iPod classic accessory compatibility

Q: Does anyone know if the 120 GB iPod classic has the same input/charging slots as the 30GB fifth-generation iPod? I’m upgrading my iPod and wanted to know if all the accessories I have will work with my new iPod?

– Kelli

A: The short answer is yes. Unlike all of the other iPod models released in 2008, the iPod classic 120GB retains support for both USB and FireWire charging capabilities. The ability to charge via FireWire-based accessories was removed in the other 2008 iPod models. While most new charging accessories use USB-based charging, there are still some speakers and other accessories being sold that charge via FireWire power instead. The good news is that the 120GB iPod classic will work with either.

The one important caveat going from the fifth-generation iPod to any later iPod model, however, is the video cables. If you are using video output cables to connect your 5G iPod to your TV, you will likely find that these will not work with the iPod classic, and you will therefore have to purchase newer cables. Video output through the headphone port was discontinued after the fifth-generation iPod, so Dock Connector cables must be used, but these cables must also be specifically made for the 2007 or later iPod models, as an authentication chip is now required in the cable to enable video output from the iPod. These newer cables still work with the 5G iPod, so if you’ve purchased a Dock Connector based video output cable recently it may be iPod-classic compatible, but unless the cable specifically says it works with the newer iPod models (ie, classic, nano, touch, iPhone), chances are it won’t work. You can find more information on this issue in our article, Apple locks TV out in new iPods.

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