And the music plays on (very briefly)…

Today I was feeling all nostalgic up in the hizzy and dug out two old music players, my 7th generation iPod nano and a Sansa Clip. Here they be:

iPod nano 7th generation and Sansa Clip

The Sansa Clip is the older of the two. It was the first MP3 player I got for running and it worked well, being extremely light, compact and having a clip that let you easily attach it to your shorts, shirt or gorgeously braided hair. I believe I got it in 2009, the same year I started jogging (I ended the year by doing my first 10K run and can’t imagine I would have done so without musical accompaniment). The one downside is the storage was a mere 2 GB, so it could only hold a hundred or so songs–enough for a run, but not a whole lot of variety.

The iPod nano I got in 2012 and replaced a 5th generation one. It featured some nice improvements:

  • Lightning port instead of the 30-pin connector
  • Bluetooth, although I never actually used it
  • Super light and thin, yet sturdy in construction
  • 16 GB of storage, which couldn’t hold my entire music collection at the time but got close enough that I felt I wasn’t really missing anything I’d like to listen to while on a run
  • Built-in Nike+ app that no longer needed a foot pod to track steps/runs
  • It looks like an adorable miniature iPhone (running iOS 6, though it didn’t actually run iOS)

I used the nano (which was the last one Apple made, discontinuing it in 2017) until I switched over to using a smartphone to track runs, the first being an iPhone 5c. I quite liked it, though the touchscreen would go wonky when it got wet, making it less than ideal for soggy runs (not to be confused with having the soggy runs–ew). To be fair, the Apple Watch I now use has the same issues in the rain, although you can turn off the touch to prevent phantom taps and such. In the nano’s favor, it could transfer music about a billion times faster from my PC vs. transferring music from my phone to the Watch, a task that takes so long I have given up on doing it.

I kind of miss these dedicated single-purpose devices. Because they only did one thing*, the UI and buttons were very focused on driving that experience. This was especially appreciated for activities like running where you don’t want to fiddle with multi-level menus and excessive clicks.

Both devices still power up, as you can see from my pic. The Sansa Clip battery appears to be almost completely dead, though. It only stays awake for a few moments before warning the battery is low, even after charging. The nano is better, but even it looks like it would only last a fraction of what it normally might. Not surprising for something 10 years old. I wonder if the battery can be replaced? Hmm.

* Technically the iPod nano could do more than play music, as you could listen to podcasts, watch videos or look at photos, I didn’t do any of these things with mine, however.

iPod, 2001-2022

gray ipod classic
This stock photo actually looks just like the one I have! Photo by Pixabay on

As reported all over the internet today, Apple has discontinued the iPod Touch and with it, the iPod as a brand is officially dead. Here’s Apple’s statement, which is a big marketing push for Apple Music and new devices that work with the service, and a brief look back at the various iPod models, in that order.

Although I had used Macs in the past (even way back when they called them Macintoshes), the iPod was my first Apple purchase. I had a 4th generation model with 20 GB of storage. I never filled it up before I got my second iPod, an 80 GB Classic, which I most definitely never filled up. I still have the latter, and it works just fine, though the music on it is frozen in time, consisting entirely of stuff ripped from CDs I stopped buying years ago.

Like most people, my full-size iPod eventually got replaced by a smartphone, but I stayed with the line when it came to a device to use while running, going with the ultra-portable iPod nano. I had the last couple of generations, the weird one that included a video camera of all things, and the final model, that looked a bit like a miniature iPhone, but did not actually run iOS. I always felt the perfect version of that would have been a 32 GB model, but Apple never went beyond 16 GB. Even back then, it forced me to choose what to put on the nano and what to leave off. Although it had issues with the rain, it was otherwise great for running because it was so small, thin and weighed nothing. If Apple made a modern version with 32 GB of storage, Bluetooth and support for Apple Music, I’d totally buy it. But alas.

Farewell to iPod, which helped save Apple and turn it into the soulless behemoth it is today.