The iPod Classic has been discontinued.
It’s very interesting, last week we posted an article on the differences – seen and unseen – between owning versus streaming your music. The article looks at the implications for both artists and listeners between the two options. Our associate editor took the side of streaming and even explained that the 160 GB Classic iPod couldn’t hold his entire music collection. Well, it seems that the option of trying to put your collection into a Classic iPod isn’t even possible anymore, that is unless you are ready to fork over a good amount of cash for it.
Three months ago Apple apparently stealthily killed off the iPod Classic. Those old iPods with the famous click-wheel are no more! The device that revolutionized music listening for a generation, and forever changed Apple’s reach into our lives, cannot be bought new from Apple anymore. This though has only lead to people trying to get their hands on the device even more. On Amazon the iPod classic is going for close to $500, and in England they are going for upwards of $1050 (£670)! Just as recently as September you could scoop that up from Apple for around $270.
Apple’s explanation was that the company no longer had access to the material for the components of the device and that a redesign would be too demanding to undertake. Yet one has to think that Apple also is just buying into the idea that streaming is the future and that a music-only storage device is a thing of the past. The highest memory device they now offer is a 64 GB iPod Touch, which of course is basically an app-centric iPhone that can’t make calls. That’s a drop off of nearly 100 GB of music storage potential. This is made all the more startling because you would think Apple would want to encourage music ownership because they of course operate iTunes! And while it may be prudent for them to be apart of the streaming heavy future, it still seems odd for them to abruptly cut off the Classic iPod.
So why the demand from the public for these devices “of the past”? It’s simple, many people still want the option of owning their music collection, want to be able to store music in multiple formats, not rely on an internet/4G connection, or go through an app to listen to their tunes. For most people 160 GB was more than enough to hold their music library. And it’s apparently not a small group of people who want to ownership option for themselves, the demand must be quite high for prices to have reached such levels. Prices that would have seemed unimaginable just a couple of months ago.
What does it say when the company that revolutionized the music world with legal and easy digital music ownership via iTunes to make a move like this? Will ownership of digital music die off more quickly now, or is this just an iPod Classic bubble fueled by nostalgia and audiophiles who feel they must possess their music?
These are all interesting question, and only time will tell the answers. But what’s clear is that the next generation will have no experience of rifling through their music collection via a click wheel. Yes, we must move on with our technology, but this writer will still treasure his and hopes it works for years to come so that he can one day show his kids the device that changed the music world – and they can look at it as uninterestedly as we look at typewriters now.