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Classic Apple - shiny gadget - but it may not stay that way!


160GB  -  biggest storage mp3 player on the market, shiny gadget, good battery life, quality screen

scratches/tarnishes too easily, battery not replaceable

Detailed rating:

Sound Quality

Ease of Use

Look & Design

Range of Features

Value for Money

Video QualityVery Helpful / Very Easy to Understand


28 Ciao members have rated this review on average: very helpful See ratings
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  1. kevin121
  2. mumsymary
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I have had my Apple 160GB ipod classic or ipod video for over 4 years now and it has served me well!
I have the black version, but it also comes in silver (which my partner has).

With 160GB of storage this gadget can store your music, photographs and even videos which can be played back with headphones or you can hook the device up to loudspeakers to play back your music.
According to Apple 160GB will store 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video or 25,000 photos. This will obviously depend on the size of your music, video or photo files though.

~ Presentation ~
The ipod is about 1cm thick, 6cm wide and 10 cm long. The front of mine is matt black. The screen is less than half of the size of the ipod and below is the jockey wheel, a circular 'wheel' with 4 buttons on and a round button in the middle. The buttons on the jockey wheel allow you to skip tracks back and forward, play/pause or go into your menu. You can also use the jockey wheel by sliding your thumb/finger round the wheel and although the wheel itself doesn't move the device can sense that you are doing this and it will move up and down through your menus. The middle button is usually used to 'select'.
The bottom of the ipod is where you plug your ipod in to charge or sync with your computer, the headphone/output socket is on the top right of the device and there is also a slide along 'hold' button on the top which can be used to stop your ipod from skipping tracks by accident or when your ipod is off it will stop it from coming on by accident in your bag/pocket and using up your battery.
The back of the ipod has a chrome/ mirror-like effect and has the word ipod and the apple logo and it also states "160GB" (the 80GB and 120GB ipod classics are almost identical - they could be a little bit thinner I'm not entirely sure)

~ Presentation - My Thoughts ~
I have kept my ipod classic in a leather case from day 1 because my partner had an ipod classic prior to his current one and the chrome effect back got very scratched very easily and it made it look very tatty and undesirable! I also bought a screen protector straight away which is just a sticker really that you stick over the screen so that the sticker gets scratched rather than the screen and you can replace the stickers with ease.

I think the presentation of this gadget is the worst thing about it! Although I have kept my ipod in the best condition that I can without not using it, the back of my ipod is still a bit scratched and the silver/chrome/mirror thing to the back of the device has tarnished like silver does - I have tried using a silver cloth to clean it up and this does help a bit but doesn't get rid of the worst of it no matter how much effort I use. If I had not had the protective leather case (which I've barely removed it from in 4 years) I dread to think what an ugly wreck it will have turned into.
I feel like Apple have done this on purpose making the second-hand ipod market less desirable for buyers and less valuable for sellers. It could also encourage ipod users to replace their ipods more quickly and it means users have to spend extra money on protecting their ipods.
I must add that the screen protector has been great - I haven't replaced my protector in 4 years and the screen and protector are both in fantastic condition - this could have something to do with the leather case however as when not in use the leather case comes down over the screen.

~ Use ~
The reason I wanted this ipod was because of it's large storage capability. I mainly use it to store music on so that I can listen to it on the go. At 160GB I still haven't filled my ipod and I have over 22,000 songs on it.

In the past I have stored my photographs on my ipod classic, but I have too many (over 125,000 photos / about 44GB) and never used my ipod to look at them so I took them off.
When they are on your ipod the photos are easy to flick through and the screen quality is good for such a small screen.

I have used the video function on this a few times to watch films and educational video courses which I have downloaded free from "itunes U" (I'd recommend you having a look - there are courses on all sorts - creative writing, digital photography, global geopolitics, financial markets, statistics etc).
The videos are easy to put onto your ipod and I found them a great way to pass the time on long haul flights. The screen is small at 2.5" but this doesn't bother me, like I know it would some people.
The battery lasts up to 6 hours for video playback, which I think is pretty good.

Having over 22,000 songs on my ipod it is important that I am able to navigate through them to find the track I am looking to play quickly and easily. You can look through your tracks by scrolling through artist names, album names, song names, playlists that you can create on itunes or some general playlists that are on your ipod already such as recently played songs, recently added songs etc.
The screen displays the artist names/ song names in a list and you can scroll through them quickly using the jockey wheel and the central button to select the track you'd like.
Using the ipod for music you can get up to 36 hours of battery life which is fantastic.

