Buying an iPod for audio-only use

Q: I’m contemplating switching my extensive classical music collection on audio tapes to an iPod, which I do yet own. What is the best model to buy just for audio use—no video, no camera or other uses?

– Peter

A: If you’re planning on keeping a lot of music with you and are only interested in audio playback the venerable iPod classic is still by far the best choice.

Not only does it provide the largest possible capacity of any iPod, but it also actually support music playback features that are still conspicuously missing from Apple’s more recent iOS devices. For example, the iPod classic provides optional grouping by compilations, shuffle-by-album and the ability to use the built-in alarm to wake to a playlist.

Surprisingly, support for live updating Smart Playlists also works more consistently on Apple’s traditional iPods than on its iOS devices.