Discontinuing The iPod Classic? Say It Isn’t So, Apple.

Hey Apple,

I am hearing something. Something bad. I need you to tell me that it isn’t so. You see, rumor has it that you will discontinue the iPod Classic.

You can’t do that. Yes, I know it is within your power to do so, but I disagree with the idea that you should exercise that power. Let’s discuss some reasons why you should make the rumors untrue.

Classics Never Go Out Of Style

The iPod classic is aptly named. The original design was a classic. All its descendents are functional and design refinements on its theme.

Bogart. Suit. Both classic, not discontinued

Classics never go out of style.

When a man needs to look his best, he puts on a suit and tie. Yes, I will admit that I do not own a suit, but that isn’t the point. If someone I knew was getting married I would buy one and put it on. The point is that the design of a man’s suit is a classic. Generations of men have worn the same basic configuration of clothing to the office and semi-formal occasions. Today’s suit is both similar to and different from suits worn by men in the early 20th century. It has been refined and keeps evolving, but, save for an unfortunate period in the 1970’s, it has never been tossed aside because it is a classic.

Let’s consider the concept of classic from another angle. People consider certain films to be classic. Those films are still shown and revered today. Metropolis wasn’t put on the shelf when The Jazz Singer joined motion pictures and sound. People still enjoy Bogart and Bacall in black and white in this era of computer generated animation. They, like your original iPod line, are classics. There will always be a place for them.

Practical Impracticality

Owned it. Loved it. (Image via Wikimedia)

Do you need more? OK, let’s get personal.

I love music. I listen to it constantly. I worked my way through college partly by working at music stores and ushering at concerts. I lived on Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup in those days because I spent a lot of money buying music to listen to, and I didn’t know what ramen was.  I dreamed of the day that I would be able to listen to whatever part of my music collection I wanted, wherever I chose. I knew back then it was an impractical dream.

And then, the dream came true. iPod made it possible for me to live the dream – music, my music, anywhere. I thought I’d never fill up my first 10GB iPod. I did. I upgraded to a 40GB, then an 80GB.

I should pause here and say that I am not proud of what I am about to admit.

I Am An Addict

My love, OK, need for the iPod classic is part of my being. I thought I knew it because I kept buying them and filling them up. The need is deeper than that.

I realized I how badly needed my iPod early one morning as I was leaving for work. I grabbed my 80GB iPod and was headed out the door. My hands were full, I was in a rush. I heard a sickening sound beneath me. I looked down. It was the iPod. I grabbed it up and did all I could, but it was gone. My heart sank and then, I did something I had never done before and have not done since.

I went back inside, called my partner and told him I was under the weather and was staying home. I was perfectly healthy. The only times I have made a similar call to my employer, it was because I was in an emergency room. I just could not face the day without my music, the musical dream that you enabled me to carry with me to my desk and into the field. I was waiting outside a department store door at 10 am when they opened. My 120 GB was syncing my library thirty minutes later.

I am an addict.


My trusty 120 GB iPod classic is a big part of my life. It is with me all the time. I do not leave the house without it.

Own it. Love it. Need another. Will need a bigger one after that. (image via wikimedia)

It is nearing capacity. Nearing the time when I’ve got to buy up again. I’ve got 17,000 songs on it, they all live together happily and help me through my day.

Beethoven.  Strauss. Copland. Those guys live next door to the masters of The Blues – Blind Willie McTell, Lightnin’ Hopkins, B.B. King and all their friends. Bela Fleck and his banjo are in there, along with Kaki King, Issac Hayes, Johnny Cash, Curtis Mayfield, The Indigo Girls and Robert Earl Keen. The Boss is in there, so is Buffett, so is Will Kimbrough. Warren Zevon is still alive in my iPod. Ernie and The Berts just moved in.

When I need to get fired up for work, I have the New Zealand Rugby Team Haka. I yell with them, and we become indestructible together.

My son’s high school jazz band lives in my iPod and makes Basie’s composition, Splanky, swing any time I want them to.

17,000 and I know I’ll need more. I’ve eyed the 160GB model and told myself that by the time I fill that, you’d be ready with even more capacity. Now is not the time for us to part ways, Apple. I’m not the only one like me and we both know it.

The iPod touch is nice, I replaced my PDA with it. I’m going to replace my phone with the iPhone next month. Sure, I need those apps. I don’t need them in place of my music.