~ Use - My thoughts ~
Although at first I did find the jockey wheel frustrating and difficult to use I have now got used to it and can use it with ease.
I think the video function is good to have, but I don't think this is the gadget I would have chosen if I just wanted to use it for watching videos due to the small screen size, although it does do the job for how regularly I use this feature.
For music it is important to me that I can store all or as much of my music as possible on my ipod and although I definitely wouldn't describe myself as an Apple fan, this is a great gadget for holding all of my music.
I have been unable to find another mp3 player on the market that holds as much as 160GB of music which is quite surprising since this model has been out for at least 5 years!
Overall I'd say it is easy to add music, videos, photos etc. to your ipod and they are also easy to remove. I think the battery life is really good and I can go months without charging it.

~ Price ~
My ipod was received as a gift, but I bought my partner his ipod classic as a surprise for Christmas 2009 and the price has not decreased from then - it has increased on some websites.

I got my partner's from (which is a site I've never had a problem with although it has bad reviews on here) for £189 and it is now available on Pixmania for £223.92 in silver or black.
On Amazon you can buy an ipod classic 160GB for £182.00 in silver and £183.56 in black.
Tesco sell the ipod classic for £184.00
Argos are charging £196.99

~ Price - My thoughts ~
As this is still the only mp3 player on the market that offers 160GB of space I think it is a fair price and as mine has lasted a few years now I would be happy to pay around the £189 mark again for one of these (although I do hope to get at least a few more years out of mine).

~ Other info ~
With your ipod you will receive earphones and a lead to connect your ipod to your computer through your USB port. This is also how you charge your ipod, although you can buy charger leads separately that plug into the wall.

The ipod takes about 1-2 hours to charge fully, but it's worth it since the battery lasts so long.

Like all ipods the battery is not removable or replaceable which I think is a disadvantage of this product as not only does this suggest to me that the ipod is not expected to last for a really long period of time, it also means if your battery does run out you can't have a spare on hand to solve your problem, when you're in a situation where you are not able to recharge the internal battery straight away.

On a similar note my partner had another ipod classic years ago which broke - the headphone socket stopped working so it became useless - you cannot open these gadgets up to fix them (although he did try)!

~ Overall ~
Overall the ipod classic 160GB is the largest capacity music player on the market. I think the price is very reasonable. The screen is good quality for playing back photos or videos.
However, the ipod (particularly the back) does scratch and tarnish easily which is disappointing. You do need a case and maybe a screen protector to minimise this, but it is inevitable. This brings the ipod classic down to a 3 star rating unfortunately.
It is easy to use, although the jockey wheel can be difficult to get used to and although the battery life is great the battery is not removable so you cannot carry a spare and there is only so long that a rechargeable battery will keep rechargeable (I don't know how long this will be, but even if it's 20 years, it still doesn't beat my old cassette walkman that I expect will still be going strong then with replaceable AA batteries).

I do love mine and would recommend it to anyone who has a lot of music or videos they don't mind watching on a small screen, but it does have a lot of negatives to bare in mind.

Also posted on dooyoo under same username.
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Comments about this review »

mozzie76 07.05.2012 23:07

Good review

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Product Information »

Manufacturer's product description

Decisions, decisions. Who needs 'em? Why should you have to choose what to put on your iPod? With a large storage c...


MPN MB150ZO/A, MB150LL/A, MC293QB/A-5PK, MC297QB/A-5PK, MC297QS/A, MB145LL/A, MC293B/A, MB145, MB145ZP/A, MB145ZO/A, MB145ZG/A, MB150ZP/A, MC297QG/A, MC293QG/A, MC297ZD/A, MC297QB/A, MB150, MB150ZG/A, MC293ZD/A, MC293QB/A, MC297LL/A, MC293LL/A, MC297QL/A
Product Type Digital player
Digital Player Type Hard drive based

Audio system

HDD 160 GB
Sound Output Mode Stereo
Equaliser Yes

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This review of Apple iPod classic MB150ZO/A 160 GB has been rated:

"very helpful" by (100%):

  1. kevin121
  2. mumsymary

and 26 other members

The overall rating of a review is different from a simple average of all individual ratings.

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