Lacking the wide-screen wonder and connectivity of the iPod touch and the 4G iPod nano's gee-whiz accelerometer and shake-to-shuffle feature, the iPod classic doesn't feel new or innovative. Rather, it's a tested and reliable way to carry around your digital media.

Small improvements
Apple has made a couple of minor tweaks to the iPod classic. First, the clickwheel has a rougher surface than the previous classic. This allows your finger to grip a bit better, causing that finger to slip off the clickwheel less often than it might have with the original iPod classic. The 2G iPod classic's display is also a bit brighter and, unlike the 2G iPod touch, a bit cooler (read: bluer) in tone.

And while this isn't a change, it's worth noting: The 2G iPod classic is the only current iPod that charges with a FireWire connection. If you have a lot invested in older iPod accessories that charge an iPod over FireWire, keep this in mind.

Apple has done very little to improve the iPod classic with this iteration - that's not necessarily a bad thing. It remains the iPod to own if you want to carry a lot of media with you. The Genius feature is a nice addition as is the ability to quickly browse albums and artists based on the currently playing track, but those additions will convince very few people to trade in their old reliable (and perhaps, higher-capacity) iPod classic for this year's model.

It doesn't include such cool new iPod nano features as accelerometer or spoken menus, and those with large media libraries may mourn the loss of the 160GB classic. That said, it offers lots of storage capacity, impressive battery performance, the Genius playlist support, browse album and artist features, a slightly brighter display, and it even charges with a FireWire connection, as well as USB.

iPod touch review

iPod nano review

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Apple iPod classic 2G: Specs

  • 2.5in (diagonal) colour LCD with LED backlight, 320-by-240-pixel resolution at 163 pixels per inch
  • earphones
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • dock adaptor
  • Quick Start guide
  • Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 103.5x61.8x10.5mm
  • 140g
  • 2.5in (diagonal) colour LCD with LED backlight, 320-by-240-pixel resolution at 163 pixels per inch
  • earphones
  • 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack
  • USB 2.0 cable
  • dock adaptor
  • Quick Start guide
  • Audio formats supported: AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3 and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF and WAV
  • 120GB hard drive
  • 103.5x61.8x10.5mm
  • 140g