OK, Let’s Wrap This Up

Apple, have you ever seen stories on the local news about when fire consumes some unfortunate person’s home? They love to show a picture of the victims who escaped the blaze, shivering and holding the pet they rescued. If ever you see a news story like that and there is a guy standing there in a t-shirt and boxers, shivering and cradling his iPod, you can say to yourself “wow, Omawarisan gets some f-ed up bed head when he sleeps.”

Yes, I would save the iPod. I would never let a classic die. Don’t you do it either.

Say it isn’t so, Apple.


40 Comments on “Discontinuing The iPod Classic? Say It Isn’t So, Apple.”

  1. spencercourt says:

    > I’ve got 17,000 songs on it

    And i thought I was doing pretty good to have a SanDisk 8 Gig MP3 player which I use only for those long flights out west.

    >Beethoven. Strauss. Copland.

    Any Baroque?

  2. When do we march on Cupertino! This can’t be allowed to happen.

  3. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Bummer. Hang on to yours and in 10 years it will be worth even more. Wait, I don’t think that applies to technologies. Call the Smithsonian. I’m not being helpful or sympathetic, am I? I have an iPod nano which is probably out of date by now. It has about 15k of memory. I think there are three songs on it. I never use it because it’s not worth it. I take it to work, plug my earphones in and then immediately some nincompoop pops into my cubicle. They see that I have earphones in, but they wait until I take them out. It’s so annoying. I get to listen to about 7 seconds of the beginning of each song.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’ve got speakers at my desk and plug into that. It drowns out the office.

      I’m going to hang on to mine and get another. You’re right, it would be a collectors piece. I’ve seen old walkmen converted into iPod cases.

  4. Wow. Not only can you write, you’ve also got good taste in music. My whole life has a soundtrack. I can’t hear “Cheeseburger in Paradise” without thinking of our crazy road trip to Florida in the early days of our marriage, and “Swamp Ophelia” takes me all the way back to college. Can’t survive without my tunes.

  5. Laura says:

    This must be part of a master plan to push people to use iCloud.

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m all in if I can get all my stuff when I want. That ability has been the great thing about iPod. If I want to listen to Led Zeppelin, I can. If I want Richard Cheese, I can.

  6. Lafemmeroar says:

    You provide a good argument for the iPod Classic. This is such a well written article … you should send it to the new CEO … to plea your case. Also you really communicated your love for music. I felt it … I saw it … in your words. Bravo.

  7. KathiD says:

    Oh yes, I hear you. The husband and I started with iPods back in the 10GB days, as soon as it was available for Windows, and have marched through all the generations. We have had similar panics when our current Classic hiccups or gets dropped, or misplaced. We have iPhones, iPads, and Macbook Pros. If we had to lose it all, we would still want our iPod Classics.

    I am not proud of what I am about to say, as it exposes my hoarder tendencies. As soon as I saw the news, I ordered a 160gb Classic, just in case anything happens to the 120gb I have now. I would have ordered one for the husband, too, but he bought one a while back as a backup to his 120gb, because one day he couldn’t find it and had a vision of what life might be like without it.

    You know, if you order it directly from Apple, they ship it free and will also engrave the back for you. You could write really nice things on the back and pretend it was an award for Excellent Service or something. Even though I’m only fooling myself. Er, I mean, you would only be fooling yourself. You know.

    • omawarisan says:

      We’re both hoarders in that way. I got wind of this thing and in the midst of writing I was on the website pricing them. If they don’t change their mind I am going to have to have two of them plugged into my car.

      I’d even be fine with them making it a niche item in limited quantity. I can be patient, sort of.

      While you’re here, how did the hall of fame miss Zevon again?

  8. Todd says:

    I understand that you’re frustrated and scared, but don’t confuse the medium with the message. The iPod is merely a vessle. It’s simply the thing that holds the soundtrack of your life. Soon, the soundtrack of your life will be stored in “the cloud” and streamed into a “computer chip/tracking device” implanted in your brain by Google. (This is what I read on the Internet, anyway, so it’s gotta be true.)

  9. I love my iPod Classic. I hope this rumor isn’t true! I don’t like touch screens 😦 so I don’t want an iPod touch

    • omawarisan says:

      You’ll have to hoard like Kathi and I.

