October 6, 2010

iWant (old) iPod

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Rain poured from the sky like water from a fire-hose this week, flooding the streets, the walkways and the parking lots of the campus.  Normally, I wouldn’t complain (I really like the rain), but it was during these recent storms that I dropped my cherished iPod Touch into the muddy waters of a Stewart Avenue pothole. Anyone who has even jumped into a pool with their cell-phone in their pocket knows that electronics can be remarkable; after only one day by my bedside, this iPod made a complete recovery.  My headphones, on the other hand, did not survive, and as I strolled through the aisles of Best Buy, looking for a suitable replacement, I came to a startling discovery: the iPod display case was nearly empty!

For a college town, where every Tom, Dick and Harry has an iPod, this is amazing in itself. How could Best Buy ever deplete its stock of ‘Golden Apples?’  The answer, I believe, is the release of the next generation iPod Nano – 46 percent sleeker and 42 percent smaller than its predecessor, the new generation clips comfortably to your person.  This new generation features improved pixel resolution and, most importantly, a multi-touch screen.

This is the evolution of iPod, and it is most impressive.

But why would the stock of the last generation Nanos also be depleted? Best Buy sells the new and old Nanos at the same price. Who is buying the oldies?

I’m a bit of an iPod fanatic so this question bothered me. I actually have two: the aforementioned Touch and an old generation Nano (which I use at my summer job because its smaller than the Touch and less likely to crack as I move furniture and stuff).  This Nano almost feels out-dated, even though I bought it just a year ago, and I can’t help but compare it to my first –  the short-lived, forever-treasured iPod Mini.

If you can remember, the Mini provided the first financial and aesthetic alternative to the classic iPod. It held fewer songs, but for consumers like me, with a small but eclectic music library, the mini was great! It was cheaper, it was smaller, and quite frankly, it felt great in my hand. I used that iPod for years until I had the depleted the battery. I loved that Mini, and felt betrayed when Apple discontinued its production. I reluctantly upgraded.

If given the opportunity to own any model, any generation, any color of iPod, I’d choose a blue Mini.  There’s more to technology than the tech specs; it comes down to the individual and how that device feels in his or her hand.

Most definitely, there are consumers out there who need to own the newest model, the most up-to-date technology. They are trend-setters.  But, there must also be others with a dedication to their beloved appliances, who look at more than just the specs.  They look at the device and they way it feels it in their hands. Size doesn’t matter when two things fit together so well.

And so, a few weeks ago when Apple released its new Nano, two types of consumers flocked to Best Buy: the trend-setting hunters of technological advancement and the dedicated device owners, seeking to purchase their favorite generation Nano one last time before it goes the way of the dinosaurs, or at the very least, the way of the short-lived, forever-treasured Mini.

Original Author: A. Drew Muscente