That device to the right is my iPod Classic. I’ve had this one since 2007, when I lost the original one on a flight home from San Francisco. It’s been my favorite gadget since I bought its predecessor two years earlier. This one has been pretty sweet. It’s accompanied me on road trips, flights, and hikes. When I wrote Road Rules and the aborted Devil’s Dance, I often sat in the Mt. Washington Starbucks tapping away with the Foo Fighters and Pink Floyd blaring in my ear drums.
When I walk or run, I play the iPod, indulging my recent obsessions with the Foos, Marillion, the Stones, and, most recently Rush. (The band, not the bigoted idiot talkshow host.)
It’s also been a boon to my workday. At BigHugeCo, I had a coworker who had extreme positions on both the left and the right, and he wanted you to have them, too. I did not want to have these deep, philosophical discussions with him, mainly because he liked calling anyone who disagreed with him stupid. I started bringing the iPod to work and voila. “I’m sorry, dude. I’d love to chat, but… You know… Led Zeppelin.” “But…” “Hey. I said ‘Zeppelin.’ Conversation over.” Got a lot more work done.
I use it at Medishack, too. Here, I write C# code along with fixing computers and trying to keep the servers from going off the rails. I tend to write more code when I’ve got the tunes flowing. Unlike BigHugeCo, however, where I could simply watch my phone or wait for an email notification to popup before pausing the music, I play the iPod at a fairly low volume. People stop by my desk all the time, and it’s kind of rude when your job entails face-to-face conversations at odd moments only to have you blasting the new Alice in Chains so that you don’t even know someone’s talking to you for five minutes.
One thing I don’t like is my current car, the Princess. It’s too new for a tape deck, but too old to have an audio jack. I suppose I should spend the money and get a new stereo installed, but Princess’s days may be numbered. If I want to listen to my iPod, I have to wear headphones. Too bad, because I would love to get an Audible account and listen to audio books during my commute.
A few people ask why I still have an iPod when phones will now do the same thing. Simple. I have an Android, which doesn’t sync with iTunes. Years of burning iTunes purchases to CD and ripping them back to MP3 to have them on non-Apple devices has resulted in a music collection bloated by multiple duplicates, a situation not helped by Apple’s insistence of making cloud-based versions of some songs available. Do I really need three copies of “Lady Maramlade,” both the Patti LaBelle and Moulin Rouge versions? I know my copy of Metallica’s S&M was originally from a cassette version, but how many copies of “No Leaf Clover” does Apple think I need? I paid for one. I’m good with just the one.
At some point, the iPod will die, as all electronic gadgets do. What will I replace it with?
Right now, it looks like an iPhone.
But it won’t be the same.