Updated: May 12
Twenty-one years of heritage. You took us from genre to genre, spanning multiple lives, touching multiple hearts, creating countless friendships, and ultimately changing the music industry into what we have today.
How could it be a love affair with anything less? The utilitarian design, that sleek white and the chromatic finish a centrepiece of what it is to market a product to people who love music.
Never before did such a device exist, and maybe never again will we see something like you again. You changed, and so did we; you became faster, more remarkable, you had more features, and by the time we put you to rest, you had done so much for so many.
Of course, as you may possibly know, without even knowing that yes, what is being alluded to is the iPod today (11/5/2022), and with twenty-one years of life, we say goodbye. Iterated upon countless times, and indeed the child of the Steve Jobs era when concerning Apple.
In its most basic iteration was a simple thing, it was a thing that others at the time struggled to achieve, and that was to. Just. Play. Music. And play music it did, with the first generation featuring a headphone jack, a Firewire 800 port and a hold button.
The Original iPod Classic 10GB model
The original iPod came with a litany of extras right out of the box, such as the classic white earbuds that were shown in many commercials (an act of marketing genius), a remote control that could clip to a piece of clothing and a power brick that today could rival a Macbook Air M1 in a size comparison test.
iPod Classic Accessories
And the iPod did so much more than just play music; at first, simple games were playable via its jog wheel, a calendar, and contacts. But this never detracted from what it was truly good at. Yes, it was an enormous device compared to devices that we carry today or even its little brother, the Nano that was released a few years after, but truly for the time to carry a device like this in your pocket, it would have been gold.
All the countless albums of music that I actually listened to! Because I had to like it! I had to put the work in for it to be there.
Is That the App Store?
So how many songs can she really hold?
For the time, an incredible 1020 songs could be held at true CD quality (3m per track at 10MB per song, however, this could have been more or less depending on how compressed the music was to the listener uploaded to the device).
I know at this time many of the people I knew were limited to either a 256MB/512MB MP3 player or even a CD Walkman, but here with this, the power of unlocking all of the music in the world was truly just a click of a button away.
In truth, I wasn't going to write about this iPod yet, wanting to covet its secrets for another time, and yes there may be a follow up to this blog about the same device. But I felt entirely compelled to write about this due to the significance of its leaving.
While true that the classic left us a long time ago, the iPod, even as a brand, carried not only music but so many of us through our lives, from childhood to those angsty teenage years listening to Linkin Park and The Red Hot Chilli Peppers, to my collage days, finding that love of hiphop, electronic and experimental music, to beyond that, it changed so much, and for so many.
Today we have gotten used to our streaming services, which, while yes, easy, with the way that music is obtainable, another small part of our culture is lost when we lose the iPod; we lose that ritual of sitting there, waiting for the upload of the new album before we need to leave the house, we lose the connection we had with others when we shared that album artwork on our tiny two-inch screens.
But the memories that this device has given so many will last a lifetime.
So thanks, champ, you can rest easy you done us proud.
If you got this far in the blog, thank you for reading. CCM Come with me and you'll be in a world of pure imagination.
A World of Pure Imagination is a series of blogs looking at past and present technology, a blog to help inform and inspire.