I get strange looks from anyone who sees me pocket my iPhone 5 so I can break out my iPod classic. Five years since I won the device at a company raffle, it remains my favorite little music player.

It isn’t perfect. The not-so-solid-state drive makes everything a little sluggish. The interface looks pretty dated. There’s no Wi-Fi, so it will always be tethered to a computer with iTunes installed. On rare occasions an album’s tracks will show up out-of-order (cleaning their ID3 data usually fixes it).

But it plays music. All of it. Not most of it through a streaming service. Not whatever I synced to some emaciated SSD, failing to predict what I’ll want in the hours, days or weeks ahead. Every forgotten 60s masterpiece, every underrated indie group, every B-side that could have been a single is playable, immediately, wherever I am.

There’s no touchscreen, so I can play, pause and skip tracks by touch alone. No Wi-Fi means no interruptions… I can listen to Side 2 of Abbey Road without some spammy notification tri-toning its way into “Polythene Pam.”

I love my iPhone. It would probably be my “desert island” device (assuming this hypothetical island has LTE data). It’s pretty great at most of what it does.

My iPod classic is better at music, because that’s the only thing it does. And sometimes that’s okay.


Jedediah says

Amen. Love my iPod Classic as well. It’s the only device I use in the car because that’s all it does – play music…really well.


Theodore Taylor III says

I still use mine in the car and on walks sometimes. Subsonic on my phone has mostly replaced it, until I lost my unlimited data plan and I had to limit myself to “pinned” songs. Sometimes it’s nice to just pull out my iPod and not have to worry the disadvantages of streaming… My iTunes library exceeded 120GB a long time ago, but that’s still plenty of space to load up with smart playlists and such for long car rides… Anyway, RIP iPod.


shash7 says

Same here. I have an ipod nano that still works.


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