Our reminiscences of the iPod

Our memories of the iPod


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

A variety 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 jot down a few of them right down to replicate not simply on what an incredible music participant it was but additionally what an necessary gadget it was in our lives on the time. Plus, we’ve bought plenty 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 typically simply shedding them.

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

My first MP3 participant was truly a 2GB Walkman, however as quickly as I noticed the “Nano-chromatic” advert for the fourth-gen iPod Nano, I made a decision I used to be going to purchase it. The primary drawback 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 present playing cards. Once 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 brief just a few {dollars}. The cashier should’ve realized how shattered I used to be as a result of they provided to cowl the remaining in what was nearly actually 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 just a few 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 software Cydia and was fully unable to revive the iPod again to working situation. After just a few months, I made a decision to dig the gadget out of my closet and provides restoring it one other shot. Miraculously, it labored, and my iPod was again to operating 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 screen. 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, however it was tiny and quick and the factor felt like magic. Most of all, it didn’t skip each time the automotive hit a bump like a bunch of the opposite laborious drive-based gamers I had.

The Mini went all over the place with me for years till it was stolen out of my automotive in my highschool car parking zone. (I can nonetheless image precisely the place my automotive was parked, the climate that day, the whole lot 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 although they really held fairly a bit extra music. However I stored the white headphones as a result of so long as I had these, it sort 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 yr of highschool, and I watched enviously for years as all of the wealthy youngsters confirmed theirs off between courses. In my junior yr, I principally 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 fully stunned when, just a few 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 actual 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 “take pleasure in.” Evidently, I loaded that child up with as many motion pictures and songs as it will maintain. It was my companion for late-night research classes and hour-long commutes to high school. Most of the time, nevertheless, it was what I turned to as my mother and father muddled their method by way of a messy breakup.

You might in all probability say one thing about sulky teenagers listening to emo music as their mother and father cut up up in explosive style. Nevertheless it 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 in the future, I dropped it on the sidewalk and it cut 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 residence and stored it in a field for years. I couldn’t throw it out. I then forgot about it for nearly a decade and, unusually, discovered it when cleansing out my junk in 2018. My dad had simply died, however there, once I was lacking him most, was one of the treasured items he ever gave me — a reminder of how a lot he liked 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 quite a bit like David’s. My first MP3 participant was a Rio that would maintain only a handful of songs, and for some cause, I’ve a really sturdy reminiscence of a kind of being a James Bond theme remix. My iPod Mini — in its superb child blue coloration — was an enormous improve. It may 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 among 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 Day by day Information Archive by way of 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 day-after-day, nestled into its useful plastic cradle and tucked into my waistband, to drum to the beat of my favourite music as I used to be studying 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 unimaginable tales to inform about my possession of this iPod, apart from it went all over the place 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 gadget and to have an MP3 participant that labored out of the field with iTunes. I used it consistently, typically plugged into a kind of horrible tape decks and typically into a kind of horrible FM transmitters. The tunes carried me alongside 12-hour drives backwards and forwards from faculty, 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, in the future, it vanished. It wasn’t in any of my purses. It wasn’t in my automotive. It wasn’t in my bed room. I used to be residence on summer time break from faculty, so it positively wasn’t in my dorm room. It was merely gone. I bought a less expensive iPod Shuffle to switch it, and it wasn’t almost nearly as good. For years I’ve questioned if my youthful brother secretly took it so he may 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 big 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 appeared like a water tank that plugged into the headphone jack but in some way additionally appeared like a pure extension of the iPod. Because it ran off the iPod battery, I may bounce right into a buddy’s automotive 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 purchased 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 — massive mistake. They used a razor blade to chop across the iPod wheel and fully 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 gadget 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 Sport Boy Advance licensed MP3 participant accent 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 cartoon. I didn’t attempt or use an iPod for the longest time, however I piggy-backed on a few of the “effectively, truly”-style rhetoric I overheard about them not even having good sound high quality. When downloading MP3s grew to become a lifestyle, my eyes have been educated 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 faculty, I landed on a Artistic Nomad Jukebox Zen that was principally a laptop computer laborious drive in an unpleasant plastic shell with a small monochrome display screen. That factor was like a small tank of low cost detachable storage that after bought me brazenly mocked at a buddy’s drunken basement occasion 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 smooth iPods. Nope, in no way.

My sturdy and misguided opinions towards Apple’s merchandise started to melt once I began utilizing Macs in my faculty images courses, and I ultimately picked up my first and solely iPod — a lime inexperienced third-gen iPod Shuffle. I purchased it for affordable on eBay to make use of whereas operating, and that didn’t pan out, after all. However I liked it regardless of its flawed, buttonless design. I nonetheless have it to at the present time, and if I ever discover the annoying 3.5mm to USB charger, possibly I’ll energy it on and see if I can bear 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 stay on it. –Antonio G. Di Benedetto

My first iPod was a hand-me-down from my older sister. It was a black iPod Traditional full of 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 way of the whole lot of my most awkward (and tried emo) section. Once I ultimately bought my very personal second-gen blue iPod Nano, issues didn’t change. I plugged it into the household pc and loaded it up with my sister’s assortment of emo songs from iTunes, getting myself a duplicate of all of the P!ATD, The Academy Is, and Taking Again Sunday songs a preteen woman may hope for.

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


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