Compare and contrast:

Marketing blurb for the 160gb ipod:

Decisions, decisions. Who needs ’em? Why should you have to choose what to put on your iPod? With up to 160GB of storage, iPod classic lets you carry everything in your collection — up to 40,000 songs or up to 200 hours of video — everywhere you go. In a completely new, even thinner, all-metal design, this iPod is a modern classic.

And now for the 120gb ipod:
(freshly announced and replacing both the 80gb and 160gb models)

With 120GB of storage, iPod classic can hold up to 30,000 songs, 150 hours of video, or 25,000 photos. That’s more than enough room for a day’s — or a lifetime’s — worth of entertainment.

Yes folks, I was quite looking forward to Apple’s announcement this week. See, I think now that my Rio Karma seems to be unable to play a song without skipping, keep the battery going for more than 4 or 5 hours and crashes every so often that it could be on the way out. Now, those of you who know me well know I’ve had a large mp3 collection for some time, indeed for so long as I’ve had one it’s always been larger than the biggest mp3 player on the market by a factor of about two:

(some figures estimated, I’m not that anal!)

Now, I’m sure I could get by with 120gb, but it looks to me like when looking at capacity it’s going to take a few more years for flash based players to get to where we are now with disk based players. I do approve of many of the strides that Apple are making in becoming a bit more environmentally friendly after a crap start. But it does drive me a bit mental that they still think that making a piece of technology as thin as possible is more important than making it long term sustainable by having user replaceable parts.

Even the iPhone makes replacing the battery on a mobile phone feel like commiting a minor crime against the Cult Of Jobs. I’d probably overlook the reduction to 120gb if I knew I could replace the battery easily. I mean, come on, surely ipods are so standard by now that having user replaceable parts available on the market could acutally make Apple more money _and_ help save the environment at the same time. Hands up, who’d carry two batteries? In the meantime, you might just find me carrying not one iPod, but two in the near future. Unless the Zune tempts me to continue being an accidental Microsoft nerd.

And yes, I could just go and get a 160GB model, but given the low reviews on amazon and talk of low reliability I’m willing to guess Apple have decided that particular model was too unreliable to stick by, fortunately Toshiba’s 240gb HD is meant to be somewhat lower in power usage and heat dissipation than it’s 160gb predecessor, so maybe it could be in a nice shiny new player before Christmas when the prospect of long train journeys will finally make me crack and buy something. For now, I’ll content myself with the 3000 songs I’ve stuffed into my N95, though AAC HE has some artefacts, there’s not so many that it annoys me when listening for short periods.

3 thoughts on “iSulk

  1. pajh

    The capacity of the largest media player peaked at 170-odd GB in 2007, and then /went down/? I disbelieve.

    Personally, I’ve always had good results from the iRiver.

  2. Mark Brown

    I rather suspect that the reports that the larger iPod just didn’t sell in the volumes they wanted are going to be right. At those sizes you’re running well beyond the music collections of most of the mass market so it’s entirely plausible that it’s just not possible to do volume pricing successfully.

  3. Alison Scott

    I think the problem is that the marketing niche you are in is just too small. For years I was in the ‘oh, if only I had an iPod that carried my whole music collection’ camp — my collection is currently 112Gb. But gradually, over time, I gravitated to smaller and smaller iPods, because if I couldn’t have the whole collection, it doesn’t hugely much matter whether I have 60Gb or 4Gb. And I discovered that it’s much nicer to *carry* a tiny iPod.

    But still, if Apple had launched an iPod that took the lot, I might have got it. But then I got sidetracked to the iPhone and no longer had any serious interest in the iPod classic.

    So. It would still be nice to have an iPod that took everything, for the car. But I’m not about to spend all that money on a car toy. I did look briefly at the 160Gb model, but it seemed a bit of a trivial expense in a year when I’m trying to save money.

    There’s another problem, which is that most people with Huge Music Collections have a ton of music acquired through routes other than purchase (not me though, apart from a few otherwise unobtainable tracks). So they *complain* about not being able to buy big iPods, but they don’t actually pony up for them.

    All these things, plus the creeping functionality of the iPod touch, mean that the number of people just wanting a big iPod is vanishingly tiny. So it makes sense to have just the one model, and to make it the nicer, not so thick one.

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