Video performance is unchanged from the classic's predecessor -- high-quality video looks amazing, and with the cable mentioned above, can be pumped straight into a TV. It's worth noting that unlike previous models, video podcasts -- like audio podcasts, in fact -- play in sequence, so you won't need to select episode two to play at the end of watching episode one. The handy resume feature will remember pause positions of your podcasts and audiobooks, if set in iTunes (it's set to do this by default). iTunes will also handle video conversion if your clips aren't compatible with the player.
Apple claims the 160GB iPod classic will keep blasting music for a full 40 hours, and video for seven; the 80GB model keeps going for a more modest 30 hours for music, five for video. Our lab tests will confirm or deny these claims, so check back soon. Charging is pretty swift too, at around four hours for a complete charge. You'll need to use the proprietary iPod USB cable to charge from your PC or go and buy an iPod mains adaptor from Apple.
With its vast and unthinkably capacious hard disk options, the iPod classic is quite simply going to squeeze your entire media collection in your pocket. Sound quality is terrific and even a previous iPod sceptic in our office conceded that the classic does sound better than he expected. There are a few bugs with certain aspects of menu navigation, but we trust these will be fixed with firmware updates, just as bugs with previous models were rectified.
If you love your lossless music, your video podcasts, complete TV series and countless thousands of photos, you should certainly consider the iPod classic -- for this price, it's a steal. However, if you're just casually interested in the occasional TV clip and the high quality of lossless audio doesn't justify the extra memory, take a peek at the new iPod nano -- for half the price of the classic, you get a great feature set and a much smaller form factor.
Available from AdvancedMP3Players.
Edited by Jason Jenkins
Additional editing by Nick Hide