The iPod is officially dead, but it will always be Apple’s golden boy

After nearly 21 years, the iPod is no longer official. Apple made the announcement in a press release on its website, curiously avoiding the three scary “D” words: “discontinued,” “deceased,” and “dead.”

But she is dead. The shady youths dancing in early ads—now frustrated middle-aged and undoubtedly greatly less resilient—must be transported once again to carry a pristine white coffin before a crowd of millennial mourners. Mourners who, ironically, will almost certainly be distracted by occasional sounds from their iPhones.

Because that’s what eventually happened to the iPod: it was replaced by lyrical, all-dance devices that do everything an iPod can do and more. The iPod classic can’t take pictures, surf the web, or lure the owner’s ego with social media likes. He had one goal in life: to play music (and maybe – if you had one fancier later – to play video in a rather uncomfortable aspect ratio).

“Today, the spirit of the iPod is still alive,” Apple’s Greg Joswiak tries to reassure us, as he enthusiastically increases the “amazing music experience” offered with everything from Mac to Apple TV. “There is no better way to enjoy, discover and experience music,” he tells us.

I strongly disagree. As someone who is prone to procrastination and very open to the distraction currency of smartphones, I miss the days when the iPod was king. Without any add-ons, the iPod—and any number of other MP3 players mistakenly named iPod, in the same way any vacuum cleaner without the Hoover name tag would inevitably be called—was the perfect vessel for distraction-free listening, and truly engaging with music on an almost transcendent level. .

There were no email, text, or WhatsApp interruptions due to no internet connection. There was no app store to expand functionality, and the built-in games (which were initially hidden like Easter eggs) were so basic and difficult to use with the iconic scroll wheel that no one would voluntarily play it for long.

It was just you and your music of choice, as it should be, and nothing else from Apple’s current lineup comes close to that. I suppose the HomePod might not have a screen to distract you, but if you’re not restricted to headphones, any number of things around your house can steal your focus. Until then, Apple Music and Spotify open the door to every album ever created and not the album you have a personal connection to, which can be a distraction in itself if the paralysis of choosing too much begins.

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Later, of course, Apple tried to bring apps, games, and the web to its dedicated music player with the iPod touch: which is essentially an iPhone without the phone. But it wasn’t the same: the era of distraction-free listening is over, and we’re unlikely to see one like it again.

Unfortunately for the iPod, its success in the end was a downturn. It’s important to remember that in 2001, when the first iPod came out to little fanfare and acclaim, Apple had just posted a $195 million loss. Steve Jobs seized a chance on a styrofoam prototype weighed down with fishing hooks at a time when sales of MP3 players totaled 500,000 units annually. However, the product peaked with sales of 54.8 million in 2008, at which time Apple was reporting a net income of $6.12 billion.

You can draw a direct line from iPod to iPhone, and unexpectedly, the most famous moment on iPod It came only a year after the latter appeared. Then the iPhone would slowly swallow up the iPod market share as people gave up their tap wheel for the touchscreen and the glut of glossy apps the new game offered.

At some point, Apple will discontinue the iPhone as well. We’re probably a bit far from that (despite rumors that the company thinks mixed reality goggles could one day replace them), but if the iPod’s shameful slide into irrelevant tells us anything, it’s that when the thing comes The next big, there is no stopping progress.

At the ripe old age of 15, the iPhone should probably look anxiously over its virtual shoulder. After all, the iPod was Apple’s golden boy once. In my eyes, it’s kind of still.

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