Greetings all. As many have seen and heard, Apple has discontinued production of the iPod, a device that was undoubtedly pivotal to Apple’s trajectory of success. The iPod was produced in various formats since its debut in 2001. I was fortunate enough to own the original iPod, the little brick with a click wheel, Firewire connection, and capability of holding up to 5000 songs on its 5GB drive, if memory serves me correctly.
I, like many of you reading this, have owned at least one iPod. I’ve owned several – the mini, 2nd gen Nano, 4th Gen Nano, 6th Gen Nano (that I wore as a watch for fitness tracking (see below)), 1st Gen iPod Touch, and still have a few of them. The iPod, specifically those prior to the iPod Touch, did one thing, well two things, simply well – sync and play your music (via the use of iTunes). Those two things are the biggest attraction to me for the iPod and makes the pre-iPod Touch versions much more attractive. The obvious reason for me, which I’ve read others talk about and I’ve discussed with my brother-in-tech, DarrenKeith, is the fact that there were no internet apps on those earlier versions to distract the listener from the music listening experience the iPod provided.
The largest capacity iPod I owned (and had two of at one point) was the 160 GB iPod Classic, in black. Talk about a workhorse. To date I don’t remember what happened to one (it may have crapped out on me), but the other is now owned by my sister (which I forgot I gave her and wish I didn’t – LOL). I have fond memories of listening to my over 7000 song iTunes library through the years. It provided just the right listening experience for so many events from just cruising around town to chillin’ at home, to flying across country and then half way around the world. It was 2005 or so when I discovered and then regularly using the Minidisc platform, first for band rehearsal recordings to then making my own MDs for a similar listening experience the iPod provided.
Fast forward to the introduction of Spotify and other streaming platforms. It made listening to music extremely convenient and even though iTunes (now Apple Music) became available on mobile devices, the combination of having all your phone/internet apps along with your music was highly convenient, but the distraction (to me) made listening to music less focused, or as I’ve heard put, made music “disposable”.
I have Spotify and the Soma FM app on my phone – my only two streaming platform apps, and yes I listen to streaming music (I’m actually listening to Soma FM as I type this post). I’ve never downloaded music to my phone (or Apple Watch) primarily because I didn’t want space taken up, let alone the fact that why do that when I can stream music. Call me sort of a neo-luddite, but I’ve always preferred NOT having to solely rely on the internet to listen to music (as common as that is today).
When the announcement was made that the iPod was being discontinued, as expected, all versions of the iPod Touch sold out within a day afterwards. I predicted the price gouging to appear on eBay and as expected, I saw a 160 GB iPod Classic with a starting bid price of… $1500 USD (smh).
I confiscated a 16GB iPod Touch from my son some years back that was sitting around doing nothing and decided I would make that into my dedicated music player. I have a 1GB Shuffle but the battery is not the greatest. I attempted to sync the Touch to one of my MacBooks that has Apple Music (vs iTunes) on it. I was able to sync most of my purchases from iCloud, but the vast majority of my collection comes from CD. I had one or two CD imports to this library but couldn’t get them synced. Maybe I’m not as familiar with Apple Music as a successor to iTunes but it was way too cumbersome. I then remembered my mid-2011 Mac mini in my recording studio, the predecessor to my current M1 Mac mini. I had moved my entire iTunes library from that drive to an external drive. I connected that drive back to that Mac, set it up as the main iTunes library and synced as much as I could to this little 16GB iPod Touch. It brought back a lot of found memories, including the auditioning of many tracks I featured on my podcast, The Sunday Soundtrack. What else did I really love about the early iPods? The early ones came with the Nike+ Training app (known as the Nike+ iPod system) that first worked with a Nike running shoe sensor and a transmitter that connected to the 30-pin port of the iPod. Later the Nike+ app was created for the iPhone and iPod Touch. I blogged about that whole ecosphere (and my love for it) many times on this blog site.
Now I’m a happy iPod camper again – 1265 songs in my pocket (thought I’m a bit anal in that a fair amount of tracks don’t have artwork – a must for me since this is an iPod Touch…haha…I have to fix that issue). The iPod has a regular headphone jack and I prefer listening with over the ear headphones, so I’m good. I can hook it into my car audio system via USB as well and it’s small enough that I don’t mind carrying both it and the iPhone with me.
I really thought about getting another iPod Classic, but will learn to live with this one (unless I can somehow convince my sister to fork over the one I gave her…LOL!).
Thanks for the read…have a good week.