Why there's a cult market for really old iPods

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/03/03/why-theres-a-cult-market-for.html


Wait, there were games on the OG iPod?


Speaking as a cheapwad living in Australia, the iPod is still relevant on any driving trip 40km outside a major urban center. The highway linking the two biggest cities in the country has sporadic mobile coverage so having your music on a tiny little hard drive is way superior to depending on a network. My last iPod had 80GB of storage (I didn’t feel like shelling out for the 120 or 160GB version) and I’d poured hours into uploading old media into the AppleSphere.
An iPhone 11 will now set me back A$1200 and has a whopping 64GB of storage.

Yay progress.


Yeah, they came with a version of Breakout, but I don’t remember what else. There might have been a Name That Tune type game as well.

For my taste, I can’t beat this amazing little Shenzhen special I got on Amazon for $20. Reminds me a little bit of my dearly departed Creative Zen (the best portable music player of all time).


While I see the point of those using old iPods, Sansas, etc., there’s one big advantage to having the music on the phone: one less device to carry. My pockets are already full enough that the phone lives on a belt pouch, so my Rockboxed Sansa is in a box somewhere.

If you want storage, the lower-to-middle Android devices almost always have a MicroSD slot. Between that, a high-capacity card, and the Foobar2000 Android app, I’m all set.


Wait, people buy these things? I knew there was a reason I kept ignoring my wife when she tells me to recycle all our old electronics.


I agree that’s true, but if you don’t want notifications distracting you all the time then two devices is useful. I’ve moved to one phone for general use, and an old one with a 500GB card, a music and podcast app and (usually) no internet connection* for distraction free listening.

* The internet connection is turned on when I want to top up the backlog of podcasts.


I love the article, but I DESPISE the Medium nagging!

A key reason: some of them are obviously immune to being used to steal data.
When my son worked programming as a contractor to the US government with security clearance, nothing with USB, bluetooth, etc. could be brought on site. Perhaps that’s been loosened, because everything has it now, but a as recently as 5 years ago I think there were only a couple MP3 players he could bring in.


They had a better sounding DAC, but don’t support FLAC.

There’s third party firmware that does.

I think most of them do support ALAC which is a lossless format.

Yee, I bought a cheap MP3 player from Amazon a vew months ago, choosing one that allowed for a 128gig card and bluetooth. The display seems a bit roguh bjt otherwise seems fine.

It replaces a Sansa Fuze, the battery on that isn’ fully charging anymore. It also takes a smaller microSD card, and there’s a limit on how many songs it can handle. I figure on this cheaper player I can get just about all I want on it.

Until I looked at Amazon, the MP3 players I was seeing were limited and from companies I’d never heard of. It seems like Apple is tge onky one remaining as a big name.

I did fibd an 80gig iPod some years back, a box of junk waiting for the garbage truck. Since there was a soldering iron next to it, I assumed the battery needed changed ng, but it keeps a charge.

But I’ve onky tried it, it was somehow not appealing.

The firmware option is intriguing, but I have no interest in converting several TB of lossless audio from an open standard to Apple’s identical-except-Apple-only standard


Yet more proof that we need right to repair legislation.


Not for nothing, but the iPhone also has the ability to access millions of gb of songs and movies and play them instantly on a screen that would have been seen as magical 15 years ago, with a really good video/camera and a hell of a lot of computing power. And it’s a phone. It’s not a replacement for the iPod classic, it’s something different. It’s like complaining that your new mid-engine Corvette doesn’t do nearly as good a job of hauling firewood as your old Chevy pickup.

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I miss my old iPods every time I have to take my phone out of my pocket to access the transport controls that I used to be able to operate through denim.


Yeah I keep a collection of old sansas because I can operate them by feel, which is really nice if you’re walking or running

I used to use an iPod on my Loud Bike for the bike stereo. It was good to have all the music right there without notifications, but the scroll wheel was a rather inconvenient method of controlling the volume. It takes five seconds to turn back into a volume control after using the menus.

I eventually got a 7" tablet running Neutron player.


Not to derail, but surely that picture cannot be posted without a follow-up story. Inquiring minds want to know.


Please tell me you have leopard ears on your helmet