What Is the Difference Between an iPod Nano & a Classic?

by David Weedmark Google

    If you're shopping for a new iPod that plays songs and videos without all the extra apps found on the iPod Touch, both the iPod Nano and iPod Classic have plenty to offer. At first glance, you will find the Nano is much smaller than the Classic, is about $100 less expensive, and offers a touch-screen display instead of a click wheel. The Classic, while still quite compact, is a real multimedia workhorse, capable of storing just about every video, song or photo you have.

    iPod Nano Features

    Apple redesigned the iPod Nano in 2012, making portability its chief feature. The multitouch display is similar to that on the iPhone or iPod Touch; however, the resolution is not as crisp. Extremely thin, it includes an FM radio, a Bluetooth pedometer and support for Nike+, practically begging for the device to be taken out for a walk or run. Its rugged aluminum case is available in eight colors. On the side of the case, centered between the volume control buttons, is a play/pause button.

    iPod Classic Features

    As its name suggests, the iPod Classic has not had a major design change for several years. With 160GB of storage, the iPod Classic can store 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video or 25,000 photos. It can also be used as an external USB drive. The iPod Classic has a click wheel used for navigating through menus, selecting items and playing or pausing songs. The Genius playlist feature allows you to create a 25-song playlist based on the characteristics of a single song. The Classic can also record voice memos. It is only available in black or white.


    At 160GB, the iPod Classic has the most storage of any iPod, whereas the Nano has only 16GB. Not surprisingly, the Classic is also larger than the Nano. Weighing in at 4.9 ounces, the Classic is 0.41 inches thick, 4.1 inches tall and 2.4 inches wide. The Nano weighs just 1.1 ounces and is a mere 0.21 inches thick, 3.01 inches tall and 1.56 wide.

    Battery Life and Connectivity

    Ounce for ounce, the iPod Classic has a longer battery life. It can play audio for up to 36 hours and video for up to six hours before needing a charge. The iPod Nano can play audio for up to 30 hours and video for up to three and a half hours before needing to be recharged. When it is time for charging, you can connect both devices to your computer using a USB port. The Classic uses the same 30-pin USB cable Apple has included on its mobile devices for years. The Nano uses the newer and sleeker Lightning-to-USB cable, with a connector that is about 25 percent smaller than the older design.

    About the Author

    David Weedmark's articles have appeared in dozens of publications since 1989, including "The Windsor Star" and "The Ottawa Citizen." As well as being a technology consultant, he is the author of several books, including "The Tanglewood Murders." Weedmark studied English at the University of Toronto.

    Photo Credits

    • Justin Sullivan/Getty Images News/Getty Images