Let’s just have a look at the new Farewell iPod that made all the other MP3 devices available in the market seem clunky, repulsive and out-dated. It comes up with in a minimal design and innovative click-wheel feature which makes it look like something out of the World.
Farewell iPod swears that it would have the capability to stock up the majority of people’s music libraries. It feels like “a thousand songs in your pocket” appealed to a kid in me who had hallucinated that in the future we would be able to snoop to all the music we cherished whenever and wherever we wanted.
I think of that deep wish to devour a particular brand when I discovered that, as of this week, Apple have discontinued its click-wheel iPods, the last generation of which was formally known as iPod Classic.
The news has been declared on the Wednesday, one day later than the Company launched the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch and, obviously, proclaimed that a certain Irish band were making their new album offered for free on iTunes. Certainly, it seems to be one of the tiny details hidden among the mass of impulsive reporting of the company’s newest ventures. For most of us who noticed, it perhaps looks like a footnote, a frivolity that had no place in a world of wearable technology and fingerprint security.
It was a cause to grieve for me. There was a splendid music player that was being launched because, in this persistently paced digital world, it seemed to be aged hat.
Till 2003, I didn’t get my hands on an iPod. Partially, it was just because, several months before the launching date on this side of the Atlantic and partially because the first iteration required ownership of a Mac. That time, I owned a user-unfriendly laptop which had cost me a couple of months’ salary and wasn’t attuned with an iPod. Felt un-lucky.
After some time, I finally got to buy a compatible iPod, it was the third generation model and looked even sexier and more minimal than the one that Jobs had unveiled and it stored more music. Those first few weeks were a shock as I moved out to Dublin with, as Jobs had promised, most of my favorite songs in my pocket. Just few months back, I used to cart a pack of CDs in my bag so that I would be able to snoop to my favorite music.
I am sure that the younger readers may gaze at such bliss as the reminiscences of a moldy old fool, but as somebody who did his Leaving Cert before the internet was invented, it is not viable for me to downplay how important and life-changing this all felt. Furthermore, practically overnight, physical music mislaid its gleam.
In fact I got lots of iPods over the years. The early ones had batteries that gave up the ghost after 18 months or so and it proved almost as cost effective to buy a newer version as to have the battery replaced. Splitting out so frequently irritated me, but I vindicated the cost when I considered just how much time I had spend listening to music. Believe me; it’s true that my acoustic faculties most likely have not been assisted by wearing earphones every day, for hours on end.
Afterward iterations bring out visibly improved batteries and I am touching wood as I write that my current model, a 120GB iPod Classic that has been doing the business for me for 5 years, and plus. I use it every day and its helps me through wear and tear. Actually, this fastidious model with the 160GB version was first launched in 2007 and wasn’t updated before it was axed this week. That year, the arrival of the iPhone and the iPod Touch be a sign of that Apple saw the touch screen as the future and the click-wheel as its past.
Though, in spite of having an iPhone, I have never felt obliged to upload music to it. It does enough as it is. I have constantly seen my iPod Classic as my one-stop music device. I haven’t been attracted by the iPod Touch either. I really don’t need yet another way to go online; I just want something that only plays music. Just 6 years beyond between the overture of that first iPod and the iPod Classic I hold in my hand, and yet they look as though they were created decades apart. It’s a sign of how the technology industry continuously cannibalizes itself and guarantees that once pioneering products look past-it in a matter of years, or months.
Now just imagine that iPhone 6 which goes on sale in Ireland later this month will probably be seen as touchingly obsolete by the time the next World Cup rolls around.
However, I am not ready to let go of my iPod just yet and to hell with the early adopters. Moreover, assumingly, I am not just the one iPod lover who is upset by Apple’s silent carrying out. “Apple introduced a phone with the same crappy battery, a wristwatch no one wants and killed the iPod Classic. Why do you like them again?” The US-based English author Patrick Ness didn’t chop up his words when considering its failure: Why it seems so correct.