Whilst cleaning my old room at my parents, I found my red iPod Nano. My parents had gifted me this ‘dumb’ device in 2007, when I was twelve or thirteen years old. Back then, times were different. I just started high school and my world revolved around my desktop computer (MSN and the ancient Dutch variable of Facebook: Hyves), my friends and listening to music. Me and my sister have spent many afteroons behind our computers, searching for new music and artists on YouTube and then downloading songs via Limewire, a free open platform that shared music and made downloading possible.
Me and my iPod used to have a special bond. We have spent lots of time together, when I had to cycle by myself to school (this did not occur that often, but hey at least I had something to listen to when I was alone), on holidays and when I wanted to sing or cry (or both) in my room. When I found my old friend, it made me feel nostalgic and it got me thinking about the ways I used it, way before I had an iPhone.
Nowadays I use my beloved iPhone to play music. With the applications Spotify and Soundcloud I can play whatever music, whenever I want to. In some way, this has improved listening to music from a portable device for me. My iPod could only play the music I had specifically downloaded. If I wanted to remove or add music, I would have to attach the iPod to the computer, so the device could upload the music I wanted to play. Even though this takes way more time than just clicking on some songs, creating a whole new playlist in Spotify, I realized it made me more aware of the music I was listening to. These days, when I like an artist, I would download all of their albums in Spotify. However, back in the days, I would carefully select new songs and artists for my playlist, because I hated the process of creating playlists. I liked the songs I listened to, because I had curated all playlists by myself, whereas I find myself nowadays shuffling a lot whilst listening to pre-curated playlists.
The current iPhones have many different functions and can be used in lots of ways, whereas the iPod had only one function: to play music. The little device, unlike the iPod Touch, had no Bluetooth nor WiFi connection. My iPod is that old, I could not even play games on it. However, the device did not need all these extra’s we currently have. It makes me feel somewhat nostalgic, thinking about the days where I would listen to some music without getting any interruption from the device. I was way more in the moment where it was only me and the music. Something which is hard to imagine these days, where all sorts of different apps have the power to distract with their notifications. Even when the sound of the notifications is turned off, people are still aware of the fact that they are likely to receive any message, which will also be distracting.
Thinking about it, I might visit my parents again, to search for the iPod’s charger… 🙂