Music. Most of us have a fair amount of it. Pretty much everyone I know has been collecting music for most of their lives. I’m no different. My collections over the years have included vinyl LP records – many of them “Audiophile” albums that were really expensive, cassette tapes – including the fancy “metal” and other high fidelity ones, 8-track tapes (yeah, I was one of those people once…) Compact Discs and, of course, digital music files of all kinds.
All the technologies to play that content floated through all of our lives as well. Turntables with the high end elliptical stylii to play those audiophile records; cassette tape decks with multiple heads, the ability to play both sides without flipping the tape and 20 different tape bias settings; 8 track decks in cars and even at home; portable CD players (Sony DiscMan anyone?) that once cost $300.00 and as of just a couple of years ago could be found in bubble pack cards at the supermarket checkout line for $15.00. Digital file players have come and gone through my pile-o-electronics over the years – I don’t even remember most of them, but for a while before the smart phone became ubiquitous, I tried out probably 10 or 15 different players with various capacities – the early ones having only a couple of megabytes of storage – and a bewildering variety of methods of loading files on to them.
And then, way back in the sands of technology time, back in 2001, the iPod arrived. I wasn’t a Mac user at the time, so I couldn’t use the first generation model, but the next summer when they became compatible with the PC? There was one in my pocket almost immediately – monochrome/grayscale display and all.
Today, while I have other ways to play my music collection, including my Samsung Galaxy S5, my favorite device is still an iPod. An iPod Classic. I replaced an earlier one with one of the last available 160GB models back in 2008 before Apple quit making that model. I love the thing. It’s simple and direct. The battery lasts forever compared to almost any current smartphone from any manufacturer. It’s exactly the right size. It has the lovely touch-click wheel. It sounds great. It currently has just shy of 10,000 songs on it. It interfaced perfectly with the stereo in my old car. It’s also nearly indestructible based on how klutzy I am with it. Mostly it settles in to a pocket just right to feed the wired earphones I’m wearing as I go about whatever I’m going about. It really is like the modern version of the old reliable indestructible portable cassette player.
My “ancient” ol’ iPod is still my go-to device for just playing music. it’s in my pocket on longer motorcycle trips, while I’m cleaning the house, while hiking around the city and even while just working at my desk. I’ll keep using it until it dies. Even when the eventual time comes when it won’t be supported to sync with iTunes anymore, I’ll still keep using it as long as I can. It funny to think of something as advanced as a reasonably modern iPod being “basic” tech, but it really kind of is nowadays. As far as I’m concerned, it does the one thing it does quite well.