The iPod Touch is now the only remaining iPod sold by Apple, after the Nano and Shuffle were unceremoniously discontinued yesterday. It truly is the end of an era for the longtime king of MP3 players.
My first iPod (3rd generation) 1 was a lot of firsts for me. It was my first MP3 player, first Apple device, and first gadget I ever lusted after. I only had it because my grandfather promised to buy me something when I made the honor roll in high school. I remember not knowing what I wanted at the time, until suddenly it hit me: iPod.
Even then, I didn’t know why I felt so compelled to have one. I was still developing my own taste in music and didn’t even have a CD player, let alone an inferior MP3 player. Still, the third generation iPod was such a cool, mesmerizing gadget that it almost didn’t matter if I had songs to load on it or not — I just wanted the damn thing. Thankfully, my Dad is a music aficionado and had a budding MP3 collection at the time, so I wasn’t too worried about that.
I remember scouring the Apple website and the whole internet for every detail I could find about the iPod. 2 I was obsessed with how freaking cool it was with its red, glowing buttons and static touch wheel. I remember vividly going to the Apple site a million times from the school library to play with how I wanted the back engraved. Remember how novel that was?
Once I got it, I remember being the first person on campus with an iPod, which drew the attention of my friends, peers, and teachers. Some were even worried it would get stolen, but iPods started becoming commonplace not too long after.
I remember sitting in English class with my then best friend, sharing the old Apple earbuds while listening to Queen’s Another One Bites The Dust and Under Pressure. 3
I remember purchasing the fourth generation iPod while on vacation in Palm Desert shortly after it came out. I called the nearest Best Buy and had my Dad drive me over to buy it. 4 I was in awe of the new click wheel and blue-tinged screen.
I remember the fifth generation iPod, which featured a color screen and the ability to play videos. I didn’t play many videos on it, but that color screen was so impressive at the time.
I remember the iPod Classic, which was just the epitome of the greatly-designed iPod. I also remember when it was killed off in 2014.
I remember the original iPod nano, which was just absurdly small. Loved that little guy. I think the fourth generation nano was the best design, though. The tall screen and click wheel was just SO perfect.
I remember carrying an iPod Touch and original iPhone at the same time because I didn’t want to kill my iPhone’s battery by playing music.
Shortly after, I remember the first time I no longer needed a standalone iPod (when the iPhone 3GS came out). Just like that, I cast away an old friend and adopted its true successor. Now, ten years after the introduction of the iPhone, the last remaining real iPods are no more. They paved the way for so many things: for the modern Apple of course, but also for computing, for music, for PC to Mac switchers 5, and for the world.
And now, I remember the plethora of Apple products I’ve bought over the years thanks to the iPod hooking me into the Apple ecosystem.
So thank you for everything, iPod. Your name lives on in other Apple music products (i.e. HomePod, AirPods), and your legacy will live on inside the iPhone’s Music app.