Classic or touch?

Sitting in Moscone West for Wednesday’s Apple press event, I was immediately struck by two conflicting desires as Steve Jobs outlined the changes to the iPod lineup. I want the new iPod touch, mainly for its Internet capabilities. But I also want the iPod classic for the storage space.

Why, oh why can’t I have it all in one device, Steve? You’ve put me—and many interested buyers, I’m sure—in such a dilemma. The description on the iPod classic Web page says, “Decisions, decisions. Who needs ‘em? Why should you have to choose what to put on your iPod?” Goshdarnit, Apple. The irony just kills me.

iPod touch or iPod classic? That is the question. On one hand, owning the iPod touch is like getting to use the iPhone sans the phone—thus not having to pay a monthly fee. (That’s almost addressing the concerns I wrote about in my blog post about why I wasn’t buying the iPhone ).

But on the other hand, my iTunes library has swelled to about 30GBs, and I expect it to get larger. And I put my iPod to use the most when I’m on long road trips, so having my entire collection with me in my car is just nice. You can’t do that for me, iPod touch! The iPod classic can.

iPod classic: 1; iPod touch: 0

But there isn’t much new to the iPod classic. True, it’s sleeker and has an improved video screen, but those changes aren’t compelling enough to make me want to upgrade from my 30GB fifth-generation iPod. Like I said before, the storage—80 GB in the $249 model or 160GB in the $349 model—is the iPod classic’s most appealing factor, and you’d want at least 80GB in an iPod touch if you wish to take full advantage of its awesome video-playing capabilities. Argh. I wouldn’t plan on building my iTunes library up to 80GB unless I owned an iPod touch, and increased storage alone isn’t enough to make me switch to the iPod classic!

iPod classic: 1; iPod touch: 1

Internet on an iPod could really come in handy. If I get lost on the road, I could look up a map. If I saw a restaurant I was unsure about trying, I could quickly Yelp it. And I could always check my work e-mail when I need to. The problem is that it’s not necessarily easy to find an open network, and not all networks let you just log in from a Web site. So in that way, it’s like a crippled version of the iPhone’s Internet communication capabilities.

Then again, I said in my earlier piece about the iPhone that I didn’t want to be on the Internet when I’m away from the computer: I spend enough time on the Web as it already is. The iPod touch would just be nice for those aforementioned scenarios when I really could use the Internet, and driving around until I found an open network isn’t that inconvenient, I suppose… And the best part about the iPod touch, compared to Internet-capable phones, is that its Internet is free, assuming you can find a free connection. Plus, I’ve been looking into buying a GPS lately, and those run for about $300 anyway. The iPod touch could be a nice substitute.

OK. Here’s what I think I’ll do. I’ll buy the 8GB iPod touch and carry that around regularly so I can use the Internet when I need to. Instead of selling my 30GB video iPod on eBay, I’ll keep it in my car strictly for road trips. You win, iPod touch. I’ll be seeing you after a few more paychecks.

Am I the only one who found this to be a difficult decision?

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