iPod Nostalgia (2003 - 2007) - Or, feeling growing pains at 26.

Discussion in 'Audio Hardware' started by The7thStranger, Feb 12, 2016.

  1. The7thStranger

    The7thStranger Part of the Rhythm Nation Thread Starter

    An der Lahn...
    I originally posted this on another forum, but I think it's better suited for this forum.

    I feel like I need to get some thoughts out there...

    I'm in my mid-20s. And somebody recently posted something on YouTube about how 1990's music is now considered "old music." Two days later, I noticed that kids today are referring to older generation iPod Touches as"old iPods." Not even a mention of the previous models (now dubbed the "Classic"). This, to me, has been one of the points that have made me realize that times are "a' changing." I feel like people around my age are a part of the last generation that can remember a time before the internet really took over the world. In modern history, there's the world before the internet and then the world after it, and they are two very distinct epochs of time. We're the last generation who can read a real map, write in script, and understand how to use a cassette player. And for some of us, remember how to load a manual typewriter. Soon enough, analog clocks will be as dead as Roman numerals. We were lucky enough to learn time-tested life skills before they all became replaced with smartphones and laptops. The first inkling this was coming to an end was during my three year stint at the airport in Boston. Thirteen-year-olds would come up to the counter without having signed their passports. And when I asked them to sign, they could not provide even a facsimile of a signature-- they wrote in block. Messy block print.

    I don't want to seem like a curmudgeon-- I realize time progresses, and the world is changing. But it did get me nostalgic for 2004, 2005. When I was looking up videos on the iPod Mini or older "Classic" models (I hate having to call it the Classic-- it will always be the iPod and then the iPod Touch to me), I realized that most of the videos were about the iPod Touch. And even if you look up "Old iPod," it's just videos about the 1st or 2nd generation iPod Touch. And that kids today don't even call it the iPod Touch very often. Rather, simply, just the iPod. And then, in these videos, they smash the iPods with hammers and wrenches. I didn't realize how much time had passed between the absolute height of the iPod (Classic) and then the rise of the game-changing iOS paradigm. A full 10 years. One decade. It feels like two weeks ago.

    This isn't the first time I've had similar feelings. While I was very aware of the decline of the cassette, I didn't realize they stopped selling them new in record stores sometime around college in 2007. It actually shocked me when I didn't see a cassette stand or at least a bargin bin. This is how I feel about the iPod. And then I got really, really sad.

    When you look back to 2005, back when there was the iPod, iPod Mini, iPod Shuffle, and soon the iPod Nano, what do you remember? Does it bring back incredible memories for you? I had a plethora of mp3 players around this time, including the iPod+HP 4th Gen (B/W), the iPod Shuffle 1st Gen, and later the iPod Nano 3rd Gen. In high school, I remember distinctly hating iPods based on their price, preferring iRiver, Xclef, and Creative. But I still have very potent memories of this time, some good and some bad:

    • Loading up the iPod and fighting with the cable. I was on Windows at the time, and it was a nightmare. When I got my G4 Mac Mini and starting syncing with iTunes in OSX, it was like my whole world got much brighter.
    • Making skins for the iPod using those printable stickers.
    • Hacking the firmware with iPod Wizard to change the fonts and symbols. And downloading theme packs.
    • Testing out iPod Linux and Rockbox, and being disappointed with the former firmware's horrible battery life.
    • Hating having to get the damn iPod+HP replaced like five times because it was Apple's worst iPod ever. Total POS.
    • Falling in love with my 3rd Gen Nano. I remember my brother bought it for me after he saw I was rocking this embarrassing, broken iRiver from 2003 with a missing faceplate. I had to put the player in "preview mode" (remember that?) until I found the song I wanted and then quickly put it back on normal play mode. I was in college, and I commuted into Boston every week. And because I didn't live in the dorm, my parents gave me like $10 a day to get some lunch between classes. I used to starve myself all day and go down to the record store to get new music to put on the iPod. Really strong memories of this.

    But even with the bad memories, I'm still considering buying a cheap iPod Mini to... keep the faith, as Billy Joel once put it when referring to his 45s. I associate the iPod with Björk's Medulla; The Police's Greatest Hits; rediscovering Duran Duran and Tears for Fears; Alanis Morissette's So-Called Chaos and Under Rug Swept. A really exciting time in consumer technology before everything became about "the cloud," the NSA, and Facebook and Google's data mining.

