Saturday, September 13, 2014

Eulogy for the iPod Classic

Josh Centers:

Overshadowed by the excitement of Apple’s latest product announcements was the loss of a long-standing Apple product. On 9 September 2014, Apple took its Web site offline briefly to slip in a redesign, new iPhone models, and the Apple Watch, but when the site returned, there was something missing: the iPod classic, which had been unceremoniously scrubbed from both the site and Apple’s online store. The 160 GB iPod classic is survived by the 2 GB iPod shuffle, the 16 GB iPod nano, and the iOS-based iPod touch.

Update (2014-09-15): Mat Honan:

In all likelihood we’re not just seeing the death of the iPod Classic, but the death of the dedicated portable music player. Now it’s all phones and apps. Everything is a camera. The single-use device is gone—and with it, the very notion of cool that it once carried. The iPhone is about as subversive as a bag of potato chips, and music doesn’t define anyone anymore.

Soon there will be no such thing as your music library. There will be no such thing as your music. We had it all wrong! Information doesn’t want to be free, it wants to be a commodity. It wants to be packaged into apps that differ only in terms of interface and pricing models. It wants to be rented.

Update (2014-10-28): AppleInsider:

Speaking with Wall Street Journal editor Gerry Baker, Cook said Apple was no longer able to source parts for the capacious iPod, which was the last of its kind to integrate a spinning hard drive for storing up to 160GB worth of music.

Kirk McElhearn:

I don’t think the choice of retiring the device was about parts. I think it no longer fits in Apple’s concept of what their devices should be like.

Update (2014-12-13): Ben Lovejoy:

Apple kept making the iPod Classic for much longer than many expected, but when it finally called time over lack of components there were still plenty of people who wanted one. The Guardian reports that some iPod Classics are now selling for up to four times the original price.

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