Our reminiscences of the iPod

It’s official: the iPod is over. After 20 years, Apple introduced this week that it was discontinuing the final product within the model that outlined music gamers within the mid-2000s and helped catapult Apple to mainstream success.

A whole lot of us at The Verge have fond reminiscences of our days spent utilizing the music gamers over that two-decade run, so we determined to put in writing a few of them right down to replicate not simply on what an amazing music participant it was but additionally what an vital machine it was in our lives on the time. Plus, we’ve obtained loads of scars from these items getting destroyed or “going lacking.”

Listed here are our reminiscences of shopping for iPods, rediscovering them, nurturing them again to life, and generally simply shedding them.

I’ve two iPod tales: one in regards to the first one I ever obtained and one other in regards to the final one I bought new.

My first MP3 participant was really a 2GB Walkman, however as quickly as I noticed the “Nano-chromatic” ad for the fourth-gen iPod Nano, I made a decision I used to be going to purchase it. The primary downside was that I used to be 12, and $149 was a lot of cash for me — so I spent months scraping collectively allowances, cash from mowing lawns, and reward playing cards. After I lastly had sufficient, I marched into Toys R Us and picked out a blue one. Lastly, I used to be about to get my first iPod.

I hadn’t thought of gross sales tax and was quick a number of {dollars}. The cashier should’ve realized how shattered I used to be as a result of they supplied to cowl the remainder in what was nearly definitely the best act of kindness I’d skilled in my younger life. I nonetheless have that iPod, although its battery now not holds a cost.

Quick ahead a number of years, and I used to be a stereotypical techy teen with a jailbroken and modded iPod Contact fourth gen. At one level, I uninstalled one thing that was apparently important utilizing the jailbreaking device Cydia and was utterly unable to revive the iPod again to working situation. After a number of months, I made a decision to dig the machine out of my closet and provides restoring it one other shot. Miraculously, it labored, and my iPod was again to working inventory iOS 5.

The subsequent day, as I used to be getting out of my very cool minivan, it slid out of my pocket and fell onto the concrete driveway, shattering the display. RIP to an actual one. – Mitchell Clark

The iPod was the primary “cool” gadget I ever owned. I had a string of crappy different MP3 gamers, a Diamond Rio and an Archos Jukebox, however then I purchased a gold iPod Mini. It held 4 gigs of music, which even again then felt like lower than a few of its rivals, nevertheless it was tiny and quick and the factor felt like magic. Most of all, it didn’t skip each time the automobile hit a bump like a bunch of the opposite laborious drive-based gamers I had.

The Mini went in all places with me for years till it was stolen out of my automobile in my highschool car parking zone. (I can nonetheless image precisely the place my automobile was parked, the climate that day, all the pieces in regards to the second I found it was gone.) I couldn’t afford one other one, so I went again to my different gadgets, all of which now appeared awful despite the fact that they really held fairly a bit extra music. However I saved the white headphones as a result of so long as I had these, it type of felt like I nonetheless had an iPod. Till I hit a pothole and the factor skipped tracks. – David Pierce

A fifth-generation iPod.
Photograph by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

My first iPod was the fifth-gen iPod Video. The primary-gen iPod got here out in my freshman 12 months of highschool, and I watched enviously for years as all of the wealthy children confirmed theirs off between courses. In my junior 12 months, I mainly put collectively a PowerPoint for my dad, detailing my grades and all my foolish highschool achievements. My dad didn’t say something, and I sulked off, resigned to my destiny.

I used to be utterly shocked when, a number of weeks later, a bundle from Apple arrived at our door. My dad had a smirk on his face. It was the black model, too, since he knew I used to be a goth teen. (This was regardless of the very fact he wished I’d cease being goth with each fiber of his being). My dad was a stoic man, so he didn’t actually say a lot apart from “get pleasure from.” Evidently, I loaded that child up with as many motion pictures and songs as it might maintain. It was my companion for late-night examine periods and hour-long commutes to highschool. Most of the time, nonetheless, it was what I turned to as my mother and father muddled their means by a messy breakup.

You may in all probability say one thing about sulky teenagers listening to emo music as their mother and father break up up in explosive style. But it surely was an immense consolation to slide on my headphones and play my music, uninterrupted by notifications and apps.

My iPod Video lasted me about three years, till sooner or later, I dropped it on the sidewalk and it break up open. By that point, I used to be very a lot over its buggy interface and a click on wheel that didn’t need to cooperate anymore. I wished a newfangled iPod Contact. However one thing about my poor, loyal iPod Video mendacity shattered on a sidewalk made me tear up.

I took it house and saved it in a field for years. I couldn’t throw it out. I then forgot about it for nearly a decade and, surprisingly, discovered it when cleansing out my junk in 2018. My dad had simply died, however there, once I was lacking him most, was probably the most treasured items he ever gave me — a reminder of how a lot he beloved me even when he couldn’t categorical it. And possibly, simply possibly, me discovering it that day was my dad comforting me from past the grave. – Victoria Music

My “first iPod” story is loads like David’s. My first MP3 participant was a Rio that might maintain only a handful of songs, and for some purpose, I’ve a really robust reminiscence of a type of being a James Bond theme remix. My iPod Mini — in its wonderful child blue coloration — was a large improve. It might maintain far more songs than my Rio, and it was simply enjoyable to make use of. I nonetheless miss the scroll wheel! (I don’t know if I put that James Bond track on it.) It’s one in all my favourite gadgets ever, and I want I nonetheless had it. – Jay Peters

Apple Ipod Mini at the Apple Computer store in Soho.,
An iPod mini.
Photograph by Andrew Savulich/NY Every day Information Archive through Getty Photographs

