iClassic Review

iClassic is the oft-requested ‘iPod classic’ emulation for the iPod touch. Early adopters always missed the soft and receptive feedback of actual button pushing and the intuitive movements of the click wheel. I myself was one of those, having migrated from a 5.5 generation iPod to the first generation iPod touch. iPod classic fanboys, “your emulator” is finally here, and it’ll be retailing in the Cydia Store for $1.99 very shortly. iClassic is the brainchild of forum members Peleaz-1 and Cstsxyfry212. The creators were kind enough to give me a pre-release copy for reviewing purposes. Read on after the break for more on this innovative application.

Upon opening up iClassic, you’ll see a fairly standard iPod Classic with a slightly smaller screen and click wheel, scaled down to fit on your iPod touch’s (or iPhone’s) screen. There are several options: Now Playing, Playlists, Artists, Albums, Songs, and Settings. I like messing with my Settings first, so we’ll sojourn to that menu first.

Using the click wheel in a typical fashion of ‘scroll clockwise to move down’ and ‘counterclockwise to move up,’ I moved my blue bar to the Settings line and tapped the middle selector button. Scrolling logic is very well done. I could figure out where I wanted to go and how to do it very quickly and moved there with an appropriate motion on the screen. However, you don’t have that feel that you are actually moving something as it is on a glass screen. I think we all clamored for an iPod classic interface because we all liked the feel of the scroll wheel. Obviously, that feeling was not satisfied.

Settings is not done in the typical iPod Classic interface, but rather in the iPhone OS style. The entire iPod flips around, and you see a typical preferences table. Here, you can change the color of the iPod (from silver to black), adjust how the status bar looks, fiddle around with shuffle and repeat options, and toggle vibration and shake to shuffle. You can also take a visit to the creators’ website. I find shake to shuffle a bit bothersome, so I turned it off.

I did run into a few stability issues, but granted, I am running a jailbroken first generation iPod touch with a number of extensions (WinterBoard & SnowCover). The player would often crash upon hitting the Menu button more than once, or, come to think of it, any button more than once. However, this wasn’t a regular thing and certainly did not happen every time I hit a button more than once. These crashes seemed to stop when SnowCover crashed and enabled me to enter MobileSubstrate Safe Mode. Just keep in mind there might be some compatibility issues with some MobileSubstrate extensions.

Graphics are overall, excellent. There are a few design missteps though, sometimes with the location of items, other times with their actual appearance. On transitioning to the ‘Settings’ view, the status bar pops up, and because it’s translucent, it appears over the iPod, and totally ruins the transition. I think the status bar should just be removed altogether. I’m also not a big fan of the rest of the Settings. Perhaps that should just be moved into the Settings application. It’s not taking on the look of the rest of the application, and they are rarely used, being mostly appearance based with a few toggles for fairly standard features.

The iPod itself is a bit too grainy for my tastes. This is most obvious at the bottom of the iPod on the black screen. The gradients are a bit too strong on the status bar and the battery as well. In addition, the inner shadows on both repeat and shuffle buttons are much too strong. However, the rest of the images and styling is done quite tastefully with a familiar yet slightly refreshed air. The blues are a little lighter, the greens a little more Mediterranean, and the whites cleaner than before. It’s a very clean looking application that succeeds in using Apple’s design language, because it is straight from Apple. Screens are taken verbatim from the iPod classic.

The thing about iClassic is that it’s just a toy. Why would anybody ever need the iPod classic interface? I mean, yes, it’s nice to have, but when it comes down to it, it’s a toy. It’s has incredible novelty value and is something cool to show friends, but when I think about it, I cannot see myself using this compared to the standard player. Besides a unique control system that honestly doesn’t feel very good on a touch screen, iClassic has nothing that the built-in music player doesn’t. But it’s a fantastic toy, and more and more, I feel like using iClassic a little bit more than the built-in application.

Features: [rating:3/5]. When you think about it, iClassic has one feature: play music in a different interface. They are looking into video, along with iPod Games, but don’t count on anything.

GUI: [rating:4.5/5]. A gorgeous interface with a few grainy textures and objects that are slightly off color.

Audio: [rating:5/5]. iClassic has no audio component except for your very own music. It plays through it without skipping, and I happen to enjoy my own music.

Reuse Value: [rating:5/5]. You’ve used your old iPod for years.

Value for Money: [rating:4.5/5]. There are applications or extensions that you could buy for $1.99 that are simply more useful, like Attachment Saver, PogoPlank, or Orbit. However, iClassic is not about usefulness, and $1.99 for a well engineered toy is money well spent.

Final: [rating:overall/5]. iClassic is a wonderful toy that is somewhat limited in its value, but when looked at for its purpose, is nearly flawless.

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