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‘I was totally hooked’: Readers share iPod memories | iPod

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“I’m still using my 2007 iPod Classic”

Andy Clark

When the amazing but short-lived iPod Mini was released in 2004, it wasn’t available in the UK at first. Had to ask friends in Florida to bring one for my son’s 12th birthday. He loved showing his friends this device that seemed to belong to the future.

Our family has had many iPods over the years; one of the first iPods with a click wheel, a mini, three Nanos, two Shuffles and a Classic. My wife always takes her “big iPod nano” from 2007 on vacation because she doesn’t like to take her iPhone to the pool. As a music player, an iPod has none of the potential distractions of a phone. No email, no message and no notification. It’s a shame there’s no more iPods because there’s still room for a distraction-free music player.

My black iPhone Classic from 2007 is still permanently connected to my car stereo. It’s a 160GB model and holds my entire music collection – ripped from CDs – as it was a few years ago. The battery doesn’t last, but that doesn’t matter because it’s constantly connected to my car’s USB power. Andy Clarke, Software Designer, Wales, UK

“A museum could want it one day”

Elisabeth's iPod.
Elisabeth’s iPod.

I bought my first iPod in 2004 in Singapore. It was a 40GB iPod and it came with lots of accessories – a docking port charger, headphones, protective case, etc. I had all my music digitized and on my iPod – it was so easy back then. The wheel on the original iPods drove me a little crazy because it was sensitive to the slightest touch; you’d try to move forward on a playlist and you’d skip too many songs, so you’d try to go back but go too far the other way.

I still have my first iPod, and it was still working the last time I tried it. The biggest problem I have is finding a charger because Apple changed them so many times. Unfortunately I got rid of my docking port – no more fool me. But I won’t get rid of the iPod because it works and a museum might want it one day. I still use my iPod Shuffle – it’s so much easier in the gym than on a phone. I use my phone everywhere else, but found that a lot of what I listen to isn’t available on Spotify. I’m sorry to see the iPod disappear just because I can’t afford what Apple charges for an iPhone with enough memory to hold all my music and playlists. Elizabeth Dennett, 58, New Zealand

“It was my format”

The iPod has arrived in that teenage sweet spot where music is everything. The same way people worship vinyl now, that was my format. I would load up CDs at Selectadisc in Nottingham, rip them from iTunes, put them away and head to college or town with the latest releases. It’s the device on which I formed memories with Radiohead, Wilco, REM, Bloc Party, Blur, Interpol, Franz Ferdinand, Beck, Gorillaz and loads of other bands that now seem very old.

Shuffle was there for the quick five-minute blast between classes or shifts where you just needed to fill your brain with music, but I was almost always snobbish about listening to albums from the back forward. And I’ve always dreamed of someone picking up my iPod and commenting on how good my taste in music was and asking me to marry them.

Times are changing and it’s a miracle to have virtually every streaming song in my pocket, with wireless headphones. But I’m also an old fart now with responsibilities – and I miss the iPod days. Nothing will quite touch that feeling of going around town filling my brain with endless new music on overpriced, dedicated, insanely cool, easy-to-use technology that wasn’t also a portal to hell social media. Matt, 33, journalist, Nottingham, UK

“I am surprisingly heavy-hearted about this”

Alexander Lerche's iPod.
Alexander Lerche’s iPod.

In the second week of January 2005 my father took me to John Lewis in Reading for the sole purpose of trying to find the elusive 40GB fourth generation model. It had sold out everywhere before Christmas and I was desperate to finally have my very first iPod. I’d been using a Walkman CD for years, but the iPod was tiny (for its time), sleek, intuitive to use, and looked like one of those futuristic devices from a 50s sci-fi comic book He went everywhere with me – carrying songs from all my parents’ CDs; Queen, Erik Satie, Bob Dylan, Weezer, the Rocky soundtrack, and possibly thousands of other tracks ripped from friends’ computers using a rather cheeky piece of freeware called MyTunes Redux.

Alexandre Lerche
Alexandre Lerche

The following year he was run over in a biking accident, but I woke up in hospital with him still playing next to me, the screen cracked and the body split in the seam – my first taste of grief. Seventeen years later, I still can’t bring myself to throw away the old 40GB, so I use it to store camera memory cards in the cable drawer. I am surprisingly heavy hearted about this and probably feel very similar to how people felt when the original Game Boy was discontinued in 2003 which marked the end of an era for gaming devices iconic. When the news broke that Apple had discontinued it I confess I went straight to the site and ordered a new Touch to keep in the cable drawer as a backup when my video iPod ages the will finally call a day. I’m just not ready to change the system. Alexander Lerche, 34, photojournalist, Doha, Qatar

“I remember the thrill of opening the box”

Nigel Wilson.
Nigel Wilson.

I first saw an iPod in a client’s office in 2002. I was totally hooked. My wife bought me my first iPod (20GB) for Christmas that year. It took me a whole weekend to download all my CDs into iTunes to transfer them to the iPod. Having lugged around cases of vinyl records as a teenager, I couldn’t believe I had all my music in my pocket, available to play at will.

I remember the thrill of opening the box – a nice smooth cardboard with the “Designed in California” strap line. And then the gorgeous white iPod, which felt so good in the palm of my hand. I also remember paying a small fortune to have a car kit installed so I could listen to anything from my music collection while driving.

When I first took my iPod to the beach, I enclosed it in a waterproof, shockproof case – I was paranoid that I wouldn’t damage it in any way. The iPod was a real breakthrough and thanks to technology I can now listen to anything anytime through my iPhone or MacBook. I don’t use mine now – the battery can’t be charged. But I will always keep my original iPod. Nigel Wilson, 66, yoga teacher, Kent, UK

“When I hear Eminem, the memories of the Shuffle come back”

My dad went to the US in 2004 and came back with a third generation iPod for my brother and I was outraged. He was never nice enough to lend it to me, but instead I stole his spare headphones and just put the end of the plug in my pocket to look cool going to school . I had a friend around the same time and she had an iPod Shuffle that she was kind enough to lend, and I remember her love for Eminem. Even to this day, when I hear Eminem, memories of that Shuffle come back.

When I finally had my own third generation in 2006, I started to really find my own musical taste for the first time. I used to spend hours downloading music from CDs and making sure that each song had all the information recorded perfectly so that I could select each one and put it neatly into its list of appropriate reading. I made lifelong friends in those early days as we traded music and bonded over certain songs or artists. I still have all the music I loaded onto it on a special hard drive at home. My first album was Aladdin, the soundtrack. Susie Krieble, 30, project manager, Tokyo, Japan