People who still listen to music on an iPod aren’t weirdos

If anything, we’re the real winners

I walked into my office recently, dainty silver MP3 player clipped to my belt, when one of my colleagues looked me up and down with revulsion and asked a question which has niggled at me ever since. “Is that an iPod?”

Naively, I’d never thought about how having an iPod might be uncool. But apparently it is. Whenever anyone on the Tube, or on the bus, or in the street sees me skipping to the next song on my Nano, I’ve started to notice the look they give. It’s not a particularly pleasant one.

In fact, it’s always the same one: a look of suspicion, like I’ve got some ulterior motive for not playing music off my phone, like normal people do. But you know what? Having an iPod in 2016 is perfectly fine, and it’s time for the world to accept that.


We’re fed a narrative that retro is cool – surely the humble iPod is an extension of that? Owning a boombox or a gramophone nowadays will probably get you laid, so how come showing anyone your iPod Mini is tantamount to buckling their chastity belt for them?

Sure, iPods look a bit gimpy, but there are so many reasons still to own one. There’s the practicality: if I’m working out, I’d much rather have a little thing I can clip onto my belt than a hulking slab with a fragile screen that I have to slide into a polythene pouch on my arm.

Likewise, if I’m spending an hour commuting on a morning, I don’t want to drain 20 per cent of my battery trying to find the perfect bland, easy-listening Kygo number for my commute. All I want is this tiny, near-indestructible piece of magic that holds 1,000 songs and seems to have a battery life of 10,000 hours. Is that too much to ask?

Then, of course, there’s the matter of the internet. We iPod renegades aren’t slaves to Spotify, which means we don’t run the risk of being interrupted by a dodgy internet connection or the irksome bloke who keeps telling us that the next 30 minutes are ad free thanks to the following sponsor.

Download Spotify Premium, you’ll say. But not everyone can afford a fiver a month – I’m listening to my music on a £30 iPod shuffle, for Christ’s sake.

Regardless of the practicalities, there’s a simple reason the iPod trumps all: there’s just something special about owning your own music. Like vinyl owners when CD came around, and CD owners during the iPod’s own inception, there’s something noble about planting yourself like a tree by the river of nostalgia and refusing to move.

Having an iPod is one last rebellion against the lack of music ownership and everything-in-one-gadgets. When you go solely online, you forget the classics – and you lose those moments you have when you shuffle iTunes and suddenly stumble across that one banger that takes you right back to the summer of year 11.

Every song we’ve ever loved makes up a tiny part of our personality, so once we confine our tunes constantly-changing streaming playlists we risk losing the little moments which make us who we are.

“The eyes are a window to the soul,” the saying goes, but I think there’s a syllable missing. My iPod is a window to my soul, and I won’t be swapping it for my phone any time soon.