    So I'm asking you guys. Do you have memories of the iPod Golden Era, or are you glad it's over? And what are some songs you associate with your old (real) iPod? [​IMG]
    Memphisflash, Walt, shaboo and 15 others like this.
  2. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    West Yorkshire
    No memories as it's still current for me. As much as I use Apple Music via my iPhone 6 or iPad Air via my Bluetooth headphones (pretty avant garde, that for a 44 year old), my 2005 iPod 5th gen, 2009 iPod Classic and a couple of iPod Nanos of various vintages all get used, either in my car, at the gym, or wired to various random sets of speakers. I still have a Philips boom box I got for my 18th birthday with a line in socket that lives in the cellar. As my cassettes have long since been binned it gets an iPod attached to it whenever i'm down there. Having said all that, i'm currently sat at home in my study with Apple Music via my MacBook playing over B&W MM1 speakers drinking coffee (Tom Waits, The Early Years Vol 1 if anyone's interested).

    Apple Lossless on an iPod Nano at the gym still sounds good to my battered ears.
  3. CraigBic

    CraigBic Forum Resident

    New Zealand
    I still listen to my 5th generation iPod from time to time when I go for a walk. I got a replacement battery for it last year I think it has some issues but it has a lot of my old music on it from my old powerbook since I effectively started from scratch when I got my 17inch macbook pro by buying from iTunes. I'll also put music on it that I don't really want in my iTunes library I've got several different versions of Abbey Road on it.
  4. dcottrell6

    dcottrell6 Forum Resident

    Eastampton, NJ
    Great post OP.

    I don't think I've touched a cassette since 2001 or so. I think I finally parted with my Sony Dual Cassette deck a bit after that.
    That was a really nice unit.

    I have an iPod Classic 6th gen in black (160gb) that I bought about 5 years ago that I still use from time to time. This was my first and only one.
    It still sounds great with every thing in Apple Lossless converted from flac files.
    I have quite a few cd's from many years ago that I still listen to as well.
    It's still going strong and I'll probably use it until it dies. After that, I'm not sure.
    Of course, our 2 kids grew up on this stuff and they've had several over the years. Most people these days just seem to use their phones, but I still prefer purpose built devices rather than all in one units.

    In the Air Force in 1979, I was working with key punch machines and those infernal punch cards.
    Ahhh the good old days.....
    pscreed, timind and The7thStranger like this.
  5. gregorya

    gregorya Forum Resident

    My wife and both of my daughters use their iPod Classics every day. I use mine as well as a FiiO X3 2nd Gen (plays far more file types).

    Like others have mentioned, I tend to like task-specific devices.
    The7thStranger likes this.
  6. The7thStranger

    The7thStranger Part of the Rhythm Nation Thread Starter

    An der Lahn...
    My iPod Mini, which I'd upgraded to 128GB, recently suffered some damage. The screen no longer function. I am still in mourning.
  7. BayouTiger

    BayouTiger Forum Resident

    New Orleans
    I remember buying my first iPod and then returning it because getting th FireWire to work on a PC via a PCMCIA card was a PITA. I bought a creative Nomad and the device was cool, but the software sucked. Then came a program called NotMad and made that device easier to live with.

    Before long, the lack of third part accessories made me give the iPod a second chance and have owned several since. Never owned a Touch or Mini, though my wife has has a Touch and a shuffle. After the iPhone came out I still had a couple classics that were relegated to car duty. In this application the hard drives don't last. The car function has now been taken over by older generation iPhones that are happily serving as Touches in their retirement.

    Frankly I don't really miss the old interface. It was tedious at best. I also no longer feel the need to carry 15000 tracks all the time, 80% of which I will never listen to on the go.
    jeffmo789 likes this.
  8. Mr. H

    Mr. H Forum Resident

    I have 3 160G iPod classics, two of which no longer work. My first one is the only one still working, and I use it all the time.

    I recently got a Fiiox1 and I love it. I would recommend it to anybody. One of the best features is that I have 4 separate microSD cards which I can switch out, increasing the memory exponentially.
  9. superstar19

    superstar19 Senior Member

    Canton, MI, USA
    I didn't purchase my first iPod until 2010 (a 160GB classic)! But that's cheating a little bit. I got my first DAP in 2006 (iAudio X5) and then also went through a 30GB Zune that my brother didn't need. I went with the Classic after I realized that I wouldn't be able to get my music library in 256kb on either device. I still have my Classic and upgraded it to a 240GB hard drive a couple of years back after the logic board took a crap.

