I miss Apple’s best iPod

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Of all the portable music players released by Apple in the past 20 years, the original iPod shuffle is still my favorite. This is not my first iPod. 16 years after its debut, I have had countless iterations of the iPhone, but I like the basic design and functionality of shuffle, nonetheless.

The iPod is not the first portable media player I own, but when it debuted in 2001, it promised 1,000 songs into your pocket, which was not difficult to sell. At the time, portable MP3 players were ridiculously limited due to the cost of flash memory, capable of storing (almost) more tracks than CDs, but with lower quality. CD players that can play MP3 files burned onto CD-ROMs are a better choice, but even if they have a maximum capacity of around 150 songs, they rely on the still relatively fragile medium. With an iPod, I can not only save some of my favorite Daft Punk and Chemical Brothers tracks, but I can also carry all their records.

However, it is disappointing that the first-generation iPod with a physical scroll wheel and its touch-screen successor are limited to computers running macOS. I was on the computer at the time. I had to wait until the release of what is now called the iPod (Dock Connector) in 2003, which also came with the Windows version of iTunes, which allows the iPod to be synced to the PC without skipping the hoops.I won’t say that the native Windows version of iTunes is synced Easier, Because iTunes has always been a bad, bloated, resource-consuming software-especially on the PC. This is the opposite of user-friendliness, and why Apple will never be able or willing to fix it is still a mystery to me. But I digress.

The early Internet was the wild west of file sharing. Finding an MP3 copy of almost any song is trivial. It’s easy to fill an iPod with your entire music collection. There is no need to exchange plastic discs to jump between albums. The iPod has really changed lives.

What’s not so likable about the iPod is that it was heavy — there was a physical spinning hard drive inside — and it was fragile. It is an understatement to say that I am the one who escorts their gadgets. There is no shortage of ways to protect iPod, but despite my best efforts, mine still eventually collected scratches and scratches, especially on the plastic cover of the screen. When I looked down at the devices, I couldn’t fail to see them. I remember to buy and use the screen polishing kit regularly. Using different scrubs, you can polish one by one to make my iPod screen glow again. (I don’t even use the new iPhone out of the box these days unless I’m ready to use a screen protector.)

Financially, I also don’t have the ability to continuously upgrade to the latest iPod models. Because of the additional features such as the color screen (only for viewing photos, not for taking pictures) on the iPod Photo, they have never really been reduced in price. Obviously, I am not the only iPod fan in my budget. In January 2005, Apple’s keynote speech at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco, Steve Jobs launched the iPod shuffle. It starts at $99, making it the cheapest iPod version to date.

It has no screen and can only hold about 120 songs (unless you bought the $149 version with double RAM), but I was immediately fascinated by the iPod shuffle and ordered one for two very specific reasons. The first is that its extremely simple design also means that it is the first almost indestructible iPod. I threw it on the ground and I did it many times, leaving only tiny nicks and scratches that are almost invisible on its shiny white plastic shell. But more importantly, because iPod shuffle uses durable flash memory, an accidental drop will not damage the fragile hard drive and erase a thousand songs. The device is exactly the same as my larger iPod, but without any pressure, worrying about what might happen to my expensive investment when I leave my apartment.

The other reason I immediately accepted iPod shuffle was the same as the reason Apple originally created it. Carrying hundreds of songs on a single device not only means that you don’t need to exchange tapes or CDs, it also means that you can randomly skip tracks in a large collection instead of just sticking to your favorites. The iPod’s shuffle function is a great way to discover new music you already own, just like a radio station without ads and DJ jokes. With iPod shuffle, I can take this idea one step further. Instead of letting iTunes fill in the tracks randomly, I upload 120 of my favorite songs so that when I put on my headphones, I feel like listening to a radio station that suits my musical taste. As I defined it, all of this is a killer, no filler. We now take this feature for granted, because the algorithm allows streaming services like Spotify to make tailored recommendations based on the content we listen to most, but in 2005, the relatively clumsy iPod shuffle gave me similar Experience.

Even the absence of a screen is a popular feature because I never know what the next song will be, and it seems that iPod shuffle seems to know exactly what I want to listen to, making me wonder if there is more behind-the-scenes work. Steven Levy’s “Shuffle Requiem‘ That Appear in wired As early as 2017, he mentioned that he had asked Steve Jobs himself about the randomness of the random playback function. Jobs not only insisted that it was indeed random, but also made Levy and one swear that it was random. Apple engineers got in touch. t Deliberately provide specific tracks. Despite Apple’s claims, many of us believe that the shuffle function is secretly understanding our likes and dislikes, even if we know deep down in our hearts that such a function does not yet exist.

The original iPod shuffle looked like a pack of Juicy Fruit chewing gum, and was eventually replaced by a smaller version without a built-in USB port (they all have charging and sync docks since then), followed by a version that looks like tie studs , Without any buttons of its own (users rely on the built-in remote control on the headset), and then the last version restores the design of the second-generation iPod shuffle, but it is as small as Apple might make it.The last version debuted in 2010, five years after the original iPod shuffle was released, and lasted until 2017, when Apple finally Ended the iPod shuffle and nano product lines common.

Why Apple sends iPod shuffle packaging is not a particularly difficult question to answer. Like ordinary iPods and countless other portable devices, iPod shuffle has become a victim of iPhone. Although I like iPod shuffle very much, when I always have an iPhone in my pocket, even I can’t justify taking it with me. I eventually passed it on to my father, and when it came to baby electronics, my thoughts were the opposite. His ability to destroy mobile devices in record time is unparalleled, but after I handed over the iPod shuffle, he enjoyed it for several years, enjoying Christmas carols, classical music and John Williams soundtracks while he was cycling every day . It still remains in his iPod collection today, and although it has long lost its ability to charge, the fact that it survived the complete lack of TLC is another reason why I still think shuffle is the best iPod ever made by Apple.

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