Q: Is Apple going to have a software upgrade for those of us that purchased the first 160 GB iPod classic to allow us to use the Genius feature. I think the reason any of us owns this iPod is because we we have a lot of content. It would be nice to make up playlists and mixes without having to go to the computer.

– Guy

A: Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that Apple will ever bring the Genius feature to the original 160 GB iPod classic. With the traditional click wheel iPod models Apple tends to focus its firmware updates on the current models, and has almost never released a software update for a previous discontinued model. Those few updates that have been released for older models in recent years have been limited to fixing serious bugs rather than adding new features. This has been Apple’s approach to the click wheel iPod models going back as far as the fourth-generation iPod, and it has been very common to see new features added even to incremental models like the “5.5G” iPod that are not added to the even the generation immediately prior.

The iPhone and iPod touch have been the notable exceptions here, but this is largely due to the different platform used by these devices and the fact that they use a variation of the actual OS X operating system rather than an embedded firmware that is closely tied to the iPod hardware itself. In other words, previous iPod touch models get new features simply because they happen to already be compatible with the new OS versions that are released for current models.

The bottom line is that when dealing with the click wheel models, you pretty much have to expect that the features you get when you buy the device are the only features that you’re ever going to get.


Jesse Hollington was a Senior Editor at iLounge. He's written about Apple technology for nearly a decade and had been covering the industry since the early days of iLounge. In his role at iLounge, he provided daily news coverage, wrote and edited features and reviews, and was responsible for the overall quality of the site's content.