Super Lawyers
William C. Altreuter

Friday, February 28, 2020

On June 11, 2016 I dropped my iPod Classic and it stopped working*. I took it to a shop to be repaired but they said it was broke for good. It's been sitting in my office since, with the thought that I might try sending it to Apple. The other day I decided to try charging it and low and behold it worked! This made me extremely happy. There is music on this device that I haven't heard in the ensuing years and I am glad to have it back in my life.

It is an appealing device that feels good in my hand, but it's funny how obsolete it has become in such a short period of time. It does not have Bluetooth connectivity, so in order to listen to it I need to use hardwired earbuds. It doesn't take photographs, or give me directions, or tell me what the weather is going to be. I can't use it to text or make phone calls. It just plays music, and although it holds a vast amount of music- over 8,000 songs it says, and that's less than half of its 160 gig capacity- my phone and my iTunes subscription allow me to download and play very nearly anything I can think of. So here it is, a relic.It is, in fact, so outdated that current versions of iTunes require downloading a plug-in in order to synch with it.  I think a lot about how technology has affected our relationship to music, and how it also affects how artists communicate their vision to us, and this is one more example. The LP gave us up to 20 minutes plus, which meant that longer compositions became possible; cassette tapes made mixtapes a genre. The Walkman made portability simple. CDs expanded the amount of music one could play without having to stand up and put on something new. The iPod returned us to single songs, and now we are living in the vinyl renaissance.

I'm not sure how I am going to use my resurrected iPod, although I may start taking it on long trips to help conserve the battery on my phone. I'm glad it's back

UPDATE, 3/3/2020: Zeitgeist-y 

* I remember exactly where it happened, and it tells me the date and time the last song was played. It was "Oh Sailor" by Fiona Apple.

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