I love my goddamn iPod Classic

 By Jarrett Bellini | @JarrettBellini 
 Apparently This Matters 

So, your iTunes library doesn't have 21 GBs of old Grateful Dead concerts?

Must be nice.

Because when Apple discontinued the iPod Classic in September 2014, I suddenly feared that if mine ever crapped out I would no longer have my entire collection of live concerts. In my pocket. You know ... for emergencies.

"Look! The school is on fire! The children are burning!"

"Nobody panic. I have 243 hours worth of Jerry Garcia."

Everything was cool for about a year. And then my Classic died. It was terrible. I didn't leave the house for a week, and each night I cried myself to sleep, curled up in a corner wearing lipstick and an old WWII helmet.

(Actually, that was before my Classic died. Different story.)

Fortunately, Apple was somehow able to replace my busted iPod (for about $60), and everything is good again. I'm prepared to take on the world.

Show me the way to the nearest school fire.

Of course, being a proud, gluttonous American, I can't just sit back and be happy with my shiny new Classic. Because now I feel like I need an iPod Nano. The smaller one. Just for running.

Which makes me complete human garbage. I already have too many devices. And I want more.


Unfortunately, the perfect device - that one size fits all mega-thing - simply doesn't exist. So, you're going to have to buy a few things if you want to be a part of our functioning, modern society.

Below, I've identified the ten basic human needs that now require a mobile device. And, as we go through them, the goal is to determine the best way to satisfy all of these needs with the fewest number of devices.


This one is fairly straight forward and easy. Insert pile-of-poo emoji here.

Best Device: Smart Phone


You don't need a Canon 5D Mark III to get a decent shot of your disgusting man parts. These days, your phone will do just fine. You can even apply filters to your junk to make 'em look old timey.

"Say, is that your great grandfather's penis?"

"Nope. It's mine!"

A smart phone can also be used for other types of photos. So, I've been told. By the police. Twice.

Best Device: Smart Phone


This is where the iPad seems like it should be the one. You can curl up with it in your easy chair to read about the situation in Syria or, because it's somehow more interesting, whatever man-plus-drugs-plus-prostitutes-plus-third-world-country story VICE just posted on Twitter.

But, with the new large-scale 'phablet' phones, I think you can make a reasonably strong argument that something like an iPhone 6 or 6 Plus offers more than enough screen to finally read that article you emailed yourself back in June.

Best Device: Smart Phone


I tried to do the whole eBook thing on an iPad. Which was fine at first, until I could no longer concentrate over the sound of my sizzling corneas.

So, the other day, I finally broke down and got an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. And the discussion is over. Game changer. I have no more need for actual books, and plan on burning all the ones I already have in the nearest school fire. For which, by the way, I'm still available to help out if you need me. I made a playlist.

Best Device: Amazon Kindle Paperwhite 


You know. Work.

At least for me, I still need a laptop. Throughout the course of the day, I'm always on my MacBook Pro. Usually just burning more brain cells on Reddit. 

(I'm down to three. Hopefully they'll get me through to retirement.)

But I also edit video and write things, so I definitely need my machine. Besides, it's home base for all my music. 

And tasteful nudes.

Best Device: Laptop


This one is complicated. A laptop is probably the best option. But it's way more convenient to watch on a tablet, especially during a long flight or cross-country Greyhound trip to meet your meth dealer. 

But the laptop can do it - and better - so there's no real need to get a tablet just so you can watch a bad Adam Sandler movie on your way to Pittsburgh. 

You can also use your smart phone. And that's not a bad option. Because smaller devices are better for those awkward, unexpected sex scenes.

Which is to say, never watch 'Requiem for a Dream' if you have a middle seat.

Best Device: Laptop


For the longest time, I always jammed out to music through my Classic. And then, several years ago, Marc Maron and Adam Carolla entered my life, and now I listen to podcasts while I lie to myself about getting in shape.

So, there's no real need to have something with mass-capacity. What's more important is portability and Bluetooth for all those fancy new wireless earbuds. Which is why the new Nano is perfect for working out. It can hold all your podcasts and even a bunch of music.

That said, if you don't mind the size, you could also just hit the gym with your iPhone. You get all the Bluetooth benefits of the Nano, plus the added benefit of email and apps to distract yourself from having to actually exercise.

I don't run with my phone, but I do wear my Classic on my arm, and it can't be that much different. I've also heard really good things about just shoving it into a FlipBelt and wearing it around your waist.

