iPod, RIP (2001 - 2022)

Originally published at: iPod, RIP (2001 – 2022) | Boing Boing


Still got my [bricked] first gen iPod. It’s a paper weight now…

{sent from my iPhone]


Here’s the original Steve Jobs unveiling.

The iPod may not have been the originator in this space, but it was the first to do it “right”. At the time I had a Creative Nomad Jukebox. It was a gigantic and clunky thing. The interface sucked, transfer speeds were glacial, battery life was bad, couldn’t display Unicode characters, and it was super unreliable.

The iPod did so many things right. Small size. Simple and elegant interface. Super reliable. Great battery life. Fast data transfers thanks to FireWire. Supported Unicode. iTunes was a great media player. I couldn’t wait to use it, but I didn’t have a Mac. Thankfully it didn’t take long for people to figure out how to sync it on a PC, and then Apple released iTunes for Windows.

I loved the iPod. I’ve had many over the years until the iPhone basically made it obsolete. I still have an old iPod Classic. It has a dead battery but I’m thinking of resurrecting it and replacing the hard drive with an SD card adapter.


I love my 7th gen iPod nano (c. 2012). It’s sooo awesome. I use it all the time.

That was some great design. Small form factor, touchscreen, light, durable, decent storage capacity. Software wasn’t bloated at all. It did one thing (primarily) - play music & podcasts - and it did it really well.


…but it won’t be missed because it has been replaced by the smartphone.

Unless you don’t have a smartphone or don’t want to lug it around to play music…

I’ll miss it when it eventually dies!


RIP speaker jacks, ‘‘twas nice to know you.


The Rio Karma had better audio circuitry. Then Apple went and bought the company who made Rio’s DACs, or got an exclusivity deal or something.


Or if you have an Android phone and wanted something that would let you use Apple-specific apps, which is why I got my first iPod.


Indeed. The iPod didn’t have the best audio hardware but it was good enough. The Zune for one really kicked its ass in fidelity with its Wolfson DAC.

These days I use an external DAC on my iPhone with Apple Music lossless and things sound amazingly good with a good pair of cans.

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I loved my iPod (classic which I know was discontinued a long time ago). I finally stopped using it last year when I got the iPhone 12 with more than enough storage to hold all the MP3s I collected over the years. That capacity limit was the only thing holding the iPhone back from being my sole device.
I’m thinking I’ll still keep the iPod in my car as a backup music player, but with Bluetooth on my phone that automatically connects to the car I won’t even need it there anymore really.

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Most of my MP3s were compressed a bit so I didn’t even care but wasn’t the iPod capable of playing uncompressed audio? Or are you saying that something happened between the hard drive and the output that made it lower quality? My ears can’t really tell the difference between a high bitrate mp3 and a lossless format so it just was never a concern for me I guess.

The iPod classic was the perfect device- I didn’t care for the nano or the touch, but that original was literally perfect. It did ONE THING, and it did it amazingly well with an incredibly simple interface, all the functionality you needed, and nothing else.


I trained myself to do listening tests on mp3s. My current advice to my younger self would be “Don’t!”


Is it wrong that we want devices that do one thing well? I don’t want a phone that’s a pain in the ass to talk on and an MP3 player that is the size of a large notepad and an incredibly fragile mini supercomputer with shitty apps that are poorly designed and that overheats in my pocket and has a battery that can’t be replaced – even if they are all the same device. ESPECIALLY if they are all the same device.


As a general rule, I love Swiss Army Knives- Give me a gadget that replaces a dozen others, and I’m happy.

But there are certain things… If it’s something I do every day, and something I care about, I want one well designed tool that does THAT without distracting me.

That was my issue with the iPod touch- It was too much. It played games and took photos and had facebook. That stuff all distracts from the point of the thing.


Apple has a streaming music service to sell. An ipod without cell service is useless to apple.


Well, sorta. The original iPod could do AIFF and WAV. The Classic could play ALAC up to 24 bits/48 KHz. (Not sure about the Touch - I never followed the iPhone-derived models.)


The ipod shuffle couldn’t do lossless. Transferring my library was time consuming.

Yeah, I forgot about the Shuffle - that was kind of a weird anomaly in the iPod timeline.


I bought an iPod nano in 2012 and it remains an astonishing little piece of engineering. I still use it every day to listen to podcasts (and sometimes music); it’s tiny and essentially weightless, the battery life is fine even after a decade of heavy use, and it syncs effortlessly with iTunes, or at least the version that’s running on my 2014-era Mac Mini. Some day one or the other of them is going to die, and then I guess I’ll have to use the horrible, worthless podcast software on the iPhone, but until then, only the nano will do.