Well-Tuned: Ding Dong, The IPod Is Dead…

DW Dalrymple

DW is an ex-mountaineer now residing in the Palmetto State, a former political hack/public servant, aspiring beach bum and alleged rock-n-roll savant. Forever a student of the School of Life. You can find him on Twitter @BIG_DWD

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10 Responses

  1. Brandon Berg
    Ignored
    says:

    Today, we let algorithms choose for us. We actually rent our music now. We do not own it anymore and that is lugubrious to say the least. We are back to the days that are similar to when radio decided what we listened to except now we pay for the privilege

    For $10/month, I get unlimited access to like 80-90% of albums ever recorded, and I can listen to whatever songs I want in any order I want. The robo-DJ option is there if you want to find new music similar to music you already like, but there’s nothing stopping us from listening to albums the old-fashioned way. No control has been taken away.

    This is a much, much better deal than buying eight $15 albums per year. Yes, I own the albums, but I only get eight per year. I’d rather rent a million albums for $120/year than buy eight per year for tree same price.

    CDs are still big in Japan. A lot of Japanese albums are available on streaming services, but most aren’t. If I want to listen to one of the albums that isn’t, I can shell out $20 to buy it. Or maybe it’s out of print and a used copy costs $100. I still have one foot in the world you’re longing for, and I can’t wait to leave.Report

  2. Kristin Devine
    Ignored
    says:

    1) I find the experience of playing “my own” music (or TV, for that matter) vs. listening to radio-style music (or traditional TV) to be two separate activities. Sometimes I prefer to curate my own experience more tightly, other times I like leaving it open and having an “anything goes” attitude. The experiences are quite different; there’s something more relaxing to me about letting other people choose for me, even if it’s something I don’t particularly like. I also encounter things I wouldn’t have heard or seen otherwise. When I choose my own music and/or stream something on TV it’s more mentally engaging, but requires more effort on my part, and I never get exposed to bands or shows I’d not have seen otherwise. Just seems like there’s room for both experiences as being unique and pleasant on their own merits.

    2)I personally find this move away from music devices irritating for parents. Many of us don’t want our kids to have unlimited access to phones or computers, and anyone who has ever had a kid go into their room to “do their homework” only to find they’re posting on social media or messaging with friends, understands why. There have got to be no small number of people wanting to limit their kids’ access to the Internet, yet don’t mind them having music playing (teenagers and music are like PBJ) and it seems like an iPod or similar device would be a great solution.

    My 14 year old was gifted an MP3 for Christmas this year, only to find that our streaming service doesn’t support the format any longer. Phones were fine, but MP3 apparently was not a thing any more. Undeterred, he recorded a bunch of songs off the radio onto it, which seems hilariously retro and incongruous but he was quite pleased with the outcome. 🙂Report

  3. Slade the Leveller
    Ignored
    says:

    I never got past the Discman stage for mobile music. Playing low bitrate, highly compressed files on any device produces sound so tinny it’s nigh on unlistenable. I do have a Spotify account that I can use to play through my stereo, and, like Brandon, I find the radio function pretty useful. I’ve discovered a lot of new artists that way.

    Give me an LP any day.Report

  4. Damon
    Ignored
    says:

    “We actually rent our music now. ” I guess some people do. Me, when I got my first Ipod, I scanned every CD I owned onto my hard drive. I shopped Itunes and found out that albums I wanted to buy were not the same as the “originals” I watned. ONE song would be a remix or a update or such. I paid 15 bucks for a Jean Loves Jezebel album and then found out the song i wanted the most was a remix. Screw that. Lesson learned. If I want to stream, I listen to pandora for free.Report

  5. Chris
    Ignored
    says:

    While my favorite music service is long dead, bought by Google, watered down, and turned into Google Music, which they discontinued a couple years later, thinking of Spotify as “Big Brother” telling you what to listen to has strong “Old Man Yells at Cloud” vibes, man. In the last week, via Spotify, I’ve listened to music of my choosing from basically the last 100 years (going back to the 30s), used the algorithm to find new music similar to artists I like, and gone down a deep 90s jazz rabbit hole. Would have taken me weeks, and hundreds of dollars, to do that even 15 years ago, much less 30. Sometimes, ya just gotta admit you’re old and technology is intimidating, dude.Report

  6. Fish
    Ignored
    says:

    I had a first-generation iPod, with it’s “gigantic” 10GB hard drive. I’ve had several other models of iPod over the years (all managed by Media Monkey because iTunes is trash). My current iPod is an iPod “Classic,” which I ripped open a couple of years ago to replace the 120GB spinny drive with a 125GB SSD because I thought the spinny drive was failing–the problem turned out to be a dumb bug in the software running on my Subaru’s stereo, but nevermind that. I had to flash my iPod a couple of months back (for which I had to download and install iTunes. Eww.) and it’s still running like a champ. Knowing the iPod is end-of-life, I’ve considered buying another one and stashing it somewhere.

    Throughout all of this, I’ve maintained my own mp3 library. I built my library by ripping my own CD’s, but I’ve long since moved on to buying music digitally from services who offer mp3’s at 320kbps (so, not Amazon) and I occasionally have to buy a CD to rip myself when I can’t find it digitally. I had to buy all of Metallica’s stuff on CD and rip it myself, but luckily they haven’t made any music since “…And Justice For All” so it didn’t cost me a lot.

    My current music library weighs in at about 178GB, which is pretty modest when compared to others, but not too shabby when you consider the average 320kbps mp3 weighs in at between 8-10MB. My library is maintained on a glorified media server, which is just a PC running RedHat Enterprise Linux hosting a RAID 5 using ZFS which gets backed up twice a month.Report

    • Ozzzy! in reply to Fish
      Ignored
      says:

      Pretty sure the first iPod was 1gb….with the non Mac version using real player pre-windows based itunes. Source: me, circa 2003Report

      • Fish in reply to Ozzzy!
        Ignored
        says:

        Fair cop. We’ll say instead the first iPod I owned had a “gigantic” 10GB hard drive.Report

      • Brandon Berg in reply to Ozzzy!
        Ignored
        says:

        Wikipedia says the first generation had 5 and 10 GB models. The iPod Nano had a 1 GB model, but that didn’t come out until 2005, four years after the original.

        I was surprised to find out that there had been a new model released in 2019. I thought that smartphones had killed standalone mp3 players years ago.Report

  7. John Puccio
    Ignored
    says:

    I was a hold out to streaming until about 6 months ago and I have not looked back. Practically anything you want to hear is available on Spotify, assuming the Joe Rogan hissy fits are over.

    Once you get over the sunk cost fallacy of a lifetime of accumulating music, you won’t regret making the switch.Report

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