Long Live The iPod

The iPod is a discontinued (as of May 10, 2022) portable media player designed by Apple in 2001. At 20 years, the iPod brand is the oldest device to be discontinued by Apple. It’s the end of an era, that’s for sure.

I fondly recall my first Sony Walkman that had the ability to not only listen to AM/FM radio, but play 90 minutes of music on cassette tape. We maxed in as many songs as we could on that tape drive, but it was never enough, so we had collections of cassette tapes lying around to keep track of.

And when Steve Jobs promised “thousands of songs in your pocket”, most of us were amazed and just.had.to.have.it. It was portable music freedom. I’ve owned three iPods, the original (sadly lost forever, a 5th generation classic iPod (shown below) and an iPod Touch that closely resembled an iPhone. My toddler daughter quickly assumed ownership of that last one.

After this month’s announcement, I decided to grab as many compact discs as I can find to then load onto my MacBook and transfer my songs to the iPod. It’s a multistep hassle for sure, but they are there. They are mine. I don’t have to pay a monthly subscription for them. I don’t need Wi-Fi or cellular connection to play them. There are no notifications or interruptions when I have those wired earbuds in. I’m amazed at how much I have relied on Bluetooth wireless AirPods and streaming music.

This 5th gen iPod was the first to play video, review photos and still retain the classic, iconic scroll wheel. Podcasts, audiobooks, videos, and photos are all synced to the device when plugged into my computer via iTunes. Can a podcast still be called a podcast without iPods? What do we call them now, “Netcasts?”

This iPod projects me back in time, and I am overwhelmed by the nostalgia. It feels less like a novelty item, but a more pure form of music ownership and enjoyment.

Long live the Apple iPod.

Chris Written by:

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