"Self limiting features a major drawback"2.5 starson by DJAmbient
Pros: The user interface and design are pretty much flawless - I honestly can't think of anyway to improve upon the hardware design itself with the exception of being able to replace the battery yourself,
Cons: Major con is having to use iTunes. I hate the fact that I'm forced to use it. Everything about it is designed to have you buy from iTunes - anything else and you have to jump through hoops due to the proprietary database I want to drag and drop!
Summary: Due to the built in limitations Apple has crippled an otherwise brilliant device. It can be so much more if they were just not so single minded about its functionality and dependence on iTunes. Of course they are trying to make money but there are now alternatives that make this single mindedness a real handicap. I would never buy a Classic again nor would I recommend it to anyone who is not going to just mindlessly buy from iTunes. Their self-imposed limitation is going to be their biggest drawback in the long run as more and more competitive models come out with more flexibility and functionality.
They really need to open up the database/firmware to third party software companies at a reasonable licensing fee so the unit is not so single purpose and not married to iTunes. Cell phones are even becoming a viable alternative to it.
In my opinion the Classic line is doomed unless they open all it's possible features - at that price point it should do something unique or be super versatile and it does neither anymore. Once the capacity of the iTouch grows then who in the world would buy a Classic? Actually I returned an iTouch for the simple reason of it not having a dedicated volume and pause control I could use without having to look at the screen - an obvious form over function decision - do these guys even use their devices in the real world?
It really kills me how they've created such a fantastic user interface on the Classic but have neutered it with their firmware and software design decisions. At least the scoundrels who make printers sell them ridiculously cheap since the ink is the real cash cow. Apple won't even give you that break.
Despite all this pummeling I really really really like using the unit as a portable player - it sounds good and is very intuitive to use and is very robust. I cannot find fault at all with the actual player.