Our recollections of the iPod

It’s official: the iPod is over. After 20 years, Apple introduced this week that it was discontinuing the ultimate product within the model that outlined music gamers within the mid-2000s and helped catapult Apple to mainstream success.

Lots of us at The Verge have fond recollections of our days spent utilizing the music gamers over that two-decade run, so we determined to put in writing a few of them right down to mirror not simply on what an amazing music participant it was but additionally what an essential machine it was in our lives on the time. Plus, we’ve acquired loads of scars from this stuff getting destroyed or “going lacking.”

Listed here are our recollections of shopping for iPods, rediscovering them, nurturing them again to life, and typically simply dropping them.


I’ve two iPod tales: one concerning the first one I ever acquired and one other concerning the final one I bought new.

My first MP3 participant was really a 2GB Walkman, however as quickly as I noticed the “Nano-chromatic” advert for the fourth-gen iPod Nano, I made a decision I used to be going to purchase it. The primary drawback was that I used to be 12, and $149 was a lot of cash for me — so I spent months scraping collectively allowances, cash from mowing lawns, and reward playing cards. After I lastly had sufficient, I marched into Toys R Us and picked out a blue one. Lastly, I used to be about to get my first iPod.

I hadn’t thought-about gross sales tax and was brief a number of {dollars}. The cashier should’ve realized how shattered I used to be as a result of they provided to cowl the remainder in what was nearly actually the best act of kindness I’d skilled in my younger life. I nonetheless have that iPod, although its battery now not holds a cost.

Quick ahead a number of years, and I used to be a stereotypical techy teen with a jailbroken and modded iPod Contact fourth gen. At one level, I uninstalled one thing that was apparently important utilizing the jailbreaking instrument Cydia and was fully unable to revive the iPod again to working situation. After a number of months, I made a decision to dig the machine out of my closet and provides restoring it one other shot. Miraculously, it labored, and my iPod was again to working inventory iOS 5.

The subsequent day, as I used to be getting out of my very cool minivan, it slid out of my pocket and fell onto the concrete driveway, shattering the display screen. RIP to an actual one. – Mitchell Clark


The iPod was the primary “cool” gadget I ever owned. I had a string of crappy different MP3 gamers, a Diamond Rio and an Archos Jukebox, however then I purchased a gold iPod Mini. It held 4 gigs of music, which even again then felt like lower than a few of its rivals, however it was tiny and quick and the factor felt like magic. Most of all, it didn’t skip each time the automobile hit a bump like a bunch of the opposite onerous drive-based gamers I had.

The Mini went all over the place with me for years till it was stolen out of my automobile in my highschool parking zone. (I can nonetheless image precisely the place my automobile was parked, the climate that day, every little thing concerning the second I found it was gone.) I couldn’t afford one other one, so I went again to my different units, all of which now appeared awful regardless that they really held fairly a bit extra music. However I stored the white headphones as a result of so long as I had these, it form of felt like I nonetheless had an iPod. Till I hit a pothole and the factor skipped tracks. – David Pierce


A fifth-generation iPod.
Picture by Amelia Holowaty Krales / The Verge

My first iPod was the fifth-gen iPod Video. The primary-gen iPod got here out in my freshman 12 months of highschool, and I watched enviously for years as all of the wealthy youngsters confirmed theirs off between lessons. In my junior 12 months, I mainly put collectively a PowerPoint for my dad, detailing my grades and all my foolish highschool achievements. My dad didn’t say something, and I sulked off, resigned to my destiny.

I used to be fully shocked when, a number of weeks later, a bundle from Apple arrived at our door. My dad had a smirk on his face. It was the black model, too, since he knew I used to be a goth teen. (This was regardless of the actual fact he wished I’d cease being goth with each fiber of his being). My dad was a stoic man, so he didn’t actually say a lot aside from “take pleasure in.” Evidently, I loaded that child up with as many motion pictures and songs as it could maintain. It was my companion for late-night examine periods and hour-long commutes to high school. Most of the time, nevertheless, it was what I turned to as my mother and father muddled their method via a messy breakup.

You would most likely say one thing about sulky teenagers listening to emo music as their mother and father break up up in explosive trend. Nevertheless it was an immense consolation to slide on my headphones and play my music, uninterrupted by notifications and apps.

My iPod Video lasted me about three years, till someday, I dropped it on the sidewalk and it break up open. By that point, I used to be very a lot over its buggy interface and a click on wheel that didn’t wish to cooperate anymore. I needed a newfangled iPod Contact. However one thing about my poor, loyal iPod Video mendacity shattered on a sidewalk made me tear up.

I took it dwelling and stored it in a field for years. I couldn’t throw it out. I then forgot about it for nearly a decade and, surprisingly, discovered it when cleansing out my junk in 2018. My dad had simply died, however there, after I was lacking him most, was one of the vital treasured presents he ever gave me — a reminder of how a lot he beloved me even when he couldn’t categorical it. And possibly, simply possibly, me discovering it that day was my dad comforting me from past the grave. – Victoria Tune


My “first iPod” story is rather a lot like David’s. My first MP3 participant was a Rio that would maintain only a handful of songs, and for some motive, I’ve a really robust reminiscence of a kind of being a James Bond theme remix. My iPod Mini — in its superb child blue shade — was a large improve. It may maintain far more songs than my Rio, and it was simply enjoyable to make use of. I nonetheless miss the scroll wheel! (I don’t know if I put that James Bond tune on it.) It’s one in every of my favourite units ever, and I want I nonetheless had it. – Jay Peters


Apple Ipod Mini at the Apple Computer store in Soho.,

An iPod mini.
Picture by Andrew Savulich/NY Every day Information Archive by way of Getty Photographs

