Amid the hubbub of the iPhone 6 and Apple Watch introductions on Tuesday, the quiet death of the iPod classic went pretty much unnoticed. After 13 years of production, Apple has discontinued the hard drive-based iPod.
The demise of the iPod Classic was predictable. It was on its sixth generation, which hadn’t been updated in years, and sales had been declining year after year as people moved toward listening to music on their iPhones (and increasingly using streaming services like Pandora instead of locally copied music). But the iPod Classic was still a viable music-only device. In Michael Caine’s words in “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”, it was a one-trick pony, but it was a really good trick. If you had more than 64GB of music to carry around, it was your only option in the Apple stable, as the iPhone and iPod touch top out at that size while the last generation of the iPod classic held 160GB.
I picked up a new iPod classic not too long ago as a dedicated device to play all my music in the car, but I’ve found that I enjoy using it in a Walkman-like fashion when I’m out walking or biking because of the click wheel and the iPod’s single task nature. It’s just a comfortable little brick, and after all this time, the click wheel still makes sense when scrolling through music or changing volume. I’m glad I got.one of the last models, and I predict it will hold a full backup of all my music files for a good long while yet.