Although when it was first launched, nobody could actually foresee the huge impact Apple's iPod was going to make on the both the portable music player's market and the whole world, this relatively tiny device has actually changed our society, becoming more than a consumer product. In fact, the iPod is THE icon of the modern digital revolution, and it will most likely find its way into the future's history books as one of the most important developments of the early 21'st century.
The first iPod was launched back in October 2001, featured a 5 GB hard-drive and a mechanical wheel. 7 years later, the (now) multimedia player has gone through no less than 5 different revisions, beside lending its name to several other “siblings”, each of them with their own particularities and special features.
The current version of the iPod, aptly dubbed “classic”, was launched back in 2007 and continues the evolution of the original iPod concept, but adapts it to the current market demands and available technologies. The device is still HDD-based and provides 120 GB of storage space, which is quite enough for holding up to 30,000 songs, 150 hours of video, 25,000 photos, or any combination of the above.
Given the huge amount of content the iPod classic can store, it's no wonder that it has been equipped with a battery to match, a non-removable Li-Ion unit that provides a playback time of up to 36 hours (audio) or 6 hours (video), after a 4-hour full charge.
Although it's no match for the iPod touch as far as the video playback issue is concerned, the classic does sport a 2.5-inch LCD with LED backlight, which provides a 320 x 240 pixels resolution. The device supports a fairly extensive series of audio file formats (AAC (16 to 320 Kbps), Protected AAC (from iTunes Store), MP3 (16 to 320 Kbps), MP3 VBR, Audible (formats 2, 3, and 4), Apple Lossless, AIFF, and WAV), as well a host of video formats, including here H.264 video, up to 1.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Low-Complexity version of the H.264 Baseline Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; H.264 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Baseline Profile up to Level 3.0 with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats; MPEG-4 video, up to 2.5 Mbps, 640 by 480 pixels, 30 frames per second, Simple Profile with AAC-LC audio up to 160 Kbps, 48kHz, stereo audio in .m4v, .mp4, and .mov file formats.
As expected, the iPod classic is also accompanied by a couple of high-quality headphones, which deliver a frequency response of 20Hz to 20,000Hz and an impedance of 32 ohms. However, don't expect limitless audio volume out of the box, since you'll have to adjust this setting at your own risk.
Currently, the iPod classic is available in two color versions (black and white) and sells for 250 US dollars a piece, the sales package including a pair of earphones, an USB 2.0 cable, a dock adapter and a Quick Start guide.