The iPod Mini was my first iPod, and I’m fairly positive that it aided in some minor listening to loss. I used it daily, nestled into its helpful plastic cradle and tucked into my waistband, to drum to the beat of my favourite music as I used to be studying easy methods to play, a interest that additional aided in stated listening to loss. This iPod additionally joined me aboard my household’s tractor once I needed to mow our garden each week, a chore that in all probability contributed to listening to loss, too. I’ve no unbelievable tales to inform about my possession of this iPod, apart from it went in all places with me and dutifully did its job as a no-nonsense music participant that additionally had Brick Sport built-in. – Cameron Faulkner

My first iPod was the very first iPod — and it was purchased in a candy try by my mother to cheer me up. I used to be excited to have a lot storage on one machine and to have an MP3 participant that labored out of the field with iTunes. I used it consistently, generally plugged into a type of horrible tape decks and generally into a type of horrible FM transmitters. The tunes carried me alongside 12-hour drives backwards and forwards from school, and having all my music in a single place took the sting out of the lack of my favourite sleeve of combine CDs in a Dillard’s car parking zone in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

A screenshot of a conversation from iMessage. The sender asks: “Peter, it’s been 20 years, did you take my first gen iPod and sit on that secret for decades?” Peter responds with an SNL gif of Stefon saying “Yes,” then later replies “lol no.”
Investigating a disappearance.
Screenshot: Alex Cranz

Then, sooner or later, it vanished. It wasn’t in any of my purses. It wasn’t in my automobile. It wasn’t in my bed room. I used to be house on summer season break from school, so it positively wasn’t in my dorm room. It was merely gone. I obtained a less expensive iPod Shuffle to interchange it, and it wasn’t almost pretty much as good. For years I’ve questioned if my youthful brother secretly took it so he might look cool to the opposite excessive schoolers.

I not too long ago tried to analyze this lengthy lingering thriller, however the outcomes of my investigation have been inconclusive. – Alex Cranz

My first iPod was the 40GB click on wheel mannequin. I purchased it in like-new situation off eBay in 2005. My favourite factor about it wasn’t the massive space for storing, the shiny end that I protected in a Griffin clear case, or the plain cool issue. My favourite factor about it was a top-mounted FM radio transmitter accent referred to as iTrip. It regarded like a water tank that plugged into the headphone jack but by some means additionally regarded like a pure extension of the iPod. Because it ran off the iPod battery, I might soar right into a buddy’s automobile and simply have them tune to 87.9, which was nice since many automobiles didn’t have an aux jack or Bluetooth but.

When the iPod with video got here out, I knew I needed to have it. So I bought my iPod on eBay and acquired my first model new Apple product: a black 60GB fifth-generation iPod. I actually wished to guard this iPod, so I took it to a mall kiosk that applies clear vinyl protectors — large mistake. They used a razor blade to chop across the iPod wheel and utterly scratched it up. They didn’t take accountability for it, so, in my sorrow, I bought it on eBay at a loss. I couldn’t get myself to purchase one other new Apple machine for a very long time, however within the meantime, I performed MP3s on Home windows Cell gadgets just like the Cingular / HTC 2125 and on a Game Boy Advance licensed MP3 player accessory that got here with a 32MB compact flash card. – Umar Shakir

I grew up an Apple hater as a child with a foolish predisposition to dislike its merchandise as a result of I used to be all about gaming and PCs. I initially scoffed on the early iPods in favor of my Discman. I used to be the embodiment of this Penny Arcade comic strip. I didn’t strive or use an iPod for the longest time, however I piggy-backed on among the “properly, really”-style rhetoric I overheard about them not even having good sound high quality. When downloading MP3s turned a lifestyle, my eyes had been skilled on bizarre gamers from different manufacturers like iRiver and even Intel. (How becoming, as an annoying PC fanboy, to suppose “Intel!”)

I couldn’t afford any of them in highschool, however, in early school, I landed on a Creative Nomad Jukebox Zen that was mainly a laptop computer laborious drive in an unsightly plastic shell with a small monochrome display. That factor was like a small tank of low cost detachable storage that after obtained me overtly mocked at a buddy’s drunken basement get together when it was my flip to plug into the audio system. I positively didn’t speak shit again to them whereas being secretly envious of their glossy iPods. Nope, in no way.

My robust and misguided opinions towards Apple’s merchandise started to melt once I began utilizing Macs in my school pictures courses, and I ultimately picked up my first and solely iPod — a lime green third-gen iPod Shuffle. I purchased it for affordable on eBay to make use of whereas working, and that didn’t pan out, in fact. However I beloved it regardless of its flawed, buttonless design. I nonetheless have it to this present day, and if I ever discover the annoying 3.5mm to USB charger, possibly I’ll energy it on and see if I can keep in mind the earbud button sequences to manage play, pause, skip, and rewind.

Or possibly I shouldn’t as a result of I shudder to suppose what cringe music may nonetheless reside on it. –Antonio G. Di Benedetto

My first iPod was a hand-me-down from my older sister. It was a black iPod Basic stuffed with angsty songs that seventh graders in all probability shouldn’t have had entry to, like Panic! On the Disco’s Mendacity Is the Most Enjoyable a Lady Can Have With out Taking Her Garments Off.

That little machine was with me by the whole lot of my most awkward (and tried emo) part. After I ultimately obtained my very personal second-gen blue iPod Nano, issues didn’t change. I plugged it into the household laptop and loaded it up with my sister’s assortment of emo songs from iTunes, getting myself a replica of all of the P!ATD, The Academy Is, and Taking Again Sunday songs a preteen woman might hope for.

My iPod is now gathering mud someplace in my mother and father’ home. Wherever you’re iPod, I hope you’re cozy in the blue sock I purchased you. – Emma Roth


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.