The iPod Mini was my first iPod, and I’m fairly certain that it aided in some minor listening to loss. I used it each day, nestled into its useful plastic cradle and tucked into my waistband, to drum to the beat of my favourite music as I used to be studying learn how to play, a pastime that additional aided in stated listening to loss. This iPod additionally joined me aboard my household’s tractor after I needed to mow our garden each week, a chore that most likely contributed to listening to loss, too. I’ve no unbelievable tales to inform about my possession of this iPod, aside from it went all over the place with me and dutifully did its job as a no-nonsense music participant that additionally had Brick Sport built-in. – Cameron Faulkner


My first iPod was the very first iPod — and it was purchased in a candy try by my mother to cheer me up. I used to be excited to have a lot storage on one machine and to have an MP3 participant that labored out of the field with iTunes. I used it continuously, typically plugged into a kind of horrible tape decks and typically into a kind of horrible FM transmitters. The tunes carried me alongside 12-hour drives forwards and backwards from school, and having all my music in a single place took the sting out of the lack of my favourite sleeve of combine CDs in a Dillard’s parking zone in Tullahoma, Tennessee.

A screenshot of a conversation from iMessage. The sender asks: “Peter, it’s been 20 years, did you take my first gen iPod and sit on that secret for decades?” Peter responds with an SNL gif of Stefon saying “Yes,” then later replies “lol no.”

Investigating a disappearance.
Screenshot: Alex Cranz

Then, someday, it vanished. It wasn’t in any of my purses. It wasn’t in my automobile. It wasn’t in my bed room. I used to be dwelling on summer time break from school, so it positively wasn’t in my dorm room. It was merely gone. I acquired a less expensive iPod Shuffle to exchange it, and it wasn’t practically nearly as good. For years I’ve questioned if my youthful brother secretly took it so he may look cool to the opposite excessive schoolers.

I just lately tried to research this lengthy lingering thriller, however the outcomes of my investigation have been inconclusive. – Alex Cranz


My first iPod was the 40GB click on wheel mannequin. I purchased it in like-new situation off eBay in 2005. My favourite factor about it wasn’t the big space for storing, the shiny end that I protected in a Griffin clear case, or the plain cool issue. My favourite factor about it was a top-mounted FM radio transmitter accent known as iTrip. It regarded like a water tank that plugged into the headphone jack but one way or the other additionally regarded like a pure extension of the iPod. Because it ran off the iPod battery, I may soar right into a pal’s automobile and simply have them tune to 87.9, which was nice since many vehicles didn’t have an aux jack or Bluetooth but.

When the iPod with video got here out, I knew I needed to have it. So I offered my iPod on eBay and acquired my first model new Apple product: a black 60GB fifth-generation iPod. I actually needed to guard this iPod, so I took it to a mall kiosk that applies clear vinyl protectors — massive mistake. They used a razor blade to chop across the iPod wheel and fully scratched it up. They didn’t take accountability for it, so, in my sorrow, I offered it on eBay at a loss. I couldn’t get myself to purchase one other new Apple machine for a very long time, however within the meantime, I performed MP3s on Home windows Cellular units just like the Cingular / HTC 2125 and on a Sport Boy Advance licensed MP3 participant accent that got here with a 32MB compact flash card. – Umar Shakir


I grew up an Apple hater as a child with a foolish predisposition to dislike its merchandise as a result of I used to be all about gaming and PCs. I initially scoffed on the early iPods in favor of my Discman. I used to be the embodiment of this Penny Arcade sketch. I didn’t strive or use an iPod for the longest time, however I piggy-backed on a number of the “nicely, really”-style rhetoric I overheard about them not even having good sound high quality. When downloading MP3s grew to become a lifestyle, my eyes have been educated on bizarre gamers from different manufacturers like iRiver and even Intel. (How becoming, as an annoying PC fanboy, to suppose “Intel!”)

I couldn’t afford any of them in highschool, however, in early school, I landed on a Inventive Nomad Jukebox Zen that was mainly a laptop computer onerous drive in an unpleasant plastic shell with a small monochrome display screen. That factor was like a small tank of low-cost detachable storage that after acquired me brazenly mocked at a pal’s drunken basement social gathering when it was my flip to plug into the audio system. I positively didn’t discuss shit again to them whereas being secretly envious of their glossy iPods. Nope, by no means.

My robust and misguided opinions towards Apple’s merchandise started to melt after I began utilizing Macs in my school images lessons, and I finally picked up my first and solely iPod — a lime inexperienced third-gen iPod Shuffle. I purchased it for affordable on eBay to make use of whereas working, and that didn’t pan out, in fact. However I beloved it regardless of its flawed, buttonless design. I nonetheless have it to this present day, and if I ever discover the annoying 3.5mm to USB charger, possibly I’ll energy it on and see if I can bear in mind the earbud button sequences to manage play, pause, skip, and rewind.

Or possibly I shouldn’t as a result of I shudder to suppose what cringe music would possibly nonetheless dwell on it. –Antonio G. Di Benedetto


My first iPod was a hand-me-down from my older sister. It was a black iPod Basic full of angsty songs that seventh graders most likely shouldn’t have had entry to, like Panic! On the Disco’s Mendacity Is the Most Enjoyable a Woman Can Have With out Taking Her Garments Off.

That little machine was with me via the whole lot of my most awkward (and tried emo) section. After I finally acquired my very personal second-gen blue iPod Nano, issues didn’t change. I plugged it into the household laptop and loaded it up with my sister’s assortment of emo songs from iTunes, getting myself a duplicate of all of the P!ATD, The Academy Is, and Taking Again Sunday songs a preteen woman may hope for.

My iPod is now gathering mud someplace in my mother and father’ home. Wherever you might be iPod, I hope you’re cozy in the blue sock I purchased you. – Emma Roth

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