I couldn’t survive without my iPod…

At least that’s what LL Cool J might have sang had he recorded that song any time in the last ten years.

Anyhow, I’ve had this post brewing for a few weeks now – I was going to put it up after the last Apple conference but decided against it following Steve Jobs passing; I didn’t want to look like I was jumping on some kind of bandwagon!

I’ve been undecided as to whether I was going to make this post a rant or a discussion. In the end, I’ve decided it’s a love letter. A love letter to the iPod. Not the super shiny, touchy feely iPod that Apple splash around these days. The proper iPod; the Classic.

We’ve had Nano’s, shuffles iterations thereof, but nothing is more iconic that the touch wheel iPod. I’ve owned one since 2005 and wouldn’t be without it. There are many people who bash Apple for promoting materialism and selling dramatically overpriced designer hardware, but no one can deny the impact the original iPod has had on the portable media market.

While not the first MP3 player available, and certainly not the last, the original iPod has captivated me with it’s simplicity. Yes, it can play video and a few games (remember, we’re not talking the Touch here which can do all that and more) but at it’s core it’s as pure a music player as the old Sony Walkman I used to treasure.

I love taking my music with me; in my youth I’d spend hours recording CD’s (in real time kids!) to tape so that I could listen to them on my aforementioned Walkman, crafting mix tapes so that I wasn’t stuck with just one artist. For me, being able to have all my music AND mix tapes (playlists) available on one device still feels like magic, even though I know darn well how it works!

Sure, perhaps it’s not as shiny as it’s touch screen counterparts, and you  may have to use iTunes to sync content to your device (something many feel is a disadvantage) but the capacity of the Classic trumps the Touch and iPhone (160Gb over 64Gb on the Touch and iPhone 4S – a capacity drop which comes at a premium!) and, to my mind, the click wheel is a slick, simple, easy to use way of interacting with the device.

Initially it disheartened me that Apple gave no attention to the Classic in their presentation (indeed they’ve dropped the click wheel off the Nano iPod line in favour of a touch screen) and I got concerned that the gorgeous little device was under threat. Then I thought – perhaps it doesn’t need any more attention; everyone knows what an iPod looks like, recognises that wheel, the layout of the screen. Perhaps it needs no more publicity.

I do hope Apple don’t discontinue the Classic – it’s a piece of pop culture that deserves to live on.

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