It was a sad day if you love your iPod! While Apple held a giant PR party for folks all around the world at Cupertino’s Flint Center to introduce its sexy new iPhone 6, iPhone 6+, the Apple iWatch and Apple Plus on an otherwise glorious September 10, 2014, somewhere else in another building, unacknowledged and without ceremony, other Apple gremlins were grinning as they killed off my darling baby girl: the iPod Classic.
A victim of her own success and until that day, Apple’s longest-surviving product, the iPod Classic, or simply the iPod had last been released as a new sixth generation model in September 2007. This sixth generation of iPod had a thinner body, longer battery life and an aluminum design, hitting the stores three months after the very first iPhone had hit the market. Indeed during last year alone Apple saw product sales plummet from 12.7m iPods to 6.05m, according to the Daily Mail. The problem? Simple costs. The iPod Touch works using the same apps as the iPhone, only the iPod Touch costs US$229, which is more than customers pay for an iPhone 5c on contract.
Breaking it down, for $49, $149 and $249 respectively, you once got the Shuffle, the Nano and Classic, each offering different storage capacities, while the iPod Nano came with an additional FM radio and other functions, yet no access to Wi-Fi or downloadable apps. My personal favorite, the Click Wheel iPod, is an old-fashioned anachronism because it has a physical hard drive inside, with a small screen. It’s an exquisitely beautiful toy that more or less nobody plays with any more.
For your $249 expenditure, the iPod classic offered storage for 160GB of music. Good idea if you want to transport your music library wherever you go, or wish to watch videos on a tiny screen. All of it, of course, has been rendered redundant by the Cloud and iTunes Match, services that massively increase limited storage capacity. Still, for myself, the capacity of the old iPod Classic is still close to amazing. How else, without me shlepping my laptop hither and thither, could I travel with my music collection? Indeed, in lieu of carrying around a far heavier modem, the Classic is still a great way to safely store massive amounts of photos, videos, music, books and pretty much anything that can be kept on a file.
Now many of you who have used them may have complaints about the MP3 player part of the machine breaking down, but don’t throw them away! The plain, simple capacity of the device that started at 80GB and was bumped up to 160GB by 2009 compares favorably to an iPod Touch that maxes at 64GB of space. It has true appeal to those with enormous music collections or information pack rats. Absolutely reliable, each iPod is the equivalent to the Soviet Kalashnikov AK-47 rifle in World War II and every war after. Indeed, in the end, my baby never broke but they threw her away anyway.
To their credit, Apple has never been a company to look back, although often, having discontinued a product, they offer some kind of comparable device. Then again, if you took notice of the speech by Tim Cook, Apple’s CEO spoke enthusiastically about the “digital crown”, which adapts rotary movement into digital data. Beneath all the hyperbole, however, it looks to me to be one and the same as a scroll wheel, from the original 2001 iPod.