It’s no surprise that, even in my other hobbies, there is a tie-in to my love of music.  So it’s no surprise that, like so many people around the world, I had to have a portable MP3 player.

In 2003, I drove to Greenwich, CT for work, which was a near-30 mile drive for me in one direction.  Thankfully, my car stereo had an auxiliary input (this is a 1/8″ stereo connection that basically allows you to connect any music device to your car stereo), which fit my (at the time) brand new Creative Zen Sleek MP3 player.  Combine that with my Sirius Satellite radio, and I was good to go for those long trips when I was stuck in traffic.

Just over 5 years later, I am inserting the paper clip I have bent specially for the act of resetting the Creative player.  I knew it was on its last legs.  The player would no longer show the title of the song being played, and every time it booted up it had to rebuild the music library.  Furthermore, it was only storing 8 GB of its original 20 GB capacity.

Time to upgrade!

After a long 3 days of deliberation, review reviewing (sounds weird), and asking all kinds of people – including my students – I decided to buy the IPod Classic 6th Generation 120 GB in Black.

I ordered this and a carrying case, and received it from amazon.com (which is really the only store I buy online from) about 4 days later.  Out of the box, I could tell how well it was constructed with the stainless steel backing.  The whole unit felt smooth and sturdy.

Loading songs onto it was a cinch.  I already had all my MP3 files sorted out in Itunes on my laptop.  All I had to do was connect the Ipod, and sync the library to the Ipod.  It did take a while considering I have over 5,000 songs in my collection.  When I was finished, the capacity indicator wasn’t even 20% full.

Now that’s what I call storage!

Listening to the music you’re looking for is just like any other MP3 player.  You can create playlists in Itunes and put them on your Ipod, or you can select by artist, genre, or album.  You can also tell it to shuffle the whole Ipod and play all your tracks in random order.  Remember, this was my first Ipod, but I quickly got used to the controls on the unit.  Center button selects, rotate your thumb around the touch wheel to scan songs, or lower the volume, or scan a track.  It’s very easy to get used too.

One thing I didn’t do immediately was use the included ear buds.  I’ve heard various things about them but I can tell you the sound quality of those ear buds is minimal.  Once I put on my Sony studio headphones, the Ipod sounded fantastic.  It even sounds great hooked up to my surround system.  But please, if you’re an audiophile like me, pick up a better pair of headphones.

This particular Ipod has other features previous Ipod classics didn’t have until recently.  For instance, you can store photographs and view them as a slideshow, or just browse through them with the touch wheel.  You can also store video (although you will need all 120 GB of storage space if you’re looking to put a lot of video on this thing) and watch it.  I myself have not used this feature.  Perhaps if I ever go on a long train ride in the future i’d consider it.  But after all, I did buy this Ipod because it was the best one for music.  I figured if I wanted video and some other games, i’d have gotten an Itouch or even an Iphone.

This Ipod also comes with a few neat games that I discovered sort of by accident.  One game is called Vortex, which is a breakout game viewed like it’s through a pipe-like tunnel.  The paddle rotates around the outer edge of the screen, and you control it with the touch wheel.  There’s standard solitaire, but I wasn’t impressed with the touch wheel controls of this game.  It takes a while to get to different piles and to select specific cards you want to move.

The really cool and innovative game that is included is called iQuiz, and what it does is it makes a quiz show out of your song library.  This was further motivation for me to input as much information about the songs as I could in the ID3 tags.  It’s really need how the iQuiz game does this.  For instance, one question could be “Which album was this song off of?”, and it’ll play the song in the background.  You’ll have to pick from four choices (and for the most part, the choices are albums that are in your library).  It’s a really cool game to play, and will help you remember some of the songs you haven’t really listened too in a while.

I think if you’re looking for a great but straightforward music player, I highly recommend the IPod Classic 6th Generation.  The storage space is more than enough for any music lover, although you will be strapped for space if you plan on storing a lot of video files.  I think this unit will last me a long time, and possibly longer than my previous Creative MP3 player.  It is a greatly priced ($224.95 on Amazon.com, as of 3/5/09) unit as well for the storage space and features it provides.

This is one in a series of acoustic cover songs, original music, and free mp3 downloads here on the Laptop Sessions Music Video Blog.

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