A Love Letter To My iPod

Zach's iPod


Dear iPod,

We’ve been together for quite a while now.  Our relationship has been great. I’ve had you, in one iteration or another, for years. You’ve been my companion on many a ride on the public bus. You’ve provided some of my favorite moments of musical self-reflection. You’ve been the last friend I’ve said good night to many a night during the long nights in my tiny bed at summer camp. You’ve held thousands of songs, spanning decades and genres far and wide. I can clearly remember so many times that I’ve sat and scrolled through so many menus of artists, albums, songs, and playlists to find just the perfect song, and when I didn’t expect it, in some small way, you’d deliver. Something would show up and spark my imagination for that very moment and it felt great. I’ve had those moments many a time, and I’ve been able to have them all to myself. You’ve given me the ability to make every moment a musical moment.

But as time has gone by, you’ve fallen a little bit out of use. I haven’t been using you as much as I could. You spend most of your time sitting on my desk, waiting to be unlocked and played. You’ve began collecting dust, and not from the many rugged terrains you’ve accompanied me on. This is a much sadder dust: the dust of time.

It really should have seemed obvious at some point that something like this would happen. The writing’s been on the wall for a while now. You’ve practically become a collectors item. You can hold up to 40,000 3-minute songs, but the cloud can do so much more. The last time I gave you a nice bump of new songs from my recent acquisition of new music, I finally reached the point where you couldn’t fit all of my songs. As the long march to the sea that is cloud-based device integration continues, you were caught in the crossfire of obsolescence.

It’s still weird to have an alternative. I’ve been playing songs off my cloud-connected phone, but it doesn’t have the same magic. The weak, distant blare of my phone’s speaker will never have the same personal feeling of putting in my headphones and hearing the first song start up, feeling right there with me.

Now, the iPod is a subculture. It probably won’t get a vinyl-like revival, because there is something inherently awesome in vinyl that is different from any other format of recorded music. But there will be people who will hold onto their iPods for dear life because that was what they grew up with and because they still work. It’s our personal music library, and there will always be something vaguely romantic about getting on the bus and plugging in, the accompanying sights and sounds of an iPod-assisted hike, or the unfiltered fun of an iPod-DJ’d party.

It saddens me to know that eventually, your time will come. You will be gone forever, and there will be nothing to do about it. There won’t be spares in the back of the Apple Store that I can replace you with when this version of you dies out. You will no longer be able to be a 160 gigabyte musical Lazarus. You’ll just be gone.

So while you’re here, I’m going to savor our time as much as I can.



A devoted listener


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