    I love my classic. Music has always been a big part of my life but the Classic was probably the biggest game changer for me in getting the most out of my music library. It's just nuts that I can have access to my entire music library anywhere. It gets daily use on my work commute and through the work day, but I rarely ever use it at home now where most of my music listening is via my music server through my DAC and Squeezebox units servicing the primary rooms of the house.

    I have an iPhone & I wish it had 200+GB capacity so that I wouldn't have to carry around both devices. Not sure what I'll do the next time my Classic craps out. I know there is hardware available to convert it to a flash memory device so that's certainly an option. Regardless, I don't see myself giving up my Classic any time soon.
  10. FlatulentDonkey

    FlatulentDonkey Forum Resident

    Northern Ireland
    Ditto, except replace X1 with X5 :righton:

    My memories are mostly of my first real decent DAP which was a Creative Zen. I loved that player and used it a lot until it died after which I got a 120gb iPod Classic, which got upgraded to a 160gb Classic, which was followed by the Fiio X5.

    Before the Zen I had a few cheap ass generic flash based mp3 players between 1 and 2 gb in size (I think I remember a 512mb one as well) which were awful but did the job when all you had were crappy LimeWire downloads.
    Mr. H likes this.
  11. Have an iPod with LOD and Ray Samuels amplifier--several of those in fact. Use Etymotic 4p earbuds. COmbination sounds almost as good as my home system. Would love to get a Fiio but then couldn't use my amp due to compatibility issues
  12. eddiel

    eddiel Forum Resident

    Toronto, Canada
    I still use an ipod (120gb classic). I am not looking forward to it dying either. I wish Apple still sold these. I don't much care for SD card type players but it looks like I may have to get one when my ipod dies. I was thinking of upgrading the HD with a SSD but decided to wait until the HD actually fails.
  13. Jeff Kent

    Jeff Kent Forum Resident

    Mt. Kisco, NY
    I love my 160gb iPod. I hope it lives forever.
    Miriam and Mr. H like this.
  14. MrRom92

    MrRom92 Forum Supermodel

    Long Island, NY
    so real it hurts.

    I think we did lose something for music by switching to the touch/iPhone... I was really excited at the time, the prospect of having a phone that was as good at playing music as iPods, felt like it would be a dream come true. That was back when the iPhone was nothing more than a rumor. There were phones that could play MP3, but obviously did not compare to the experience provided by the iPod.

    The iPod really was an incredible music device. Great build quality. Great feel in the hand. Intuitive UI. And huge storage capacity.

    So the iPhone comes out... Great. But it had 4 or 8 gb of space. Hmm. Okay, so we're not quite there yet.

    Fast forward nearly 10 years and every day I carry a thin hand held device that replaced the iPod, my digital camera, even my computer for most functions, and has 128gb of solid state storage.

    I think the user interface took a hit - the scroll wheel was seriously great! But I can get used to that. And that can change in time for all we know. It will probably change a few times in our lifetime.

    My biggest problem is the fact that we can't load FLAC files into our library and manage them with the ease we once did for our lossy music libraries in 2006.
    Runicen and The7thStranger like this.
  15. The7thStranger

    The7thStranger Part of the Rhythm Nation Thread Starter

    An der Lahn...
    I have never been satisfied by the listening experience smartphones can provide. And I've used three Android phones, one iPhone, and three Windows Phones. Each had their pros and cons, but none of them gave me exactly what I was looking for. Plus it's always buzzing with Facebook and Instagram and What'sApp and whatever else. The iPod and all other mp3 player was good at doing one thing simply and efficiently. I'm considering hunting down the Sansa Clip Zip and installing Rockbox on it. But iPods are fine, as my (digital) music collection is all in AAC and archived in Apple Lossless.
    BluesOvertookMe and MrRom92 like this.
  16. Sevoflurane

    Sevoflurane Forum Resident

    West Yorkshire
    Forgot to say, my iPod 5th gen from 2005 has been tweaked; I replaced the 60GB drive with an SD card reader with 128GB SD card, so it is lighter, has no moving parts, and the battery lasts longer as well as having greater capacity.

