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  It may be outdated, but the iPod has a certain timeless quality to it.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.

Offered Without Comment — An American Tune

I’m working steadily on my iPod rebuilding project, moving through the iTunes library from A to Z.  I’m up to P.

I just now listened once again to Paul Simon’s epic, brilliant American Tune — and it spoke to me again, as it always does, even though it was first recorded more than 35 years ago, in a different context, for a different America.

A Request For iPod Advice

My iPod seems to have given up the ghost.  One day the music stopped and when I looked at the screen, I saw strange and terrifying symbols.  I tried restarting it and heard unwanted clicking sounds, and then saw even more strange and terrifying symbols.  When I got home and plugged it into the computer, I realized that all of my music and playlists had been wiped out.  I think it is safe to say that the iPod has gone toes-up.

The iPod was a 2005 model, with 30 GB storage capacity.  On most days it was used for several hours.  It provided music on my morning walks and music when I got home at night.  It supplied essential airplane tunes on long, boring trips and welcome musical accompaniment on sun-splashed decks in the Bahamas and during beer-soaked cards games on Hen Island.  It has served long, nobly, and well.

But now my carefully constructed playlists appear to be gone forever.  I need to replace the trusty iPod.  I’m inclined to stick with Apple, because I think they are like the Honda of the technology world — you can count on them to make durable and reliable products.  My request for advice is:  is there any reason not to get another iPod classic?  If you are not a gamer — and I’m not — is there any reason to get an iPod touch?  If you just use your iPod for music, music, and more music, is there any reason to get any of the other iPod products?