Apple 30GB iPod

Apple 30GB iPod

Video_iPod.jpgThe iPod Nano proved Apple still has creativity to spare in its consistent reinvention of the digital audio player, but while the classic hard drive-based iPod—now in its fifth generation—takes the device to the next level with a 2.5-inch screen and support for video playback, the result feels more like a step backward.

At less than a half-inch thick, the 30GB model is almost morbidly thin (the 60GB model is slightly thicker, but still less so than the 4G iPod). It weighs 4.8 ounces, which would be barely noticeable attached to your belt, if the 5G came with a belt clip or similar carrying case, which it doesn’t (you get a thin pouch instead). The 5G has the same sharp edges on the fascia as the iPod Nano, which feels less comfortable on this larger device—we’d have preferred the rounded corners of the 4G iPod instead, especially if we had to hold the player through an entire episode of Desperate Housewives.

The screen is dazzling even when viewed at a sharp angle—we could have been convinced we were looking at OLED technology. Surprisingly, video playback isn’t limited to Apple’s own H.264 QuickTime format—the 5G also supports MPEG-4 video. But there are considerable limitations to the MPEG-4 video support, which wouldn’t be a big deal if iTunes incorporated a function to format your video to the iPod’s specifications, which it doesn’t.

Flipping through a very long series of photographs places demands on the hard drive, which is reflected in the battery life; we drained the battery in slightly less than two hours with frequent browsing. Continuous video playback lasted for two hours and 44 minutes, and audio playback lasted 15 hours and 22 minutes—neither of which are exceptional figures.

The iPod remains a spectacularly delicious piece of hardware, but this fifth-generation iteration, lacking a video-encoding utility, a dock, a TV-out connector, or even so much as a belt clip, feels incomplete out of the box.
—Logan Decker

Month Reviewed: January 2006

+ DISPLAYS: Video playback, extremely thin formfactor, traditional iPod audio playback.

- DISMAYS: No video-encoding utility, uncomfortable to hold at length, skimps on accessories.

Verdict: 8




+ Add a Comment


I just upgraded to one of these recently but as you have said it is a definite downgrade. Still it’s focus on video playback and quality of screen is what some people will want it for. But I’m thinking about selling this one and sticking to my normal one, can’t beat the classic hard driveson the laptop computers < >.

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