iPod Modders Give Apple’s Abandoned Music Player New Life

Esten claims carrying an iPod with her is critical, in particular when she loses knowledge company on a commute that takes her into the mobile useless zone inside the educate tunnel functioning beneath San Francisco Bay. “There were so quite a few times I was listening to an album … I’d duck beneath the Transbay tunnel, entirely eliminate signal, and it starts off cutting out,” she says. “I assume that’s the great point about the iPod. No issue what, [my music’s] there. I do not want to have to make selections about what I am listening to beforehand. My cellphone could be dead, Spotify could be down. Knowing I can just set headphones on and listen to my audio is so nice.”

Occupation Chances

College or university dropout Austin Lucas noticed anything while doing the job at a compact-city mobile cell phone maintenance store. A great deal of customers ended up coming in with iPods that the shop—which experienced long because modified its company to meet up with the demands of the Iphone era—was no longer equipped to fix.

“Someone came in with a [seventh-gen iPod Classic] and my coworker was like ‘I don’t want to contact it.’ It clicked that each individual working day, hundreds, if not thousands of people today are going to mend retailers with iPods and they’re remaining turned down. They’re currently being explained to it truly is much easier to go invest in 1 on the net someplace.”

Which is when he noticed his prospect. Quitting the cellular phone biz, he commenced a store with a concentration on iPods, referred to as Elite Obsolete Electronics. Considering the fact that 2019, EOE has experienced a entrance-row seat to the iPod renaissance. In his Kansas lab, Lucas sections out iPods acquired in bulk from electronics recyclers, exams the many bits, and reassembles performing iPods with a combine of new and utilised elements.

Courtesy of Austin Lucas

Thanks to renewed curiosity, extra tailor made iPod parts are out there now than ever just before. “When the iPod Vintage was discontinued, the availability of personalized elements was a shell of what it is now … you could seriously only get batteries and actual Apple components,” says Lucas. “2020 was when the purple, eco-friendly, and blue faceplates came out for the sixth- and seventh-gen iPods, and then that slide the rainbow, blue, and purple backs came out. That added a little freshness and exhilaration … men and women would log on and they’d see a environmentally friendly iPod. Woah! When was that achievable?”

All Star

As a result of the iPod subreddits and Discord communities, Austin Lucas became a dependable provider to all those doing the job on their own ‘Pods. It was there, about two yrs back, that he achieved a budding YouTuber who needed to aim on iPods and their contemporaries. “I received a information from Wade, and he was on the lookout for some pieces. So I sent them to him and we started off conversing.”

Wade Nixon, whose channel is called DankPods, has been a one of a kind booster of the iPod world all through the Covid-19 pandemic. Centered in Australia, Wade was a specialist drummer in the Prior to Moments, offering fixed iPods as a side hustle. His quirky movies show the resiliency of the iPod as an notion and as a literal item that he upgrades, utilizes, and abuses for clearly show.

When Lucas 1st fulfilled Nixon at the beginning of 2020, the YouTuber’s channel had “1 or 2 thousand” subscribers. Now, he has 1.16 million. A movie showcasing a mod built with Elite Obsolete’s colourful pieces titled “I turned my iPod into a bee” has more than 750,000 views, with Nixon’s other iPod-centered content rocketing previous the million-check out mark. “Once I observed him blow up it was like, wow, this market’s wide open. I’m not sponsored by him or anything at all … I owe fundamentally all of my results to him in a perception,” Lucas states.

“I truly feel the iPod has occur again for the reason that it never ever stopped staying great, it always did the job it set out to do as perfectly as it ever had,” suggests Nixon. “Combine that with the too much to handle electric power of nostalgia and the annoying modern-day pattern of every little thing being a subscription support, it’s good to have a thing not connected to the internet whole of material that you in fact very own. No one can contact the tunes on my iPod in my pocket.”

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