December 7, 2023

Completely happy birthday, our outdated pal.

At the moment is a special occasion for all of us who beloved an iPod at one level in our lives. The music participant celebrates its twenty second birthday at the moment. Twenty-two years in the past, the system went on sale on this precise date — October 23, 2001. The iPod, in fact, went by many iterations between the iPod mini, iPod nano, iPod shuffle, and the iPod contact.

If you wish to take pleasure in some nostalgia, take a look at the entire various kinds of iPods which were launched over time beneath. I guess you’ll acknowledge some that you just owned!

After all, the iPod was finally cannibalized in gross sales as a result of emergence of the iPhone. After Apple’s smartphone was launched in 2007, it slowly however absolutely took over because the system folks used for his or her music as an alternative of their iPod. It made sense since, along with being an “web communications system” and cellphone, it was additionally a “widescreen iPod with contact controls.”

The iPod contact did stick round for fairly a very long time however, in 2022, Apple determined that it was time to let the system that began a digital music revolution go. On Could 10, 2022, the corporate introduced that it was discontinuing the iPod. In an announcement, Greg Joswiak, Apple’s senior vice chairman of Worldwide Advertising and marketing, mentioned that, whereas the system itself would not be offered, “the spirit of iPod lives on” in Apple’s different merchandise.

“Music has at all times been a part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to tons of of hundreds of thousands of customers in the best way iPod did impacted extra than simply the music {industry} — it additionally redefined how music is found, listened to, and shared. At the moment, the spirit of iPod lives on. We’ve built-in an unimaginable music expertise throughout all of our merchandise, from the iPhone to the Apple Watch to HomePod mini, and throughout Mac, iPad, and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading sound high quality with help for spatial audio — there’s no higher option to take pleasure in, uncover, and expertise music.”

So, a 12 months after its dying and 22 years after it first went on sale, is there any purpose for Apple to resurrect the iPod? I believe there’s one purpose it ought to — even when there’s nearly no probability it will.

The iPod could possibly be the Hello-Fi music participant of our goals

If there can be one purpose for Apple to convey again the iPod, it will have the whole lot to do with…you guessed it, music. Particularly, Hello-Fi music. Whereas Spotify could also be on the point of launch its “Supremium” tier that has higher-quality music, Apple Music has been providing tracks and albums on its service at greater bit charges for some time now.

Again in 2021, Apple introduced that it was including each Lossless and Spatial Audio to Apple Music. The options have been added for subscribers at no extra price and introduced music that was blended in Dolby Atmos to the music streaming service. As well as, it enabled lossless audio for audiophiles at 16-bit at 44.1 kHz, 24-bit at 48 kHz, and 24-bit at 192 kHz for many who owned appropriate units.

At launch, Oliver Schusser, Apple’s vice chairman of Apple Music and Beats, referred to as it the “largest development ever in sound high quality” for a music streaming service.

“Apple Music is making its largest development ever in sound high quality. Listening to a track in Dolby Atmos is like magic. The music comes from throughout you and sounds unimaginable. Now we’re bringing this actually revolutionary and immersive expertise to our listeners with music from their favourite artists like J Balvin, Gustavo Dudamel, Ariana Grande, Maroon 5, Kacey Musgraves, The Weeknd, and so many extra. Subscribers may also be capable of hearken to their music within the highest audio high quality with Lossless Audio. Apple Music as we all know it’s about to vary without end.”

Whereas Spatial Audio was first seen as a gimmick that will generally sound fairly horrible should you got here throughout a foul combine, artists have continued to lean in and enhance the expertise during the last couple of years. Paired with appropriate AirPods, listening to music in Spatial Audio might be actually immersive and really feel like an entire new expertise. I personally at all times return to Kacey Musgraves’ “Sluggish Burn” as a wonderful instance of what’s attainable with a Spatial Audio combine:

Whereas Spatial Audio has definitely picked up steam and turn out to be extra of a mainstream expectation — even when listeners don’t consciously comprehend it — Lossless Audio has definitely remained extra of a distinct segment expertise for the true music diehards. That is additionally attributable to the truth that, if you wish to hearken to the Hello-Decision Lossless tier, you continue to must hook up an exterior DAC to your iPhone to take pleasure in your music at that degree of high quality.

That is the place the iPod may make a VERY area of interest resurgence. What if Apple made an iPod that was able to all ranges of Lossless Audio natively — with out the necessity for an exterior DAC? After all, the corporate may finally, probably, add this expertise into the iPhone — as soon as once more cannibalizing the iPod — however it will be actually cool to see what the corporate may provide you with right here.

I do know it’s a protracted shot, however it will be cool to see Apple lean into audiophiles and create an iPod only for them. Have you learnt who continues to be doing this? Sony! Keep in mind the Walkman? It nonetheless exists! The corporate even made one which prices a whopping $3,700 for many who really need essentially the most premium expertise they will from a conveyable music participant.

Since Apple is mainly creating chaos with its iPad and Apple Pencil lineup, I want the audio staff would get the possibility to go a bit of loopy as effectively and resurrect the iPod as a distinct segment product. Don’t even convey again the iPod contact! Return to the start and take what the unique iPod was and convey it into the long run. And, in fact, replace AirPods Max so they’re totally appropriate and capable of play Lossless Audio on it — a minimum of if they’re wired (come on, Apple).

I do know this may possible by no means occur, however the iPod’s birthday bought me serious about it. Whereas we’ll possible by no means get it, it’s nonetheless enjoyable to consider what could possibly be. Completely happy birthday, outdated pal.