Intro.
iPod.

When you hear that word, chances are you don't think of your standard mp3 player, but instead an electronic device that has practically changed the face of modern American culture itself. With the first models releasing in October 2001, this line of mp3 players is nearing it's 7 year birthday.

But what's so special about them? Why are iPods to popular and not other brands of mp3 player? Maybe it's the value for money. These days, $250 gets you a black or silver iPod "Classic" with 80gb of memory. Another $100 will double the storage. Maybe it's the appeal. The smooth, sexy look of the iPod with it's mirror shine back. Maybe it's the image? The brightly coloured silhouette commercials instantly come to mind, and it's not rare to see your average person walking down the street, jogging, chatting with friends or doing anything else with those distinct white earbuds in their head.

So naturally, you'd probably be thinking that the long-reigning king of MP3 players would be the be-all, end-all gadget for personal listening. Depending on who you ask, you might be right or wrong. Coming up now is my review of Apple's latest gadget, the 6th Generation Apple iPod "Classic".

Packaging.
Strangely enough, Packaging is actually a big deal with these things. Each generaion, Apple seems to release a new type of package for the iPod, and the 6g is no different. Hold the top part of the box and wait for the bottom to slide out to where you can pull it down and out. Once the top is removed you're greeted with nothing more than just the iPod itself. Once you remove the iPod, there is a small tab that you will pinch and pull up, lifting up the plastic bit holding the iPod and letting you get to the manauls and cables below. Included is the iPod, headphones, USB Cable, dock adaptor, two manauls and two apple stickers.

The packaging is very nice in so far as your are immediattely presented with the product itself, and it is a very nice looking thing to behold. Nifty packaging means that you get everything you need in a package not much larger than a brick.)

The Player (Appearance).
Unlike previous models, the 6th generation iPod has an anodized aluminium face (versus the plastic faces of yesteryear) and the scroll wheel matches the color of the player (black/black or silver/white). The 6g is thinner than it's predecessors, even in 80gb format. The 80gb 6g iPod is about 3/4 as thick as a 10gb 3g iPod. It is a good weight (heavy enough that you know it's there, light enough that it won't go flying away or you won't drop it unknowingly) and size. Without a case on it, it fits in my hand very nicely. With a case on it (I have a hard plastic Griffin case on mine) it's a tiny bit wide, but not too deep.

The Player (Functionality).
The iPod's interface remains largely unchanged. The main menus now fill the right hand side of the screen with album covers, video stills, photos, or other information depending on what you have selected. Other than that, scrolling through the menus and everything is very easy to pick up and get used to. Not surprising, though, as apple has used the same touch wheel since the 4th Generation iPod.

Features.
Like iPods of yesteryear (5g, anyways), the new 6g can play music, movies (including tv shows, music videos, etc), look at pictures, and play games. New games are downloadable through iTunes (like with the 5g), however you still have to pay for them.

To my disappointment, however, the iPod still lacks FM radio, a microphone, or other features that even other companies entry-level mp3 players offer.

Price.
The price, as stated above, is $250 for the 80gb model, and $350 for the 160gb model. While the price may be steep, the convenience (and sexy appearance) of having your entire music library in your pocket (as well as movies, pictures, etc) is almost unbeatable.

Conclusion.
If you're looking for a good, sleek mp3 player for a decent price, I would advise you not to get this right from the get-go. It's a solid choice but for the money, there are potential better options. However, it is a good choice, and I would purchase it again if asked between it and other options.

8.5/10


-Omega