accessories compatible? My daughter has the 30gb classic from 2 years ago, and of course has a stereo dock, an alarm clock dock, a car accessory kit. What I'm wondering (before spending $250) is whether this new larger capacity ipod will fit all the accessories she has. Any information will help! Thanks!
okay, so hopefully, this is somewhat helpful, to the questions here. sorry it's so long, brevity is not my strong suit.
i have a 30GB fifth gen iPod like your daughter has and an 80GB iPod classic--and they made a lot of changes when they released the iPod classic (6th gen) and those changes continue into the current 120GB iPod classic model.
a lot of your accessories will no longer work with ANY iPod classic (80, 160, or 120GB.) the dock pin arrangement (i believe it is 30 pin) remains the same...so i am fairly confident that the stereo dock and alarm clock will still work. (i have an luna alarm clock, which is kind of like an iHome and other devices, and with the proper dock connector, both my 30GB and iPod classic work).
the car accessory kit very likely will not work, but i'm not sure which particular one you have.
one particularly annoying change if you hooked your iPod up to the tv to watch videos, is that the a/v cable that works with the 30GB (and similar 5th gen iPods) that cost a mere $19 will no longer work. with any iPod classic (or iPod touch, etc.--post-classic models) you need the new a/v cable which connects via the dock connector and costs $49-$59.
a good rule of thumb is that if the accessory in question goes through the headphone jack, as was fairly common for accessories in all models previous to the iPod classic, it is very likely to no longer work. (if it is straight up just transferring audio like the wires available to connect it to external speakers, that will work however.) if it involves the dock pin connector (like docking it in an alarm clock) it probably will work. and some old accessories can be used if you buy their apple dock, and then connect it via that, but many accessories will still not work.
it kind of sucks that apple did this, to put it mildly.
i called apple specifically to ask if any changes had been to the pin arrangement (which would basically mean dock connected items would no longer be compatible) and they said it remains the same for the current 120GB iPod classic as the previous iPod classic (80/160GB), which in turn is the same as the 30/60GB and 40/80GB iPod video models.
here's where it gets tricky--and this is to s.m. walsh as well. the 80GB and 120GB and the 30GB that your daughter and i have are essentially the same dimensions (it may be lighter, but for example, i use the exact same "hard polycarbonate form fitting case" for my 30GB as my 80GB, and cases now being sold are advertised generally as working for 80GB and 120GB, so i'm assuming the basic dimensions remain the same.) (i haven't looked at the exact tech specs.)
the 160GB iPod classic is a two plate hard drive system, instead of a one plate system like the 30/80/120GB. so, it is heavier and the dimensions (thickness, etc.) are different. so while the dock pin arrangement remains the same (it will connect to the same a/v cables for example) if you have something that is fitted to particular dimensions, the 160GB being thicker and slightly larger you may have issues. MOST dockable devices though are adjustable to accomodate the difference in size of various iPods, and usually all you need is the right dock connector...but if it is something more restrictive, you may have a problem.
i hope this has been helpful. again, my information comes from calling apple and from being an a bit of a tech geek.
***i have been under the impression that the two plate versus one plate hard drive system, made the two plate different dimensions and heavier. i had actually read, i believe it was mac world, that was one speculated reason (of many) why apple discontinued the option for a larger capacity HD with the iPod classic was their constant quest for lighter, thinner iPods. however, i just read someone's post on another forum that said they own the 80GB and 160GB and that they are the same dimensions. so i'm not so sure now who to believe, so i suggest you look at the tech specs. i'd like to be super helpful and go do that for you, but i've been sitting at the computer too long typing up this original post.***
Glad to see I'm not alone. I was looking at the 120gb at the local Best Buy today. I thought I would get some assistance from a live person, who surely was well-informed on the merchandise. I asked the sales rep if the new one would fit in the old ones dock, etc.
She said "Oh yes, it'll fit, sure it will. If it's the same size."
Hopefully someone will come here and enlighten us!
Thanks for your detailed response. Do you know if the 6thG Classic will still charge when docked to (for example) a clock radio?? I read that the 4thG Nano will still play music from such a device, but no longer charge the battery(unlike 3rdG Nano). I find this really annoying ...