I first got an iPod the year it came out. I asked for it as a holiday present from my parents. They didn’t know what to make of it. “It’s like a Walkman, but it’s four hundred dollars?”
“Yep,” I said. “Totally worth it.” It was the size of a deck of cards and twice as heavy. It was also an engineering miracle, the first example of Apple’s now legendary blurring of digital software, hardware and the everyday world.
I still have that iPod, as well as several others, up to and including my iPod Classic, which I still like more than the Music app on iOS. I’ve largely given up on the iPod, though, its lack of connectivity and relative clunkiness ceding to my iPhone 7 Plus, which contains my work apps and a whole lot of music. I cling to my MP3 library, but in time, I’ll get back into streaming media (I haven’t had a subscription since Rdio shuttered) and my local files will fade, too.
Most people have done what I’ve done—and sooner than me; I only gave up on my iPod in the past few months. We are at the conclusion of the iPod era, which Apple formally ended this week, discontinuing the Nano and Shuffle.
My kids still have an iPod, and my wife uses one when she goes for a run. We’ll have a long, slow goodbye in our household. But the future keeps arriving, and Apple, never one to linger, is ready to move us forward. Thank you, iPods, you served us well.