On September 9, Apple removed the iPod Classic from its online store. Gone with it is an entire era — the pre-smartphone, pre-ubiquitous touchscreen, pre-Spotify era.
I have an iPod from 2005, before it was monikered the iPod Classic, and before the iPod Nano and iPod Touch existed. I had just joined a new group of friends that was 45 minutes away from my school. That meant lots of hours in the car. My iPod was with me all day, every day — in the halls between classes, goofing off studying in the library, working out at the gym. It still runs, and I’ve used it on flights, but I mostly use my phone to listen to music.
Wired writer Mat Honan makes an important point in his requiem for the iPod that not only are we saying goodbye to a nostalgic, beloved device, but we’ve already said goodbye to the personal music collection. With the universal availability of streaming music services, few people feel the need to “possess” music anymore. As Mat says, “Looking at someone’s iPod was like looking into their soul. …You could see the filthiest, nastiest hip-hop in the little white boxes of the primmest people, and know their inner lives a little better than you did before.”