Q: I just received a new iPod classic for Christmas, and cannot use it on my older PC or Mac.
A: The 2007 iPod models now require Windows XP SP2 and iTunes 7.4 as a minimum requirement. If your computer is running Windows 2000 (or any older version), or an older version of iTunes, your iPod will either not be detected at all, or will not be visible in iTunes, depending upon the specific model of iPod and Windows operating system.
For Mac users, the same logic applies, although the system requirements may be a bit more confusing. The iTunes application requires OS X 10.3.9, however the iPod models themselves require 10.4.8 or later (10.4.10 or later for the iPod touch or iPhone).
If your system does not meet these requirements, you pretty much have to upgrade your computer before you will be able to use your new iPod. Although this has taken many of our readers by surprise, it must be noted that both Windows XP and Mac OS X 10.4.x are already one version behind, and support for older (and now discontinued) operating systems cannot be guaranteed to continue indefinitely.
Third-party iPod management tools are available for users of unsupported operating systems, and some of these tools have specifically been updated to support the 2007 iPod models. However, in our experience most of these tools stop far short of providing a full-featured experience for iPod users—for example many of these only support the transfer of audio content to your iPod, not videos or photos.
While use of a third-party tool may work if you simply have no other choice, we strongly recommend updating to a more current version of your operating system to provide the best support and compatibility for your new iPod model.