As someone who grew up in the late 90s and early 00s, the iPod is to me what a vinyl record player is to someone who grew up in the 60s and 70s.
Vinyl purists have always (rightfully) touted increased engagement with music as a raison d'être for LP records in the 21st Century. But to me, a more identifiable way of engaging with music consists of:
- Ripping a CD
- Ensuring it’s digitally complete with album art and correct track metadata
- Having it synced onto your iPod automagically via Firewire (or USB)
- Browsing through the albums using the click wheel
- Finally hitting play.
I’ve been on a bit of an iPod collecting streak recently. From 2001 to 2009, each of these devices are a time capsule of memories, triggering feelings that range from insane jealousy to the warmth of joy.
The industrial design of the iPod was also unparalleled at its scale. Though far less impressive than the iPhone these days, holding these devices in your hand is actually comfortable, rather inspiring.
From the elegant curves of its stainless steel back, to the warm red lighting on the 3rd generation iPod’s control strip. Every bit of these device feels like it’s been designed to get your music to you in the most minimalist and organic way possible.
Streaming music services have transformed the discovery process and provide unprecedented access to almost any song wherever you go. But the next time you feel like engaging better with your music without getting distracted by recommendations, why not browse through the albums on your iPod and let it play?