Last week I took a look at the newly released streaming service Apple Music, which certainly has its bugs, but Apple Music is just one of many services and technological changes that are slowly but surely pushing the very product that brought the company back from the dead into the ground. Phone storage sizes are getting larger, cloud services and streaming are become more and more prevalent as smartphones continue their takeover leaving very little room for the iPod to remain. With the release of the newest iPod touch apple’s website doesn’t even warrant the product category a navigation button at the top of the browser. My first iPod was the first iPod nano, and now as I look to hopefully upgrade to the new iPhone 7 or iPhone 6c in a few months, depending on my budget, I am at the point of replacing my iPod touch with a phone.
Since the iPod’s introduction in 2001 this little piece of technology became one of the most talked about and used audio devices in the world. It seemed that we had been waiting for something just like the iPod and had been just getting along with things like minidisc players and mp3 CDs up to that point. The interface was intuitive and the idea that you could have more than a hundred songs with you at any time was amazing. Looking back now I would complain about the small amount of storage because of the size of my library, but at the time being able to hold more than 20 songs with something that could fit into your pocket made me start saving up for one immediately. With the later introduction of cross compatibility and the iTunes store the iPod had pretty much locked up the market. I was happy with a few thousand songs in my pocket and couldn’t see the reason to ever really need an iPhone when they originally came out.
When my iPod ended up getting stolen I made the decision to go big instead of going home. Meaning that I went and bought the biggest iPod touch I could at the time, not that I went crazy trying to figure out a way to get revenge on whoever stole my iPod. I came home with a 64gb iPod touch and immediately fell in love. I could do nearly everything an iPhone could with the state of data streaming at the time, I was just secluded to use my favorite apps while in wifi. This lasted me long into the time that many of my friends had smartphones, as I was usually living on a college campus or in a city where I could get wifi relatively easily.
However my iPod now is generally unused unless I go on long trips or am doing something like going to the gym. With an iPhone and a few GBs dedicated to music that I listen to frequently, and the rest streamable from the cloud it is no wonder that people don’t see much of a reason to buy new iPods, but instead would rather have a phone with a bit more storage. My iPod now has no apps other than the default few that came with the now out of date iOS and needs to be cleaned up every time I need to add some new music or a playlist to it.
It strikes me that the whole reason the iPod got so popular, along with the walkman and similar predecessors was to free yourself from the radio while you were out and about. However, many streaming services’ big draws now are that they can pick the songs for you and create playlists off songs you don’t know for you. This seems eerily similar to finding a radio station that fits your tastes, albeit with more customizability, and these streaming services allow you to listen ad-free, but the similarities are still there. It seems that the thing that has or at least is killing the iPod is an evolution of the thing that it almost drove to extinction, the radio.
Should the latest iPod touch be the last installment in the series? What do you use your iPod for if you still own one as well as an iPhone?