the death of the ipod classic.

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 of the last models, and I predict it will hold a full backup of all my music files for a good long while yet.

8 thoughts on “the death of the ipod classic.

  1. The clickwheel is good, but I never would’ve gotten one, or at least the ones with the high storage capacity. They use traditional hard drives…very bad for wear-and-tear 😡 My sister’s was completely inoperable after only a year; so many sectors messed up…

  2. I’ve been using mine since 2006’ish. No problems, no messed up sectors. It’s doing extended duty now as the music player for my wife’s car.

  3. I’ve long held that while phones have become the technilogical Swiss army knife, there is something to be said for dedicated use electronics.

    The wife’s TomTom does a much better job as a GPS Nav device than my Android or Iphones have to date.
    As music players a classic MP3 player can do a better job than either, either being smaller, or holding more, or having much better battery life. My kids Sansa will last a week or more a charge, is about the size of a few quarters, and with upgrades holds 60+gb

    A real digital point and shoot still out does even the nicest of the phone cameras in light conditions and zoom.

    To use the analogy farther, while Swiss army knives are neat, and useful, I’d rather carry a single locking blade 99% of the time. It’s more comfortable, easier to use and does the primary job of cutting stuff better, and really I don’t need the saw or nail file half as much as I thought I might.

  4. For me, the main advantage of an iPod is that it didn’t take battery life away from my phone. If it runs out of power, no music. If my cellphone runs out of power, no phone, texting, GPS, address book, email, etc.

  5. I think the clickwheel is nearly essential for using one in a car; unlike a touch screen, you don’t need to look at a clickwheel.

  6. FYI the iphone6 tops out at 128 megs of flash storage. And i’m given to understand that the voice control is pretty good for finding the music you’re looking for.

    I imagine the newer Android phones are similar.