      For what it’s worth, I love the screen on my touch, but it will never hold the music I want it to. Great PDA/toy/tool kit though

  10. shoutabyss says:

    I think I own close to 1,000 compact discs. One of my dreams is digitizing the whole library. I’d like to do that on something the size of a peanut, preferably smaller. Perhaps it can then be subcutaneously injected under my skin and live next to my RFID.

    Until then, I find the iPod a fun substitute. I never owned the classic but I admired it from afar. Then I got an iPod Touch and it was love at first swipe. Mine is only 8GB so I have to be choosey with my tunes. I tend to pick eclectic stuff that makes me look trendy just in case I ever get to show off what’s in there.

    Todd, I understand the hype about the “cloud” and it freaks me out. I spend my day with retail customers on the phone asking about their orders and stuff. The new routine is putting them on hold for five minutes while we attempt to access their information, helpfully stored out on the cloud. I like having MY data on my own device without having to wait on a million other people and components where any one of them letting me down puts a kibosh on the whole deal.

    • omawarisan says:

      Man, you’ve got to save your allowance and invest in a big kahuna 160 iPod. You can have everything with you, if you think of it, you can play it. And you can put it on shuffle and find music you forgot you had.

      The cloud thing interests me but I only vaguely understand it. It appeared, Justin Bieber like. There was no cloud, then ads started appearing, talking to me as if I’d known it was there all along.

  11. madtante says:

    I still have what I call the “calculator screen” iPod. Sure, it doesn’t hold as much as my iPhone (which is quite outdated and I’ve planned for a year on getting the new one) but it keeps WORKING. All it does is play music. I have no need for a replacement. At this point, I have the original iPhone (much smaller memory) as a back-up, in case the old iPod croaks but I don’t think it ever will. It’s scratched, it’s scarred. Sometimes it doesn’t light up and sometimes it gets stuck on or off–nothing a little hard-boot and lock-flipping hasn’t fixed. I think I restored it once. Takes a lickin’ and keeps on tickin’!

    • omawarisan says:

      I’m surprised what won’t kill an iPod, mine have been a lot more durable than I’d thought. The one I broke really took a hard shot.

      I’m eligible for a phone upgrade, finally. I’m going to grab an iPhone I think. Probably going to wait for iPhone 5 to come out and get the 4.

      • madtante says:

        I’m still running the 3GS and wasn’t ready when they released 4 (meaning, hadn’t the MONEY saved up–I ain’t buying no damned phone on credit). I’m looking forward to an upgrade and hoping I don’t regret it, too!

        • omawarisan says:

          I agree, if I can’t hand them the cash I’m not getting it.

          There’s some temptation creeping in to just get the 5

          • Pie says:

            I’m with you. I’ve been holding out on upgrading to iPhone 4, ‘cos I knew 5 was coming soon. By then (hopefully) I’d get 4 for free (preferably the 32GB, but the 16GB will do for me).

  12. Spectra says:

    What? Walkmans are obsolete? But…why?

  13. tsanda says:

    Bogart was kinda discontinued….

  14. We found him Captain!! says:

    I have a Japanese transistor radio made in 1946. Wanna trade?

  15. Pie says:

    Cloud, shmoud, I want the iPod classic! I have the G4 version at 20GB, which came out in 2005 (I think) and it works perfectly well, containing the soundtrack to my life, as the Walkman did before it, but with a much larger capacity. Looks like I’d better get a wriggle on and bag a 120GB before they discontinue. I love a smart phone with its shiny face, ability to swipe or pinch the screen and its billions of apps, but a classic is a classic and it should never be swept away in the name of progress.

  16. pattypunker says:

    while, i’m with some of the others here and am ready to embrace new and better music delivery systems, i feel bad for you because i respect your love of music and this device has a special meaning for you. you’re absolutely right, emotional attachment is priceless.

  17. If I say that your choice in music is eclectic, will you take that as a compliment? That’s how it’s meant, spoken by someone who listened to Bowie (Ziggy Stardust), The Police (Ghost in the Machine), and Soft Cell (Tainted Love) all within one disc of each other on her Sony Walkman (circa 1982/83). I’m not proud of this. I’m just being honest since you admitted to your addiction. I always got my sons’ hand-me-down iPods, and they always changed the language to Japanese so I had no idea how to do anything with it. Now I have a Nano, which I love, and it’s mine, all mine! And I’m too embarrassed to tell you how eclectic the song selection is.

  18. Jennifer says:

    Or you can get spotify on your computer or phone and always have access to all music. Well maybe not ALL, but quite a bunch.

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