Apple has widened its line of Apple iPods over the years, to say the least, but at this point they’re down to a few easy-to-understand models: the nano, the shuffle, the iPod Touch and the iPod Classic. The main difference between the three former and the last on this list is the type of storage used; the iPod Classic uses a hard drive to store digital audio, while the others use types of flash memory. Many iPod enthusiasts wonder whether one storage type is better than another–they’re not, but they’re very different.
Here’s a look at the advantages and disadvantages of buying flash-based or hard drive-based iPods.
1. Space – Big-time music fans who want to store huge amounts of data should go for the hard drive based iPods, because their storage capacity is pretty much unparalleled. The iPods in the Classic line can store about 120GB of music; compare that to the iPod Touch line, which has a max of 32GB. Now, most people will have trouble filling the 32GB, so don’t just buy for size if you figure it’s the main component of looking for an iPod–the people with over 60GB of music who need to take it with them everywhere know who they are, and they’re the ones who should give the hard drive based iPods consideration strictly for their larger size.
2. Ability To Take Damage – Flash based hard drives are much better at taking a fall, and so if you’re a clumsy person or you’re buying an iPod for a teenager, consider one of the flash based versions. Since hard drives aren’t supposed to be moved much when operating (the heads of the hard drive are extremely fragile and can suddenly come into contact with the platters of the hard drive, damaging them and removing the information on those platters), you also should get a flash-based iPod if you want to do a lot of strenuous workouts with your digital audio player, especially jogging or running.
3. Other Features – The iPod Classic is lacking in one area; it doesn’t have a whole host of extra features, at least not compared to the iPod Touch. It’s strictly a digital audio player, and though it plays a few games, it’s nowhere close to the mini-computer that the iPod Touch is. Now, the other iPod lines are about equivalent to the iPod Classic (the exception being the Shuffle, which has no extra features), but folks that want a cool toy in addition to a digital audio player should spring for the iPod Touch right away.
Do you have a hard drive or flash based iPod? Post your thoughts in our comments section below.