    If everyone wasn't so obsessed with streaming and everything being cloud based, then we might have got a 1TB iPod Classic, which would have been great. I'd love to have my entire collection in Apple Lossless on one iPod.
    Walt, Runicen, Miriam and 2 others like this.
  17. Ghostworld

    Ghostworld Forum Resident

    I recently threw ALL the music off my iPhone because I like to use it for photos and video. I have music all over place and my iPhone's hard drive is not the place for it. Besides communication, the iPhone is a good camera replacement. I don't stream, either, my iPhone's battery is too precious for that, too. I still have two working 5.5 gen ipods with upgraded hard drives I use in the car.

    I had an iPod touch and hated it. Sounded like crap and I hated the finicky touch screen interface. I still like "the wheel."
    The7thStranger likes this.
  18. Splungeworthy

    Splungeworthy Forum Rezidentura

    Jersey Shore
    Do it. You won't be sorry.
    I briefly flirted with a Touch, but soon moved on to a Zune 120gb because of the extra capacity. For some reason the Classic wasn't on my radar, and by the time I was seeing the 160GB version I was too immersed in the Zune ecosystem to switch over. But while I had the Touch I marvelled at how fluid the UI was and the really high quality screen.
    The7thStranger likes this.
  19. markusp

    markusp New Member

    I bought my first iPod back when it was originally launched in 2001. I had always been an early adopter of technology, having bought one of the first DVD players at the time as well as one of the first CD players back in the 80s.

    I loved the original iPod. It had a cool scroll wheel and had an actual old school hard drive which made it rubbish for running etc. It was one of the coolest devices I had ever purchased at the time (I was a MAC user so never had issues with syncing etc) and I happily used it on my commute to work each day.

    Back then, I worked at a small company and the Internet was just starting to go mainstream in larger companies. Our company president was worried that outsiders could hack into our computer network and steal corporate secrets so we had a singular computer that stood alone outside of the network that I could use in the boardroom for Internet use. Funny times in comparison today. Fast forward 15 years and everything has changed! The iPhone and the like have killed the iPod, 3G and LTE allow virtually anyone with a smart phone to access the Internet anywhere and streaming services have meant that the general public rarely need to buy physical media anymore (I still do though) to enjoy music.

    As the OP said, it is a different time today full of innovation and while I embrace it, I also treasure my relics from the recent past, such as my original iPod, my original iPod Shuffle, my original iPod Mini and the 5 or so models I have collected and used since then. Think I will put them on a shelf and display the 15 years of innovation that has been the iPod phenomenon :)
    JPagan likes this.
  20. The7thStranger

    The7thStranger Part of the Rhythm Nation Thread Starter

    An der Lahn...
    This is exactly what I did with my iPod Mini. 128GB MicroSD card placed into a Compact Flash adapter. Worked great until I cracked the screen. :(
  21. merlperl

    merlperl Forum Resident

    Sherman Oaks, CA
    I just replaced the battery in my iPod Classic...I'll use it until it dies and then I'll be all over these forums researching to find a suitable (or perhaps superior) replacement!
    Miriam and The7thStranger like this.
  22. timind

    timind Bushy

    Brownsburg, IN USA
    Years ago we flew somewhere and I remember my daughters and wife making fun of me because I took my Sony Discman while they carried their ipods. Shortly after that one of my daughters bought me an ipod mini for Christmas, what a revelation.
    The next year I got an ipod touch for Christmas. I really love that thing. Now I have an ipod classic on my nightstand plugged into a Nuforce icon ido. Man it sounds great, but gotta say I don't love the navigation system after the touch.
    superstar19 likes this.
  23. Gaslight

    Gaslight Drake Dweller

    Northeast USA
    Some forum members here think iPods are today's tech. You'll feel like it's 2004 all over again. ;)
  24. PhilBiker

    PhilBiker sh.tv member number 666

    Northern VA, USA
    I thought the cassette walkman was the greatest thing ever when I was the age you recall for iPods.
    eric777, Gaslight, patient_ot and 2 others like this.
  25. hotmagnets

    hotmagnets Member

    Still using a 20 gig 4th gen b/w in the kitchen system nearly everyday.
    Replaced the battery and upgraded it to 64gig with a micro SD card.
    The scroll wheel is one of the best pieces of ergonomic design ever.
    My wife's 4g is sitting in a drawer as a backup when this one finally kicks the bucket

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