The 5 Best -- and 5 Worst -- iPods of All Time, Ever!

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DanteMazzola27

I agree with almost everything except the iPod 4th Generation being placed in the top 5 worst. I have one and it has gone through hell, but it works perfectly. I have never had a problem with it since the day that I took it out of its oversized packaging in 2004. I realize that it may not be one of the top 5 best, but definitely not the top 5 worst. I realize that Apple should not have released it, or the iPod Photo, when they did, but the iPod itself is perfect. And personally, I think the iPod Photo sounds like crap compared to the 4th Generation. So don't base your dislikes on mistakes that Apple made.

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ammarvvip

thank you ar..is niceTT
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benet

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DigitalOverlord

Regarding the 4G iPod... So Apple trimmed $100 off the price and added the clickwheel and the 'Shuffle' menu item. This qualifies it as the worst of all time? Because it was cheaper and few new features were added? Where's the logic? I don't understand why having to wait to buy either it or its accessories (the author is unclear about which...) makes the unit itself inherently bad?

Full disclosure. This is the model I own and it has worked great for 4 years.

I guess you have to pick 5 for a feature like this, but if this is the worst you can come up with, then you can tell that the iPod - all of them - is an exceptional product line.

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DanteMazzola27

I agree 100%. I love my iPod 4th Generation.

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the integrator

I love high capacity mp3 players for two reasons:

1. I want to hear any song in my 11,000+ library WHEN I WANT TO!

2. I travel a lot and want my music with me.

The first reason is most important. That's why it's first.

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abw12345

I think the 7 GB ipod Classic is a really good ipod!!!!

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AppleownsBeatles

I not only agree with everyone on the iPod touch element, but on the topic of the iPod classic: some people need something more than 8 GB, and some people have a lot of videos. So having 80 GB of memory isn't as a bad as you might think. Also, I don't think the 1G should have been on there. Yes, it was the first, but that doesn't mean it's the best. I would have swapped that one out for the iPod Touch.And, even if the iPod photo didn't add any memory, it DID add a color screen, and if I do say so, that's pretty revolutionary.And really, what IS so bad about the iPod classic? It's just like any of the other original iPods, but it has more memory at a lower price!

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imajoebob

Except for the B&W screen, the 3G is still the best of the bunch. I'll admit my photo wheel is more "intuitive," but the 3G buttons are more accurate (or is mine the only 4G that sometimes refuses to shut off?) The photo is better on cold days, seeing that I can change tracks without taking off my gloves, but the risk of blowing out my eardrums the other 9 months is much lower with my 3G. [Speaking of which, when will Apple add an objective volume setting in iTunes? Why do I have to fiddle with every song trying to normalize the volumes?]

As for dropping Firewire: STUPID STUPID STUPID! I've had both my iPods apart (dead drives - what a shock), and the circuit boards look like they could fit into any of the new classics. I understood that Firewire was dropped because of video. Apple needed the wires on the connector to move all the video information, so they stole it from Firewire. So they spend R&D to rework the player to handle video and add a new remote, but they can't make a new connector to keep FW? And what good is video on a 2.5" screen? Useless.

So now we're stuck with substandard data transfer on S-L-O-W USB. Don't bother with the 480mb speed, it's a crock. It's 480 if you run nothing else. But since you have to run iTunes it's already slower. Add in mail, Wi-Fi, wireless/bluetooth, anti-virus, and a couple malwares if you're on a PC, and that 480 drops to 250 to 300 if you're lucky. Since Firewire skips using the CPU, it stays at (or very close to) the full 400. If you don't think there's any noticeable difference, try copying 20GB to an external drive on FW, then do the same on USB. Then try loading your entire 73GB iTunes library to your spanking new USB-only classic. You'll curse the day Apple made the video iPod.

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ballistik

We can't forget... the 3g ipod also came with the DOCK (like, a full featured dock, not a "dock insert", and it also came with a REMOTE CONTROL and an IPOD CLOTH CASE and tons of other goodies. What do u get these days? I love the lighted red lights. I still have mine! (as well as my 6 others, lol.) My other favorite is the iPod Touch (the new one) and the iPod Classic 80gig. I disagree with the designation of "worst" for the ipod classic 80 gig.

YES. Some people *REALLY DO* have 80 gigs of music and want to take it with them! Todays measly 8 gigs (etc) of ipods as of late is NOT cool..

B

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mongoose961

I have to admit among all the glits and glamor of the click wheel and touch iPods, I have to give props to the little iPod that could...
The first gen Shuffle. I have had this 1GB wonder since it first came out and it has been nothing but a joy. I can let the kids play with it and there is nothing to break, the sound is great, and the portability of it is its' best feature. GIVE THE LITTLE GUY HIS PROPS!

Taking my Macs mobile & and worldwide

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AFCdtLoeb

I completely agree with almost everything on this list. However, I would substitute the fifth generation full size for the fat nano. While the fat nano was cute, it wasn't the huge deal that the 5G was, because the 5G was the first time the iPod could do video. I remember working for Apple at the time, and remembering how quickly they flew off the shelves when people saw video in their hand for the first time ever.

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Michael Simon

Good point. I picked the "fatty" because of its design and video capabilities, but the 5G was certainly no slouch. 

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macs4me

I still have my 3G ipod and use it daily in my car. It is the best ipod design and they should have kept the buttons going. I have the very first ipod as well and it still works!

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WalrusCP

How the heck is the iPod Touch not in the 5 best? I completely disagree with the logic that the iPod Touch not being as groundbreaking. It is completely changing the iPod line - far more than some of the different generation "orginial" iPods.

