New Toshiba drive to breathe life into iPod classic? | iLounge News


New Toshiba drive to breathe life into iPod classic?


Toshiba, a known supplier of hard drives for the iPod classic, has announced two new drives that could be used to bump the capacity of the iPod classic. The current iPod classic—which hasn’t seen an update since September of 2009, and even then only saw a capacity bump from 120GB to 160GB—uses a 5mm thick, 160GB drive. Toshiba’s new drives are also 5mm in thickness, but offer capacities up to 220GB in a single-platter design with a 16MB buffer for improved performance and the smallest power consumption levels of any SATA drive. According to the release (PDF Link), samples of the drives will be available for customers in February. Apple traditionally updates its iPod lineup once a year in September, but as noted by Mac Rumors, the abnormally long time period between updates for the iPod classic could lead the company to consider a mid-cycle update.

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A capacity bump is rarely unwelcome. But what the Classic *really* needs is a display on par with the iPhone, iPod Touch, and last-gen iPod Nano. It doesn’t have to be a touch screen or a Retina Display. It simply needs to be of sufficient size and resolution for enjoyable viewing of video content. In its present form, the Classic fails in this regard.

I’m confident there is still a market for a portable media player; not everyone wants or needs the “Swiss Army Knife” functionality (and cost) of iOS devices. With a proper display, the Classic would do well in this role.

Posted by Farnsworth on January 28, 2011 at 1:29 PM (CST)


As much as I’d like to believe there is still life in the Classic, it doesn’t look likely. It’s been 10 years since the introduction of the iPod and it’s probably a fitting time for the end of the wheel.
Don’t get me wrong. I like the Classic. It’s comfortable and feels like a solid player, but if you really wanna breath new life into it:

The iPod Classic needs a software overhaul.

Make the album art larger, make the navigation not so “linear” (Point A to B to C gets you to D as opposed to Point A to shortcut to D)

But alas, all this is moot most likely. The internal hard drive is going by way of the dodo.

Posted by BB1970 on January 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM (CST)


What really needs to be done is how music is organized with such a big hard drive.  Would it be easier to have people add the music directly onto the iPod without having to sync back and forth.

Posted by Tetronic on January 28, 2011 at 2:14 PM (CST)


#2, flash memory storage is still crazy expensive compared to internal hard drives. The hard drive isn’t going away until that fact does.

Posted by Farnsworth on January 28, 2011 at 2:24 PM (CST)


The problem is that this new drive is SATA while the existing iPod Classic is PATA.  Apple is only a couple years from having a 256gig iTouch.  Since Apple likes to keep their designs for a long time, I can’t see them redesiging their logic board for such a short useful life on a product that isn’t a huge seller. Plus, they really want people to move to iOS because they don’t like supporting too many platforms either.

OTOH, if Apple has reason to believe that there will be a substantial delay in getting to 256gigs on the iTouch or they can extend the life of the SATA Classic, then the new Classic might make sense.  The only reason the Classic platform could get a useful like beyond a 256gig iTouch would be for HD video, not music because 256gigs is plenty of storage for music.  Apple would need an affordable 500gig Classic and an HD headset display and HD Airplay streaming to iPads and AppleTVs.

Posted by Neil on January 28, 2011 at 2:26 PM (CST)


#3 - What do you mean?I add music directly to my Classic all the time without ever syncing….need instructions?

Posted by Eric on January 28, 2011 at 3:05 PM (CST)


If Apple kills off the Classic they will lose a lot of customers with music libraries larger than 64GB. However I don’t see the Classic becoming an iOS device.

Posted by Andy in London, UK on January 28, 2011 at 6:10 PM (CST)


$5, how much will that 256GB iTouch cost? North of $500. BTW, I would gladly take an iPod with more than 256 GB for only music. I’ve been collecting CDs for 25 years now. My iTunes music library (music only) is larger than 1TB. The more of it I can carry with me the happier I am.

Posted by sallenmd on January 29, 2011 at 1:20 AM (CST)


@7: The problem with that oft-repeated claim is where exactly will they have lost them to? There are no other large capacity hard drive based music oriented players outside of insanely overpriced audiophool aimed ones. The classic is the last of its kind. Microsoft is evidently out of the game, and they were the last name brand HD player of this type other than Apple. Everyone else, even Archos, tossed in the towel a long time ago.

Apple basically has 100% of that market niche, and only they know exactly what their sales are. Are they big enough to re-jigger the innards for a SATA based classic for a bit over 25% usable capacity increase? We’ll see.

Posted by Code Monkey on January 30, 2011 at 10:45 AM (CST)


@9 What I meant was, if Apple kills it, as in removes it from its product line up, they would then start the process of “We no longer support that product” then when the hard drive fails, customers will be pushed into either a Nano or Touch both of which aren’t ideal replacements for the Classis, the Nano has 16gb tops and the cheapest Touch with 8gb is only £4 ($5 -$10) less than the current Classic.

But I do agree with you that Apple has the 100gb+ market all to themselves, but I think it will take more than a memory bump to keep the Classic alive.

Posted by Andy in London, UK on January 30, 2011 at 8:42 PM (CST)


I can see Apple using the new 220GB HDD in a “10th anniversary” iPod classic model. While I would like them to also include a widescreen display like the 4G/5G iPod nano, I don’t see them changing the look of the classic. This would likely be the last model refresh before it goes on to join the iPod Mini in retirement.

Posted by Propeciakid on January 31, 2011 at 6:16 PM (CST)


What I’d like to see is the ability to tether my iPod Classic to my iPad, iPod Touch and iPhone and use it as a legitimate outboard hard drive.

It would be nice to be able to transfer files, photos, purchases, videos etc. back and forth.

Posted by ScooterD35 on February 1, 2011 at 11:55 AM (CST)


If the iPod Nano can have a touch screen that is only 1.54 inchs and is still user friendly, why not make one abit larger around 2 - 2.5 inchs for the Classic ? and have a mix of click wheel and iOS ? and maybe even a small internal speaker like the iPod Touch and iPhone.

Apple needs to think outside the box with the Classic.

Posted by Andy in London, UK on February 1, 2011 at 1:42 PM (CST)


I would welcome the addition of a larger HD in the classic Ipod. In fact, I use my 130 as a backup for all of my music. I’ve had laptops die out on me and simply reinstall my music and I am ready to go. Also, since I recently purchased the Apple tv and can now use it for viewing movies, etc., I would like be able to add what I have purchased via Itunes onto the Ipod classic as well. By the way, for daily use, I use a shuttle for listening to music/talk radio when around the house, in the garage, working out, etc.
Have a great day!

Posted by kevin davis on February 1, 2011 at 2:27 PM (CST)


I could definitely use an iPod Classic 220GB!  I don’t have many videos, I’d mainly use it for music and photos.  In fact, I’m hoping Apple will do it because I’ve been without an iPod Classic (80GB) for a year now and missing it.  I hope they add VoiceOver to the iPod Classic!  I hope they keep the click wheel, as I’m vision impaired, a wide screen wouldn’t help me.  I find the current iPod Classic screen easier to look at compared to last generation Nano.  The only reason I haven’t replaced my old Classic is because I’d hate to go out and buy the 150GB one only to find out they’ve replaced it a month later.  Oh, and people who have wall-to-wall-to-roof CD collections would also benefit for a larger hard drive.  I think it’d be better if they’d made it a solid state hard drive, no moving parts would be great!  Sorry for the lenth of this.

Posted by Bradley Eaton on February 14, 2011 at 8:29 AM (CST)

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