Why Some People Still Love Apple’s iPod

Simplicity FTW

  • Apple is discontinuing its iPod lineup, but many fans still love the gadgets. 
  • The iPod is used in schools and to keep kids entertained without the internet. 
  • Many iPod users say they appreciate music more without a wireless connection.
Someone relaxing at home, listening to audio on an iPod Touch.

Ezra Bailey / Getty Images

Apple may have given up on its iPod lineup, but many users say they aren't letting go of the iconic music player. 

The Cupertino giant announced recently that it is discontinuing the iPod touch because its capabilities are available in many other products like the iPhone. The touch is the last device in the iPod brand, and it has not been refreshed since 2019. But some gadget fans say that the iPod isn't easily replaced. 

"One of the main reasons I prefer it to my phone is that I have a lot of songs that aren't available on streaming platforms," guitar teacher Andy Fraser told Lifewire in an email interview. "Lots of rarities, b-sides, live performances, etc., which I can't get on Spotify or Apple Music. I also feel like I listen to music differently with my iPod. I tend to play through albums fully and immerse myself more in the music, whereas when streaming from my phone, I'm more likely just randomly to skip from track to track."

End of an Era

The iPod wasn't the first portable MP3 player when it was introduced in October 2001, but its simple and effective design was a hit. Since then, Apple has released dozens of varieties of the iPod, including the Shuffle, the nano, and the touch, and all have since been phased out.

The last generation iPod touch is priced starting at $199, and it features a 4-inch display and an A10 Fusion chip. The touch will still be available for purchase while supplies last.

"It might be psychological, but with my iPod, because it's only about the music, nothing else, I feel like the way I consume that music is different, too."

"Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the way iPod did impacted more than just the music industry—it also redefined how music is discovered, listened to, and shared," Greg Joswiak, Apple's senior vice president of Worldwide Marketing, said in a news release. "Today, the spirit of iPod lives on. We've integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and across Mac, iPad, and Apple TV."

Greg McDonough, a teacher at the Lake Forest Country Day School in Illinois, said via email that the limited capabilities of the iPod Touch could be a benefit. 

"I don't need (or even want) a device with phone capabilities. We use the iPod Touch for a host of different innovation/design activities, including virtual reality, augmented reality, and access to exclusive iOS apps," he added. "The iPod Touch's price point allowed us to get a classroom set of devices. Giving each student access to their own iPod during whole-class activities makes them much easier to use for both our teachers and students. The iPod Touch is an incredibly robust device at a great price point. I'm disappointed it's going away."

Less Is More

Limits can sometimes be good when it comes to technology and children. Many parents say they prefer giving their kids an iPod instead of a smartphone because they don't want them to have unrestricted access to the internet. 

Writer Kris Silvey bought his two kids each an iPod because he wanted them to have a personal device for long trips. He said the iPods are great for watching movies and playing educational games and have great battery life. 

"I got them the iPod 7 specifically because it is compatible with Apple Arcade (which can be shared with the family profile)," Silvey said. "I was also tired of them sneaking off with my iPad all the time. As a bonus, when the kids go to sleepovers, they can take them and message us and feel connected."

For adults as well, part of the appeal of the iPod is that the lack of an internet connection on the device means it can be less distracting than a phone. Fraser uses a 6th Generation iPod 120GB Classic and said he appreciates its simple design. 

"It might be psychological, but with my iPod, because it's only about the music, nothing else, I feel like the way I consume that music is different, too," Fraser added. "Like I'm giving it more attention."

If you want to hold onto your iPod, there's an active online community of enthusiasts still adding capabilities to their gadgets. You can add modern conveniences like Bluetooth to older iPods with some tools and know-how. And if DIY isn't your thing, you can buy prebuilt customized iPod classic models, some going for as much as this $769 example with a massive two terabytes of memory which costs more than a current low-end iPhone. 

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