Best Device: (Tie) Smart Phone and iPod Nano


OK, here's where I probably go off the rails. I have a lot of music - roughly 80 days worth of it in my iTunes library. This is what happens when you get introduced to Phish in high school in the mid-1990s and have little to no self-control.

And I like owning my music. The problem with storing everything in the cloud is that it doesn't work when you're actually above real clouds. Flying. Or when you're at a remote mountain cabin. Or just, I don't know, driving through Iowa.

Because ... Iowa.

Maybe I'm stuck in the past, but I still want to have my music. Period. And, for being on the go, the iPod Classic has been the best way to store as much of it as possible.

The argument Apple likes to give us now is that the iPhone is catching up to the old Classic in terms of storage. But it's not. Most of it is being swallowed by apps and Tinder-ready dong shots. So, until they make a 200 GB phone - which would be great - I'm not interested.

Travel and road trips require options. And there's only one device out there that absolutely, positively ensures that you can bring all your music with you. And that's the Classic.

It's the perfect combo of storage and battery.

So, no, Apple. I'm not paying you $10 a month to have access to your magic iTunes library in the sky. And don't tell me that you no longer have the parts to make a Classic. You're Apple.

Figure it out.

Best Device: iPod Classic

Reluctant Other Best Device: Your Smart Phone ... I Guess


This one doesn't apply to everyone, but musicians will understand where I'm coming from.

A lot of times when I'm playing my guitar, I like to reference transcribed lyrics and chords through Evernote. I put my iPad on a music stand, vertically, and it works great.

Mind you, I probably wouldn't even need this if I could just memorize things. But I can't. And I blame bad decisions in college. 

That said, I think a large phone could probably suffice for looking at guitar music. 

Best Device: (Tie) Smart Phone and Tablet


This is a big one. Because in modern times, it's pretty much what humans do. We turn on the TV, we grab a drink, and then we veg out on the sofa while mindlessly surfing the web and gaining weight. 

Which is glorious. And some of us do it without pants. 

It's called a Deluxe.

This is where, again, a tablet should be the winner because you really don't need all the power of a laptop to watch Reddit videos of kittens and street fights. 
But our phones will do the job just as well. They're a little smaller. But I'm, uh, told that doesn't matter.

Best Device: Smart Phone


We only need three devices: A large-ish smart phone, a laptop, and an Amazon Kindle Paperwhite. This should cover you for all your needs. 

The tablet has become somewhat redundant. 
Apple might disagree, but I'm saying it loud and clear: I don't need an iPad.

As for the iPod, I actually understand why, from a business perspective, Apple is backing off. It doesn't make me happy, but I get it. They simply don't care about selling iPods. Seriously. Go to the their homepage and try to find one. It's gone.

The word "iPod" is literally at the bottom of the page in the fine print.

Which is sad. The little device that changed everything is now nothing more than a footnote.

For me, though, the Classic is still essential. However, for the masses, despite my unhealthy level of man-love, I have to deem it non-essential. 

Most people just don't have 21 GBs of old Grateful Dead concerts.

Who will save the burning children?


ChrisBrubaker said...

I can access my music in the cloud just fine here in Iowa, thank you :D

Jarrett Bellini said...

Maybe the corn acts as a super-conductor. :)

David Jones said...

You can never have enough ipods, specially the older models. The 5th gen and 5.5 models are amazing for sound IQ.

Jarrett Bellini said...

Still the best, for sure.

Lexxxxi said...

I have the same problem... Went to buy an iPod Classic & it's discontinued & now all the ones online are about 400$ when they were originally the cheapest!!! I'm pissed... and my 32 GB ipod touch from 7 years ago is about to break (already has broken)... what to do, what to doo??? Where can I store the endless voices of Jerry and Trey!?!?

Jay said...

Great! This version might be the great choice for me now.

Rock Climber Teacher Guy said...

Thank you for this witty, appropriate tribute to the iPod classic.

I'm glad there are others with lots and lots of music who want access to all of it all the time. You never know when you'll need the extended version of Prince's "Let's Go Crazy," John Coltrane's "My Favorite Things," a Journey song, or anything by My Bloody Valentine. The iPod Classic is a security blanket and, as my device starts to show signs of old age, I'm feeling like Linus without his blanket. And you know what a mess he was when that happened.

Jeffery Long said...

So happy to see that someone else gets it: I want to HAVE my music and be able to access it whenever and wherever I want to, bootlegs and all.