Gina Mei
September 11, 2014 3:43 am

After thirteen glorious, music-filled years, Apple has officially discontinued the iPod classic. The iconic design with a wheel and real buttons has been edged out by its touch-screen successors, and we’re feeling just a little bit nostalgic for the original. Whether or not you’re a fan of Apple, the old-school iPods were the must-have item for anyone jamming out in the early 00’s. Even though the classic got a few updates over the years, we can’t help but reminisce over the earlier generations. Below, we remember just a few of the best parts of that quintessential music player.

1. The amazingly satisfying click of the wheel

I’m not sure what made that darn clicking noise so absurdly satisfying. Maybe it triggered some subconsciousWheel of Fortune-contestant adrenaline. Or maybe it was just because it was aural proof of our scrolling efforts. Either way, it’s the number one thing I associate with iPods, forever and always.

2. Actually having to choose what songs to put on it, because you’re out of storage

Are we ever really listening to more than a thousand songs on rotation at any given time? Probably not (but hey, if you are, I’m super impressed!). With the older models, I had to curate my music choices and decide what was more deserving of iPod real estate. I’m obsessed with Spotify and love having almost any song I want at my fingertips, but not having that option kind of makes you appreciate your music even more.

3. The commercials

In retrospect, the original iPod commercial is a comedy goldmine, but in 2001, the concept of a thousand songs on an MP3 player the size of a small brick was mind-blowing. The silhouette commercials that came later on were an instant classic, and while Apple still does great advertising (I’d argue aesthetics is more than half of the brand’s appeal), nothing compares to that iconic ad campaign.

4. A lock switch that was actually a switch

And if you didn’t lock it, your iPod would die in about half an hour. That switch taught us responsibility. Or, at least, to remember to charge our electronics. Unlike your indestructible and everlasting Nokia burner phone, your iPod’s death was always swift.

5. The backlight

Nowadays, it seems like all electronics have ridiculous, HD retina displays that turn the glare of the sun into blinding weaponry, but the early iPods had that gentle blue light you could turn on and off as you pleased (again, at the risk of draining your battery faster, but you gotta do what you gotta do). We miss the screens that were easy on the eyes.

6. Engraving

Back in the day, iPod engravings had the same gravitas as AIM away messages and yearbook quotes. This was forever. Apple still offers custom engravings on their products, but now we’ve wised up to the fact that it’s a totally unnecessary add-on that ruins resale value.

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