One of the things I did this weekend was get myself to the Apple store on 5th Avenue to check out the new iPod Classic in person. I'd seen one at a Best Buy on Thursday, but it didn't have any music on it, so it was impossible to give it a proper tryout. On Sunday afternoon I had the chance to plug in my headphones and test the newest object of my tech affections. I spent about 30 minutes with an 80 GB Classic and another 10 minutes with the 160 GB version. Aside from a few issues with the Cover Flow feature (which Apple fixed in a firmware update this past Friday that had not made it onto the test iPods on the showroom floor), I liked the sound and the menu updates. I hadn't intended to spend the money on the new model yesterday, especially when I saw the serpentine line for the register and remembered that I had other things to do that afternoon. However, there was an Apple store employee standing behind a cart with a plastic box covering an assortment of iPod Classics. He looked like a guy selling watches on the street, but he was actually selling iPods right there. I saw another customer give him his credit card and ID, and the employee ran it through a PocketPC/Newton-like card reader and sold him an iPod. Well, when faced with instant gratification like that, I was powerless. $442 later, I was the proud owner of a new black 160 GB iPod Classic. It was exactly one year ago yesterday when I got my first iPod. My justification for this kind of foolishness is that I'd always planned to upgrade that iPod within a year, assuming that I'd run out of space. When I got home last night I copied my music and photos onto the new one, and I've been using it at work today. I have to be extra-careful with it for the time being, as I don't have a proper hard case for it yet. I'm carrying it around in the black slipcover that came with my 60 GB iPod.
So far, the sound quality is equal to my old iPod, and I like the new cover animations and menu features. It's an iPod, so the differences are minor. I'd like to sort my albums by album name in the cover flow screen instead of by artist, but I think I can fix that in iTunes this evening. There is a minor problem with the photos application. I can see all my photos in the preview mode, but I can only scroll through older photos with the scroll wheel. When I try to scroll through photos I've taken with the Canon SD550 I bought in April 2006, they don't appear. I can see them if I use the slideshow feature, so I know the iPod can display them. And I didn't have a problem with those photos on my old iPod. I read a few forum posts about the problem on Apple's web site, so I'm not the only one who's encountered this issue. I figure there's a firmware update coming that will fix this, but I can live with it for now.
Someone stop me before I buy a Macbook. I'm thisclose to blowing a month's rent on one.