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racassady

Rich Cassady

www.cass69.com

rich_cassady69@mac.com

I agree and understand that the iPod could not be as thin if it were stil firewire, I disagree on the transfer speeds though, I believe it was my 3rd gen that was firewire, it transferred files way quicker than my classic USB 2.0 does, I mean really faster. I have seen the specs that say the two are close in speed, but I believe that is wishful thinking. Plus, my 160 Classic is the coolest iPod because I have over 14,000 songs, 15 movies, and 2 games. When I iPhone has this size, life will be good, but for now, the classic still rules.

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Michael Simon

FireWire may indeed be quicker, but Apple would be closing off a huge segment of the market if they went that route (many PCs aren't FireWire-equipped). Unfortunately, it's no longer just about Mac users --- in fact, I'd venture to say it's less about Mac users, since we're more likely to buy Apple no matter what.

And I totally agree with you about the 160GB. The only reason I put the 7G Classic on the list is because the capacity dropped by 40GB, a major step backward for a model that offers little else.

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racassady

You to be kidding me. First, you don't mention the iPhone or iPod touch, (stupid), you don't mention the worst iPod was when the got rid of firewire, (stupid), then you put the 160 iPod on the worst list, (extreme stupid). I have an iPhone, which is an awesome iPod, but it lacks space, so I use my 160 iPod every day. That is the biggest size made, it is very small when you consider how big it is, and I have never had a problem with it. You should be writing articles about Microsoft Zunes, at least they are not important all only idiots will be reading what you write, which seems to me like the perfect match. I read MacLife.com every day, but one more piece of trash like this and I will never come back. As for the writer of this article, learn to draw, cause you clearly can't write!!!!

Rich Cassady

www.cass69.com

rich_cassady69@mac.com

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Michael Simon

OK, a few things: I've explained the exclusion of the iPhone/iPod touch a few times already, so I'm not going to get into that again.

As far as FireWire goes, if you mean Apple made a mistake by getting rid of the physical port, I have to respectfully disagree, since there's obviously no way it could be so thin had it stayed. If you're referring to the loss of FireWire support, the first iPod (besides the shuffle) to do that would be the nano, which hardly belongs on the worst list. As the iPod got thinner and smaller, Apple couldn't possibly support two protocols, and since USB 2.0 and FireWire had virtually the same transfer speeds, Apple wisely went with the more ubiquitous standard.

And the 160GB is not on the list. 

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paulori

..Until my trusty iPod photo's hard drive finally died the other day after giving many years or very worthwhile service. I'd even gone to the trouble of getting the click wheel fixed a year back to keep it going. And yes I have replaced it with a 120 Classic as, yes my old 'photo' was full and, yes I do like to carry all my music with me as well as all the kids audiobooks (how far have we driven thanks to Harry Potter?!) and now the videos. Oh and I am actually enjoying my new touch very nicely thank you. At least that one was not on the list:-)

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bubblewater23

ok. how could the iPhone or iPod Touch not be up there????????????????

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Michael Simon

Whittling down this list was no easy task, and originally I had the touch on there. But looking back through the ranks, I feel that these 5 iPods were more groundbreaking at the time of their release than the touch, which simply followed the lead of the iPhone (which, despite Steve's claim, should not be included on an iPod list). My main criteria for this list was iPods that paved the way for bigger and better updates (or not) and, as much as I love it, the touch has not done that in and of itself.

At least not yet... 

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jaycrafter

I love my iPod photo, 60 Gigs. My wife has the 30 Gig version and we both use them all the time. Although the when they did come out, the price range was varied as you reported I don't think that puts it in the worst 5 range. Interesting article but I agree with 'frankly' about questioning whether all iPods were looked into fully.

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StoneCRM114

Have to disagree with one of the posters. I didn't mind the buttons (though they were out of the norm for an iPod0 and was overall blown away with the 3Gen iPod. Of course, maybe I'm a little biased since it was my first. Not to mention I was the first to have one of anyone I knew (directly that is).

The Words too @*#!-ing busy shouldn't be in a waitress' vocabulary. - Mr. Pink

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Michael Simon

It was LOTS of people's first iPod.

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lzdenek

I wouldn't say it's the best but it's up there with my wife's now dying mini. I rarely have to reset it and the dock connecting itrip is way better than loading stations as a playlist.

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mrreet2001

I wonder where in the list the Apple / VW "Pods Unite" 3G ipod fails.

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Michael Simon

Ha! And remember the iCar concept?

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frankly

Wow, this list is completely off target with what I would have expected. I'm especially surprised to see the 3G iPod on the best list. That iPod was by far the worst iPod ever because it was the first (and still only) iPod where you had to move your hand from the scroll wheel to a completely different position in order to fast-forward, etc. I agree with the iPod mini being on the best list but where is the original iPod nano. The Nike+ option for that device was easily in the top 5 for best iPod accessories ever and until the new touch the nano was the only device it worked with. After looking at this list I have to really question whether or not you laid out a list of all the models with their respective features and breakthroughs when deciding which model did or did not make it onto each list.

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Michael Simon

Thanks for your comments.

I thought long and hard about this, and literally went through every model and came up with a list based on the entire feature set, improvement over the prior model (or lack thereof), design, reception, etc. And I agree, if I did a best iPod accessories (Nike + iPod came out between nano releases), Nike + iPod would certainly be near the top of the list, but I did my best to focus on the iPod itself. If you notice, there's no iPod touch, either, a decision that didn't come lightly.

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