Having another listen to my iPod Classic

I was clearing through a box of ‘wires’ the other week, and found my old Apple iPod Photo – also known as an iPod Classic 4th Generation – which I’ve had since it was released in 2004.

It had sat unused in a protective tweed cloth sleeve for a decade or more, and I was curious about whether it would even turn on.

Apparently the batteries on old tech are prone to failure, and can sometimes damage the internals as they degrade over time. But despite my iPod being nearly 20 years old, I found that it held a charge and turned on without a problem.

And the 30GB internal drive was still full of my music from the late naughties – and didn’t appear to be corrupted in any way. It had been preserved perfectly, despite being abandoned for such a long time.

Like many, I had stopped using my iPod as soon as smartphones and streaming services began to be a thing. And I just checked, and I’ve been a Spotify paid subscriber since at least 2009, so I’m guessing it was about this time that the iPod got stuffed into the drawer.

A new ‘old’ musical experience

Using the iPod again after such a long time has changed the way that I listen to music. It took me a couple of moments to remember how the click wheel interface works, but it’s such an intuitive UI that it became second nature very quickly.

Moving from bluetooth earbuds back to wired headphones or earbuds that actually need to be plugged in was also something to get used to again. I had long-held the view that having wires was annoying and inconvenient, but I have found that it’s actually not that bad. I got a pair of €60 wired IEMs from FiiO and the sound quality is great!

I also find that I’m a lot more likely to select an album and listen to the whole thing. And so, much like people who have got into vinyl recently, I’m embracing the way that artists chose to present their albums. I’m not using playlists. I’m not using random play. And there are no personalised suggestions of other music I might like to listen to.

The only slight niggle I’d found is that the iPod doesn’t support gapless playback of tracks. So when there’s two album tracks that are meant to flow seamlessly, the iPod inserts a tiny 1-second gap in the middle. But it’s not the end of the world, and mostly only impacts certain live albums.

Gloved hand holding an iPod outside. Blurred footpath and fallen autumnal leaves in the background
I found some old podcasts dating from 2008, when Chris Moyles was still a DJ for BBC Radio One

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