In my opinion, the iPod classic remains the best music listening device we’ve had so far. It’s not perfect – nothing outside of The Lord of the Rings and Astral Weeks is – but it represents the best of the modern listening experience without some of the disruptive elements that more recent options are saddled with.
It’s also a fairly decent metaphor (and not at all belabored because, pssh) for how I see myself in the modern music listener world. Let’s get it:
-The iPod classic went as big as 160 GB, which is more than # DAYS of music storage. This much space allowed for storage of full albums and even discographies, as opposed to the singles that iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle were more catered to. As someone who was literally raised in a locally owned record store, this allowed me to bring my large (and ever-growing) CD and vinyl collection with me wherever I go. Nowadays the idea of albums is going through significant changes, with the decline in physical music sales and more focus on single song streaming numbers, but I’m always going to care about albums first. That’s just how I was raised.
-The music on iPods was music that you owned, either through buying the files or burning your CDs/vinyl/tapes to the computer, which provided a feeling that this was your music. For me, the streaming age has certainly made a vaster range of music available than ever before, but it also gives that music a more transitory feeling. Music can be pulled from streaming sites for a variety of reasons, and ease of access means most start to take it for granted. You had to take the time to actually put the songs/albums on your iPod, and I like feeling like there’s a connection between myself and the music. That’s what I’m looking for both as a listener and as a reader and writer.
-With the iPod Classic, it was easier to take music everywhere you go and weave it into your life however you wanted. With streaming you have to worry about internet connections, someone calling just as you’re getting to Kendrick’s verse on “Kings Dead” or deciding if you have the battery power to keep listening to music or if you need your phone for apps or you know, calls. Plus, you know there’s going to be discussions about some of these streaming sites charging for downloads to your device. It’s the smart business move.
I’m all about letting music bleed into your life at every possible moment. I’m interested in writing about music that matters and doesn’t (which is okay!) and how it plays a role in our lives. Maybe listening to Dylan’s 60s albums in chronological order makes your work day go faster, perhaps Japanese ambient music or Simpsonwave helps you focus while you code, but these soundtracks we build for ourselves matter. Celebrate that fact.