Word on the street, or screen as it has become, says that Apple will stop making Ipods and this will be announced today (4 Oct 2011). It’s been a truly iconic device, which significantly moved the game on for portable music listening.
The first type of portable music listening was the portable radio but that relied on you being able to find a station that played music a lot. Radio One provided that but it wasn’t a truly portable way of doing things since you listened to what other people thought you should hear and the radios were big and had big batteries in them.
My first truly portable radio was about the size of fag packet, which also had an accompanying earpiece. This was truly portable but again you listened to other peoples music taste. At least with this wee radio I could listen to it in bed and enjoy Radio Luxemburg which played a better range of stuff although the signal faded in and out every few seconds. The sound quality was appalling but I was
Next up was a portable single player. It was slightly bigger than a 7” single and about 4” high. It did work though and it did play outside as we walked along one summers day. It belonged to a mate with access to significant funding from the Bank of Mum and Dad.
The arrival of cassettes provided a new form of portable music for me to pursue. Make up tapes or buy pre-recorded then put the tape in a combined radio cassette player and plug your headphones into it. In 1975/6 this was the way to go. I travelled up the West Highland railway line from Glasgow to Mallaig and back again. This was real portable music on the go. I could take my own sound track with me.
Next was a Sanyo Walkman since I couldn’t afford the Sony. The headphones were appalling but it was progress albeit with a unit which was too big to go into a pocket. Then it was a portable CD player, which skipped dreadfully if you moved too much, although I could plug it into a car stereo. Then a mini disc player which was the smallest solution so far but the disks took up space. I was travelling to the USA and around Europe at the time and the disks became a nuisance. It was still progress though.
Then Apple brought out Itunes for the PC. From that moment onwards music on the go was sorted. I’ve had Gen3, Gen5 & 6 Ipods and the latest ones but I’ve settled for a Gen5 because it has the best sound quality and I also think it looks the best too.
I also have a shuffle which is ideal for the gym, although I no longer go, a 5th Gen Nano which looks fab, an Iphone 3GS an Iphone 4 and an Ipad. I use them for music but the Gen5 is my main player. I also have very expensive headphones and a custom-made headphone amp just to make sure I can hear the music as intended.
I think Apple missed a trick with the Ipod. I think they should have pursued sound quality over touch screens and form factor over screen size and of course a minimum of 64GB storage space.
Is this a political blog item? Well yes. The EU have brought in a regulation, which means all of these sorts of devices now have a statutory maximum volume. This will stop us from going deaf due to listening to loud music apparently. That’s good of them. It surprises me how much time these people must have to sit and think up new ways of regulating us for our own good of course.