On iPods in 2024

So I recently dug out my old iPod from a pile of devices long forgotten in the "I'm gonna recycle that some day" box. And I'm very glad I didn't. Here's why.

After digging it out, I found myself using it again after several years of using exclusively just streaming services. It has been an unexpected breath of fresh air, and has gotten me excited about music all over again.

The little bugger in question is an old 6th-gen iPod Classic, circa 2009. I have found that, astonishingly, the battery still holds a charge all work week, and it's almost 15 years old as of this writing! Plus despite having sat unused for 6-7 years...

Streaming services have their place, but so does carrying your library with you. I found myself rediscovering old music I had nearly forgotten about, by just scrolling through a list of artists, and not having to search for what I can think of at the moment, or taking what the algorithm is feeding.

So, I thought I'd put together this little list of what I missed (and what I didn't) about it.


  • Interesting device, and a slice of a time when devices were fun
  • Great build quality and battery life
  • Probably has more storage than your phone.
  • Quickly flip through your favorite artists for those "I don't know what I want" moods.
  • Unlike your phone, it can still be used with wired headphones if you have IEMs or a favorite old pair of great-sounding headphones you miss.
  • As of this writing, you can still pick up a reconditioned one from Amazon.com or Ebay.com for $300 or less!

And of course, to balance things out, here are the:


  • You can't really discover new music with it, or (quite obviously) listen to music not on the device.
  • Can only be used with wired headphones (wait... see upsides, actually.)
  • New music needs to be owned.
  • New music needs to be downloaded.
  • New music needs to be sync'd to the device.
  • (This won't apply to most of you, but I'm covering it just in case) I couldn't get it to work on Linux, at least not in Strawberry on my Debian-based VM in QubesOS (it is probably something to do with the latter part of that). Just the simple attempt corrupted the music database on the device, and I had to rescue everything off of it onto a thumb-drive and rebuild my library on an old 2010-era Mac I had sitting around. Quite a pain.

It took me quite a while indeed to get everything back to normal after that little screw-up, including rebuilding the database a couple of times, and clearing and rebuilding the album art database as well. Luckily, this won't happen to you. ;)

Whether it's an iPod or not, here's hoping this gets you inspired to dust off something that used to be important to you! Now pardon me while I go dial up another Squarepusher album...



lxwagno is a data analyst and programmer, and is a privacy and cybersecurity enthusiast with more nerdy hobbies than one should ever be burdened with.