The iPod At Technology’s End

Earlier this month I went to the Apple store at Easton Town Center and bought a second iPod — now called an iPod classic — because I wanted a spare I could use in my car and at the office on weekends.  Little did I know that I was buying one of the last iPods to be sold in an Apple store.

IMG_3056This week, after Apple announced its rollout of two new iPhones and the Apple Watch, the iPod classic was removed from the Apple on-line storePopular Mechanics reports that the iPod classic has been removed from Apple stores, too.

The iPod was introduced in October 2001, which means it’s ridiculously ancient by modern technology standards.  Technostuds view it as a kind of quaint antique, with its buttons rather than a touch screen and its single-purpose design and its internal spinning hard drive storage unit.  Sales of iPods of all kinds have dropped off, from a high of more than 54 million in 2009 to less than 12 million in 2012.  Obviously, consumers are focused more on multi-purpose functionality and would rather have an iPod app on their smartphone than carry around multiple devices.

All of that’s true, of course, but I love my iPod anyway.  It may be outdated, but the iPod has a certain timeless quality to it.  iPod classic is a good name for it, too, because it is a classic, like a gleaming 1930s sedan or a gorgeous art deco building.  With its crisp lines and sleek appearance, the iPod is simply a beautiful device — in my view, much more attractive than an iPhone or other substitutes.  And I like tinkering with it, creating playlists and shifting songs from here to there.  I like the raw storage capacity that allows me to store 40,000 songs — 40,000 songs! — and listen to any one of them when I’m taking my morning walk.  I don’t care that it only performs that one function when it performs it so well, and in such a cool package.  I’ll use it, proudly and happily, until the spinning hard drive finally gives up the ghost.

I’m glad I bought one of the last iPods to be sold at an Apple store.  I’ll almost hate to take it out of the box.

Art Deco Dumpatorium

IMG_3603The Hermitage Hotel in downtown Nashville has a fabulous lobby, but it is most well-known for having a jazzy, art deco men’s room one floor down.  Seriously . . . guide books alert you to the restroom, and advise that, if it is not currently in use, women are permitted to go in to take in the  (ahem) atmosphere.  Sure, enough, Kish wanted to take a peek.

It’s a very attractive bathroom, I suppose, but a bathroom is, after all, a bathroom.  Green urinals, old-fashioned phones, and shoe shining stands don’t change the essential purpose of the room.  And ladies, speaking as someone who has been in countless men’s rooms, I can tell you that this is as good as it gets.

Art Deco Plane

Some of the older planes at today’s gathering at the Griffing Flying Service airfield had more panache than their modern counterparts.  The older planes were like the Apple products of their day, where attention was paid not only to engineering, maneuverability, and speed, but also to style and packaging and presentation.  This plane, with its bright aluminum frame, sharp colors, and sleek propeller assembly, had a very distinctive art deco feel — with the emphasis, perhaps, on the art.