Yes, it’s been a while since my last article. Anyway, for this one, I decided it’s time to take a look at one of my all-time favorite devices, which could be considered somewhat old by today’s standards, but is in my opinion more relevant than ever before.
A month ago, I came across an old iPod on the web for fifty euros, and immediately ringed the number in the ad – the device was a used iPod Classic, with 160 gigabytes of storage, fully operational and relatively well preserved. I always wanted one myself, and remember a friend having one in elementary school where he took it to school trips and we’d always argue who he’ll split the headphones with.
It was the Walkman of our generation and simply screamed cool when we were kids. At the time, however, the iPod classic cost around four-hundred euros, so most of us just resorted to cheaper USB connector MP3 players.
Later, I got an iPod Touch, which was basically an iPhone without the carrier option, but featured only 8 gigabytes of space which was never enough to store all the games and pictures from the camera roll, and that’s without your favorite playlist. If I think about it now, I actually never used that iPod for what it was meant to be – I mostly played games, watched YouTube, and never really used it to listen to music.
After that, I got my first smartphone, which I did use to listen to music, but similarly, used it’s multimedia features to a large extent. Three or four smartphones later, I found out that my music library kept changing with every phone I changed, depending on what my music preferences at the time were. Currently, I keep no music on my phone, as I mostly listen to it through YouTube or services like Apple Music or Spotify. But in order to do that, you always have to have an internet connection, which is not always possible, and in turn, your music library is not always available.
When I bought the iPod Classic, I simply wanted to have some of that nostalgy from when I was a kid and didn’t think I’d actually use it every day. But interestingly, I use it more than I initially thought I would. I have it hooked up to my home radio station via AUX, or take it with me to college and listen to music on the bus.
Why don’t you just use a phone, you might ask? Well, there a few reasons – the first one is that the controls on the iPod are intended for playing music – easy to use and strangely satisfying, but most importantly, and I cannot stress that enough – the iPod only plays music and does nothing else.
I find that very comforting, as you can simply relax and focus on your favorite track, instead of being bothered by the notifications on your phone. When was the last time you’ve listened to music without doing something else on your phone at the same time? There’s always a new message, a mail or an Instagram post you have to check out – the music, instead of being your primary focus, becomes a background for a completely different activity.
And I feel like there’s a whole different experience when really listening to music – it sounds better on an iPod, not because it’s better quality (it plays the same .mp3 files as your phone), but because it’s not a distraction. Nowadays, I find my phone sitting in my bag most of the time, as I scroll through music with the circular click-wheel. It’s a single-use device and does it’s role perfectly. Furthermore, I reckon I won’t be losing my music library ever again even if a change a phone, as the 160GB hard disk should be enough storage for a lifelong of tracks.
I hope this article inspires you to start listening to music without distractions, even if it’s on your phone because it gives you a whole new perspective on music you think you know, but find yet another small detail every time you listen to it.