If you Google “The definitive list of nostalgic items from the 2000s,” you'll find 2,000 stories on the topic. But there’s one item that is probably on 1,999 of them: an iPod.
Whether it was the fat, awkward first-generation one that took hours to figure out on your Windows PC, or a later iPod Touch that filled the void since your parents wouldn’t get you a cellphone, everyone had an iPod.
But now, the strictly-music device is all but extinct. Phones carry all the capabilities to download and stream music with ease, and nobody uses the poor iPod anymore—except me. I still use my third- and fourth-generation iPod Nanos and have no plan on stopping soon.
Yeah, sometimes I feel like I get weird looks when I have it out on the subway or sidewalk, but if people knew why I use it, they'd still be doing it too.
1. The battery lasts forever and there's no risk of data overage
The number one question in the world right now has to be, “Do you have a phone charger I can borrow?” With social media, work, and entertainment all crammed into one phone, battery life is almost as sacred as human life at this point.
I’m neurotic about my phone battery too, always keeping my phone on power-saving mode with low brightness and apps off to make it last as long as possible. Usually, I can make it last a full day, thanks in no small part to my iPod, which prevents my phone from constantly burning battery.
I usually spend about 80 minutes commuting daily during the week, and my iPod’s charge typically lasts an entire week—and sometimes longer. Plus, in terms of data, I’m not using any when I use my iPod. I don't have to download music which wastes storage space, or stream music, which eats data. Instead, I just download songs onto my iPod and it’s there forever. (More on downloading later.) Also, in weak service spots, it’s no problem since my iPod doesn’t need data or cellular service to run.
2. It's small and easy to carry
An argument could be made that having an iPod adds to everything that I keep in my pockets including a phone, keys, wallet and a pen. That’s fine. But you’re forgetting the name of the device: the iPod Nano. It's small, thin, sleek and easy to slide into a pocket, sweatshirt or jacket. I barely notice it’s there.
3. It's perfect for speakers and parties
Everyone wants a great playlist at a party, but nobody wants to leave their phone unattended to kill battery and waste data. Plugging a long-lasting iPod into the aux cord is the way to go. It enables you to keep your phone on you, doesn't drain your battery and best of all, the music doesn't cut out every time you get a text, etc.
4. It's so easy to use
The ease of downloading or streaming music to a phone is obvious. A few touches of the screen and the newest song is yours to blast into your earphones. I can’t do that with my iPod, but downloading music is still as easy as it was in 2006. I just download music and load it through iTunes (yes, that still exists). Like any streaming service, I can make playlists and organize the songs however I like.
If I were to listen to music on my phone, it'd have to be on in the background while I text, check email, surf Twitter, and everything else. With my iPod, it can stay in my pocket forever. I don’t have to worry about taking it out once a minute to text and accidentally hitting something, or having to navigate windows to get to my music app.
As far as usability, it has the traditional touch wheel that iPods made famous, making it easy to maneuver around without hitting the wrong button or skipping ahead. It also has a "hold" switch, which locks the screen to prevent accidental clicks.
And as crazy as it seems, the Nano also has the ability to play videos on it, so all of the shows and videos I bought with the iTunes gift cards I got for Christmas can be downloaded onto it as well, along with classic games like solitaire and vortex.
5. I’m lazy and don’t like change
Honestly, I’ve never even tried to listen to music on my phone. Back in middle school, I had an iPod touch but it broke and so I went back to my old, third-generation iPod. Before that, I had the first-generation Nano and loved that until it broke. When I find something I like that works, I stick with it.
As long as I can keep putting music on it and it doesn’t melt in my hand or shatter when I drop it, I’m going to stick with my iPods. Unfortunately, Apple has basically discontinued older iPod and only sells the iPod Touches now.
I don’t know how much longer my run will last, but this will be me until then: