The same week that Apple announced that the iPod nano and Shuffle would no longer be available for sale, I coincidentally came across my old nano at the bottom of a box. Before the announcement, I pulled my postage stamp sized nano out and took a small trip down memory lane. The iPod was my first step into tech gadget waters, which would eventually lead me to the career I have today.
I remember my first iPod
I was late to the digital music game. I thought the idea of a small but expensive device that only played digital versions of music was silly and inconvenient. I had my large collection of vinyl for listening to music in the house, and a Discman or Walkman for listening to CDs and tapes. Sure, I had to tote a book of heavy CDs or a lunchbox sized case of tapes everywhere I went, but I actually thought that was more convenient than having to load all my music onto a computer before transferring that music to a portable music device. Silly, right?
I finally took the plunge sometime in 2005 when I bought an iPod mini. I think I found it on sale. Even though I turned my nose up at the idea of MP3 players, I was secretly excited about this strange device. How does it work? How do I turn my vinyl, tapes, and CDs into something I can listen to on this tiny little box? I was excited to discover everything this new-fangled gadget could do.
It didn't take long for me to fall completely in love with the iPod. Less than a year later, I had moved on to the iPod nano, of which I bought two more. It became my favorite music listening device until I eventually upgraded to the iPhone.
The iPod nano will always be loved
Some people have a dedicated nano just for listening to podcasts while others use them exclusively for listening to audio books. If you search #iPodnano on Twitter and go back before Apple announced the end of this era (July 26, 2017), you'll see that lots of people still use it, even if it's somewhat ironically.
The nano is a memory. It's something most of us remember getting for the first time. I'll bet you can still remember the color of your first iPod nano and who got it for you. We've grown up and moved on to better technology and easier ways to sync our media, but we still love the nano the way we love the first stuffed animal we got as a child, or the first book we remember reading by ourselves (Mine was Sunshine Porcupine by Diane Gess)
That's why it truly seems like Apple is closing a chapter on its technological past. Sure, the iPhone is more convenient (you don't have to bring more than one device with you on the go), but the iPod nano is still a viable device for storing and listening to music, audio books, and podcasts.
It's time to move on
I admit I haven't used any of my iPods, not my nano, or my Shuffle, or my touch for a very, very long time. Ever since I got my first iPhone, it's been my main source for listening to music. I think I'm an example of why Apple made the decision to put that horse to pasture.
While the nano and Shuffle are probably still being used by a lot of people, it's not the most convenient way to take advantage of everything Apple has to offer. You can't download songs from Apple Music (I tried, you can't). You have to connect it to your computer and sync it with iTunes. You can't pair it with Bluetooth speakers or headphones. There is no way to get anything iCloud-related on it. In comparison, the iPod touch, which is essentially an iPhone without cellular capability, does everything the iPod nano did, but a lot easier, and with a lot more features.
It was the right move on Apple's part. We don't need to hold on to the past so tightly, especially when it comes to technology, which progresses so fast we can barely keep up with it. Instead, Apple is now free to dedicate more time, resources, and research to getting on with the future.
Maybe we'll get that Apple Car someday yet — or at least a new version of the Apple TV.
Do you remember your first iPod nano or Shuffle? What version and color was it?
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Lory is a renaissance woman, writing news, reviews, and how-to guides for iMore. She also fancies herself a bit of a rock star in her town and spends too much time reading comic books. If she's not typing away at her keyboard, you can probably find her at Disneyland or watching Star Wars (or both).