In the ‘last minute gift’ email from Apple yesterday they included the image at the top, showing representations of various Apple products on the base of a Mac Pro, with different colored iPod Shuffles as ornaments. It is a cool image that immediately struck me.
On reason it struck me was that while I was gathering up gear to stuff in the SeV Expedition for my review video, I took all of our iPods and arranged them in a sort of ‘family tree’ and took a few pictures. I had thought it might make a good basis for a post … but until I saw that Apple image I didn’t know when or why.
The holidays are a great time to reminisce and share memories, and since I have spent more time focusing on music reviews – particularly across genres I don’t generally track – this year than ever before (and am still WAY behind), I have appreciated my iPods abilities in a new way. Music is central to my family in terms of three of us (all but my wife) being multi-instrumentalists as well as having large personal music collections. Yet at the same time the ascendancy of streaming music has also had a great impact on out listening. So it seems appropriate to step back in time over the last 9+ years of my iPod history.
Here is my iPod Family Tree!
Let’s take a walk down memory lane, going top to bottom, left to right:
iPod 5GB – the original, Mac-only, FireWire-only hard-disk based iPod. I used it to replace the computer-like Archos 6GB Jukebox 6000, which was USB 1.1 and paired with Musicatch Jukebox. The contrast between the two couldn’t have been more stark …
iPod Mini 6GB – ‘Pinky’, as my wife called it. She really had little desire for an iPod, and looked at it as a gift as not being much better than a blender. Yet as soon as we loaded up a couple of GBs of her library, and she had an arm-band case … she was sold!
iPod Shuffle 512MB – my older son’s first MP3 player. He was just building his own music library, so we could dump it all into a folder and shuffle it up for him!
iPod 40GB – actually my 2nd iPod! I had no need to switch from the original one – I was still on a Mac, still had FireWire … but keeping a 5GB library was a pain. So I just imported EVERYTHING into the 40GB! My iTunes music library has never been as large … now most of that is on an external drive!
iPod Nano 4GB – I found having the 40GB was more hassle than anything else, and really wanted to get back to something smaller. My kids already had their ‘fatty’ Nanos, so I went last-gen for this one, and it has been my ‘car iPod’ ever since!
iPod Nano 8GB – like all iPods, Pinky’s battery was dying after a couple of years of heavy use … so along came ‘Maggie’. This is still her main iPod (no interest in my old Touch), and she still has less than 4GB of stuff on it!
iPod Shuffle 1GB – my younger son’s first MP3 player. Loaded up a folder just like his brother … but with very different musical inclinations! After he moved on this became my exercise iPod while I was going to the gym.
iPod Touch 1st Gen 32GB – In early 2008 when I got this I was happy with my Dell Axim x51v for a PDA, happy with the Axim as well as the DS & PSP for gaming, had enough iPods, and didn’t care about video on the go. Even before the App Store this had shifted to take a large chunk of my life … and that has only increased! The battery on this one is getting pretty weary at this point and is only good for a few hours.
iPod Nano 4GB – we got the boys matching 4GB iPod Nanos for Christmas when they came out. They have used them for music, video, and so on … well, until my older son was doing his own laundry last week and put his through the wash!
iPod Touch ‘3rd’ Gen 8GB – This one my younger son saved up for and bought himself, and absolutely gets the use from on a daily basis! I put ‘3rd’ in quotes since the 8GB is really a 2nd gen hold-over, so it gets a ‘partial’ iOS 4 upgrade (no multitasking). Also … this was the first iPod we owned that didn’t support FireWire … meaning we had to start paying attention to the pile of accessories we had built up!
iPad 32GB WiFi – I ordered this the first moment I could through my corporate portal … and it is the center of my life – office apps, mind manager, email & web, games, music apps, and on and on!
iPod Touch 4thGen 32GB – whatever the iPad doesn’t do … gets done by the iPod Touch! It is my main music device, and is absolutely great for gaming.
Missing from the picture – surprisingly not too much. My older son’s ‘washed’ Nano, and a 1GB 1st gen Shuffle I had gotten as a door prize at a technical conference … that lasted about 6 months and eventually I let my kids dissect!
So what does your iPod Family Tree look like?