Today, Apple announced that it is no longer going to make the iPod Touch. While this will no doubt be of no surprise to the majority of people, it is still a sad day nontheless.
I have owned three iPod Touches, one of which is my current Digital Audio Player. While I have had issues with duplicate songs appearing when I’ve transferred music from my PC, as well as songs that did not upload correctly, this iPod Touch has been a fantastic wee device.
So why did I go for an iPod Touch? At the time I recieved it (it was a birthday present from two very good friends), I only had a 64GB 2020 iPhone SE, which had nowhere near enough storage to store even a slice of my music collection. This was compounded further by the fact that this space had to be shared with photographs, videos and other apps. Now I could have just bought an Apple Music subscription and streamed my music through that on my iPhone. I did not wish to do this however as I a) already have a music collection and b) I really did not wish to pay for a subscription to any music service, given that if you can’t afford it, all your music goes away.
Another consideration was that if I was out and about, I did not wish to completely drain my iPhone battery listening to music. Also, I felt that having a dedicated device to listen to Audiobooks on, without having to have them interrupted by push notifcations that I like to have on my Phone seemed like an advantage.
Finally, the iPod Touch, which has only had minor refreshes in the last decade has a dedicated headphone jack, unlike certain other pocketable iDevices I could name.
I’ve had my blue iPod Touch 7th Generation with 256GB of storage since March 2021, and have found it to be extremely useful. As it runs Apple’s iOS, it has the same accessibility options that you would find on any contemporary iPhone, including VoiceOver and Zoom, which means that I can see what I’m doing a lot better than I could on my old iPod Classic 7th Generation with it’s fixed-size fonts. The iPod Touch also supports using external amplifiers connected to the Lightning port, which has enabled me to experience amazing sound using my i-fi hip dac and either a pair of Senheisser HD599s or the Meze Classic 99 headphones. If I really wanted to explore the capabilities of my audio equipment, however I would need to use high resolution audio, which is actually supported on the iPod Touch, either using Apple Music to stream high-res music, or by using VLC Media Player!
Recently I’ve been using my iPod Touch to re-listen to Harry Potter series, something I feel able to do given the sheer amount of space available on this device.
While all this can be done on an iPhone, I really would not be able to afford to buy a higher capacity iPhone, so would still need a high capacity music player. I’m the sort of person who likes to have their entire music collection in their pocket. I find it a scutter to be constantly swapping out music on my portable music player, and if I were to go away for a while, I’d want to make sure I have a good collection of music with me.
For me, the only thing that would tempt me away from my iPod Touch, apart from support being dropped by Apple, would be if I could (somehow) obtain an iPhone with 512GB on contract. As such a phone would be ruinously expensive to purchase, even on a contract, I don’t think I’ll be giving up my wee blue MP3 player just yet.
I’m not the only one who thinks highly of the iPod Touch. Dankpods has made a video detailing how good he thought the 7th Generation was in 2020.
Another thing that does concern me is that parents would often purchase iPod Touches for their children in place of an iPhone. It also offers a cheap way for people who not use any Apple devices to dip their toes into iOS.
While you may be thinking that MP3 players (or Digital Audio players as they are now known) are going the way of the dodo, there are a lot of smart DAPs on the market from the likes of Sony and Fiio (among other manufacturers). These devices run Android and some of them feature fairly high end digital to analogue converters (DACs), and having Android will give you access to all kinds of media consumption apps.
That said I am pretty locked into the Apple ecosystem, which is extremely accessible given my having poor eyesight, so the iPod Touch’s discontinuation is going to hurt.
The iPod Touch was the last iPod that Apple sold after having discontinued the Classic in 2014 and the Nano and Shuffle in 2017, but with it now being discontinued, the iPod name itself is dead after nearly 21 years, and while the none-smart iPods were far away from being the last word in audio fidelity, they, along with iTunes, turned a generation of people on to digital music. I will continue to use my iPod Touch for as long as it is supported, but after that, who knows what I will do. I think I’ll always want to be able to carry my music locally with me, especially now it is prohibitively expensive to actually use my Plex server. I’m not a fan oth subscribing to content that other people have control over, so I hope that digital audio players will continue to let you store music locally, rather than just streaming it.
That said, the iPad has given me many years of joy, in it’s many forms.