Gen Zers are reportedly paying top dollar for vintage refurbished iPods

Originally published at: Gen Zers are reportedly paying top dollar for vintage refurbished iPods | Boing Boing


I always thought the HD based MP3 market that was abandoned by Apple was vastly underserved. I still take my mp3 player on trips though mine is some off brand flash drive/external flash.

One day I will take my sony sport walkman and finish turning it into an mp3 player. I’m worried that will result in a mandatory TSA search every time I go to the airport though.

Or maybe I’m misreading the situation and it’s all about retro-chic?


There are plenty of brand-new, third-party iPod charge/sync cables available on places like AliExpress (for less than $5). Replacement batteries and screens are also readily available (and have been for decades). What America calls retro-chic, the rest of the world calls recycling.


I would hazard a guess that it’s actually GenXs whose iPods have died and are looking for replacements. There are plenty of people out there who’ll fit an SSD into an iPod case and you have a very nifty device.


I was never fond of the iPods but I had two different Sony MP3 players i really liked. I had one like this (they’re pretty small, maybe a little bit bigger than a business card but around that size)

Which i never used it for video, though it had that capability but its music capabilities were really good and overall it was really pleasant to handle.

The other one i had before that one was had a simpler interface

to be honest this one was awesome and used it a lot. Still have a lot of fond memories of it, though my Sony Discman that had a radio on it was something i avidly used and held up on the abuse i put it through taking it to work for years.

1 Like

I have 2 5th gen iPod Videos. I picked up the second one for parts several years ago for $40, but haven’t needed to replace anything on the original 2006 hardware in a while. I use an FM transmitter to listen to it in my 2023 car and in my 2002 car.

I’m GenX, not Millennial or Z. My phone could hold 3000 songs if I had no apps, which defeats the purpose of the pocket computer. The iPod is maybe a third full with just shy of 4000 songs. Why use this ancient device? Streaming services don’t offer the deep cuts that copies of my CDs offer, and lately iHeart has been proselytizing at me. Hard pass, back to the Pod.


One thing music lovers lost when Apple abandoned the iPod line was a damn good tactile interface that you could easily use without taking your device out of your pocket.



I haven’t been listening to as much music as i did about a decade ago, but if i was i’d be inclined to get an MP3 player rather than use a streaming service. I do like when a streaming service introduces me to artists and bands i might like, but 99% of the time it’s playing the music i already like and listen to.

Also i hope Gen Z discovers the art of making mix tapes and CDs


I still have a couple O.G. iPods that I use when traveling. When the eventual failure happens I will send my ill iPod off to (formerly known as Rapid Repair). I’ve sent a variety of iPods to them over the years for repair (and a couple Zunes).


Wait until they find out that the wires break after a while and how inconvenient they are. As a podcast addict since before smartphones existed, wireless earbuds have been the biggest improvement to my quality of life of any invention this millennium.


Those prices quoted in the article aren’t really markups. A new iPod Classic or Touch would normally list around $300 or $400. Factoring in inflation, you’re still getting a deal.


I had a sansa clip which I loved. I accidentally put it through the washing machine twice, and it still worked.


Love my (7th gen) iPod Nano!

Super light, small, and durable. One of the best designs out of Apple IMHO.


I recently was given a pair of first generation 5GB iPods with the Firewire port and the spinny clickwheel with the buttons outside it. I wonder if Gen Z is that dedicated to the cause.


OH, so like The Book of Eli?


I am “gen x” and have a hacked ipod Classic with 500gb of memory, more than 40,000 songs ripped as 320kbps mp3. Realistically I have to organize them into playlists to manage them all on the device. I have hacked four different models this way, some work better than others.

To hell with “streaming.”

I think you are referring to the 3rd gen with the touch-sensitive wheel/buttons, that uses the y-cable? These are easy to physically hack, but harder to restore/sync because you need an older Mac with the firewire port. However, there are no click buttons to go bad, so in theory it will last a lifetime or more.


This looks promising. I wonder what the market is for MP3 players like my original?

1 Like

Yeah, the Sansa Clip Zip with the stock firmware replaced by Rockbox has been my sweet spot for portable players for over a decade. Unfortunately they’re not made anymore, so when my second one finally dies (like the first did) I’m going to be out of luck. :cry:


If I had realized you could crack open a Creative Zen V and replace the battery, I might not have e-cycled mine all those years ago. As far as I’m concerned it was the perfect combination of size, capacity, and capability for my needs.

Random marketing image for scale:

This is not a mystery. Look in Dad’s tub of miscellaneous cords in the hall closet. Or maybe the ones in the basement. For sure the one in the attic?