saying goodbye to the iPod
As I write this little post today, there are 14, 055 people who have chosen to become members of this No Depression community. Since I read almost everybody’s posts and comments, I can safely estimate that 13, 967 of you still listen to your music on vinyl and when your time is up they will have to pry that scratchy old Burrito Brother’s album from your cold little fingers. Because unless I’ve misread it, there’s only a handful of us that like our music digitally. Only a few that actually look forward to plugging in the buds and who think the sound quality, the ease of storage and acquisition, convenience and carrying around a few thousand albums in one’s pocket is a good thing. And so it’s to that small itty-bitty handful of people, the No Depression Digital Subculture if you will, who I am talking to this day. For I have come before you with heavy heart and sad, sad news.
“The iPod’s essentially finished, give or take,” says Dr Alice Enders, a former senior economist at the World Trade Organisation who now reports on global music markets for media consultancy Enders Analysis. “Sales have been in decline for some time. The converged media device is the way forward.”
This morning as I twirled around the ‘net I came across an article posted on an Australian website called “The Death of the iPod” and writer Johnny Davis makes a pretty good case that Apple is probably getting ready to say goodbye to the handheld digital jukebox because sales have slowed down considerably as people have moved to those cute little “converged media devices” or as you know it, the iPhone. One device to do it all trumps the single-use rectangle, which makes sense I guess but I’m still in mourning. Because I love my 160GB iPod Classic and I don’t want to converge. I like it the way it is. Darn. Thwarted again.
Davis’ article is really an interesting read, as he takes you from the very beginning of the concept through development, launch and now soon-to-be death. Lots of fun facts too…I had no idea that Steve Jobs used to date Joan Baez. But if you don’t feel like reading through the whole enchilada, I’ll just give you the beef:
-The iPod hasn’t been updated since September 2009.
-When you walk into an Apple store the emptiest spot in the joint is the table full of iPods.
-In the US, digital download sales are flat.
-Cloud technology (already seemingly sounding like an antique term) and subscription services will fit nicely with that “converged media device” especially when you’re able to buy a new iPhone Nano for less than a hundred bucks. (It’s not out yet…speculation.)
So for folks like me, which as I noted above there aren’t many of here in alt-Americana world, who love to carry 22,000 songs in my pocket and just hit shuffle for the thrill and excitement of never knowing what will come up next…always being shocked and awed, having the ultimate mix tape experience without the work and the effort, it’s almost over. Just as soon as the battery stops charging or the hard drive goes “wrrrrr vrttttt”….I will transition reluctantly.
And for now, I shall go walk the dog and listen to my music.