September is the month when Apple usually makes announcements about its new line of iPods. That hasn’t happened this year, and I am dismayed to discover that rumours about the demise of the iPod are swirling. Apparently it is possible that Apple may axe both the iPod Shuffle and the iPod Classic this year, with only the iPod Nano and the “poor man’s iPhone”, the iPod Touch, left standing.
I resisted buying an iPod for a long time, mainly because I was already listening to a lot of music, and I thought it was important to preserve certain times and places as pools of quiet. A portable music player would have made that more difficult.
Then I got married, and had kids. (Hallelujah!) These days, practically my only opportunities to listen to music are when I am out walking, or in transit somewhere. An iPod has made it possible for me to keep listening to the music I love, and I am thankful for that. I suppose that I have also grown fond of the little blighter.
Mine is an iPod Classic — 80 GB capacity, which has proved far too little for my entire collection, but adequate for an ample sample — and so is one of the models rumoured to be targeted for removal from Apple’s roster. I must register a protest. As far as I can tell, none of the other iPod models suit me. The capacity of the Nano is too little, not to mention that the screen is too small, not to mention that it has an annoying name, and not to mention that the thing can fall out of one’s pocket without one noticing — as my wife’s four sequential Nanos can well attest. The iPod Touch is a possibility, I suppose, but its capacity is again smaller than I would like, it is quite expensive, and it is cluttered up with a bunch of stuff that does not interest me.
(The demise of the iPod Shuffle, on the other hand, seems to me an occasion for quiet rejoicing. It is a monstrous device: a music player for people who don’t like music. Good riddance.)
Apple is apparently banking on people switching to the iPhone, but a phone is not really convertible with an iPod. For one thing, it is far more expensive, not only initially but month by month. And some of us do not want a cell phone, much less a smart phone. I just want a good quality portable music player. It seems, however, judging from Apple’s sales data, that mine is a minority view.
For now, my iPod is working fine, and I can continue to enjoy it. But when the time comes to replace it, my options are less attractive than they once were.