There’s a bittersweet notion that makes the rounds on the internet every so often, which muses that at some point your parent picked you up and put you down for the last time. Well, that applies to tech, too: at some point, I turned off my iPod Classic for the last time and shoved it in a drawer, likely because I’d uploaded my music to my new iPhone 4 and have listened to music on my smartphone ever since.

Truth be told, I haven’t thought of my iPod since, especially after Apple loaned me a new iPhone 12 Pro – but now I’ve been forced to reckon with a question: what does the iPhone 12 vs iPod Classic matchup look like?

In moving home, I rediscovered my old iPod – my audio companion that blasted my tunes and podcasts on a thousand car rides and strolls between classes. I dusted off an old 30-pin rectangular charging cable, plugged it in to the wall, and in just over an hour, it was back. I tapped the click wheel and it turned on, giving me access to all the 2000s and early 2010s music I stuffed in the 80GB model.

iPod Classic

(Image credit: Future)

In the obvious sense, my iPod Classic is a time capsule, filled with albums from Weezer, The Postal Service, Modest Mouse, Mountain Goats, Passion Pit, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Muse, and other luminaries that dominated that era of Indie Rock. It also held the more experimental (read: less white) corners of my taste I added piecemeal – Black Star, Ratatat, tUnE-yArDs, OutKast, ODB, Kid Cudi, Gipsy Kings, Gil Scott-Heron. It’s a comprehensive map of my musical exposure, and an unflinching look at the limits of my culturing.



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