May 25, 2024


Step Into The Technology

Apple discontinues its last iPod model, marking the end of a tech era

5 min read


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For a generation of men and women who lived, worked, and grew up in the 2000s, the term “iPod” was synonymous with new music. Escaping the sight of all those white ear buds was virtually extremely hard. And inspite of the speed with which smartphones took about our life, Apple saved creating its digital media gamers with out significantly fuss.

In a statement Tuesday, the firm stated it would continue on marketing the seventh-technology iPod touch “while provides last” — a quiet confirmation that the age of the iPod could ultimately be in excess of.

The go, although bittersweet for techies of a specified age, didn’t come entirely by surprise. For decades, Apple has slowly but surely culled its line of transportable media equipment: the final iPod with the traditional click-wheel was discontinued in 2014, and the after-well-known iPod nano adopted-accommodate three decades later on.

“Today, the spirit of iPod life on,” Apple’s senior vice president of globally marketing, Greg Joswiak, mentioned. “We’ve built-in an extraordinary music expertise across all of our merchandise, from the Iphone to the Apple Enjoy to HomePod mini, and throughout Mac, iPad, and Apple Television.”

Ideal now, the believed of a single-intent machine like the iPod can truly feel hopelessly passe. To an extent, Apple felt the identical. The authentic products only played music we procured, ripped and pirated, but they had been followed by variations that played video clips and, at some point, the contact-monitor types that persisted up to this week. But even nevertheless iPods have been finally (and completely) overshadowed by the Iphone, it’s really hard to understate the effects they experienced on the enterprise — and the folks who made use of them.

These times, Apple is worthy of in excess of $2 trillion and directs its notice to almost everything from computer system-processor design and style to Oscar-deserving movie creation. In the yrs major up to the unique iPod’s release, nevertheless, Apple was only just emerging from what iPod creator Tony Fadell called a “death spiral” in his new e-book.

Just after a string of not-fairly-ideal leaders, prodigal CEO Steve Jobs returned to the corporation and shook up its computer system lineup with a slew of low cost, vibrant iMacs in 1998. Then arrived likewise cheery iBooks a 12 months afterwards. But it was arguably the initial iPod, unveiled in Oct 2001, that established a revived Apple down a unique route — a single that cemented its spot in people’s pockets, not just on their desks.

In the past, Apple had dabbled with other tremendous transportable devices, like some sick-fated electronic cameras and the early PDA whose lasting legacy was a throwaway joke on “The Simpsons.” But in accordance to Leander Kahney, creator of the reserve “The Cult of iPod,” the company’s to start with MP3 participant was distinct.

“It definitely was a great gadget,” he instructed The Washington Put up. “So easy to use and the source of so much joy and pleasure — for the reason that of the music it contained, of system. And it was the merchandise that thoroughly transformed Apple, laid the groundwork for the Apple iphone and kick-started enormous development.”

About the two a long time that adopted, Apple collectively launched much more than two dozen iPod styles, not together with the variants with various quantities of storage room. And all through the iPod’s tenure, plenty of tech developments have appear and absent — here’s seeking at you, netbooks and 3D TVs. That is just how it goes in an marketplace in which a organization is only as great as its upcoming merchandise.

But even however the past iPods Apple at any time plans to make are on sale now, it would seem unlikely all those products will fully disappear from the cultural consciousness anytime soon.

“I didn’t have an iPod growing up,” said Bee Shipinski, a 19-12 months-aged university student in Boise, Idaho, born following Apple’s initial iPod announcement. “They were being really costly.” But a inclination toward tinkering — additionally repeated childhood exposure to those people dancing silhouette commercials — assisted turn Shipinski into a enthusiast of committed songs machines.

“With an iPod, all it does is play tunes. It does not care about an Web link, it does not care about a license,” Shipinski, who employs they/them pronouns, mentioned. “It appears to be like for the files, reads them, and it is like, ‘Okay, here’s what we’re going to do. We’re going to perform your audio, and we’re likely to perform it actually d— well.’ ”

Relatively than undertaking into the calculated slickness of an Apple keep, Shipinski bought their 1st iPods in a thrift retailer in 2019 and at some point made the decision to crack open the more recent a person for exciting. With enable from a mend tutorial from a YouTuber known as DankPods — who has amassed a subsequent of additional than 1 million subscribers fascinated in iPods and other early 2000s music players — Shipinski built their first modifications, or “mods.”

Shipinski is not alone. They’re one particular of a growing flock of folks who have begun fixing and, in some circumstances, upgrading previous iPods to function greater than they at any time could right before. Instead than outdated, comparatively delicate tricky drives, these tweaked products have been modified to go through tunes off cheap, roomy SD cards. And in accordance to a 17-year-outdated Irish Discord consumer named Leek Soup, folks usually install more substantial batteries into the area those people hard drives used to consider up.

“Other mods include things like personalizing the exterior of the iPod with diverse coloured faceplates, simply click wheels and rear scenarios,” Leek Soup stated. “People have also mounted taptic engines from iPhones into [old iPods], to give a little bit of tactile suggestions.”

So, certainly, Apple’s announcement does officially mark the conclude of an era. But judging by the a lot of versions on sale on eBay, it may perhaps be a though — if at any time — prior to folks at last have to move on from their valuable iPods.


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