The Death of an iPod
My fifth generation iPod (with Video) died. From the troubleshooting I have done it appears that the 60GB hard drive failed. The device attempts to boot and I can hear the hard drive attempt to spin up then stop. After a quick Google search I found that this kind of failure is relatively common and the solution is to purchase a new 1.8 inch drive and have it installed.
This particular device was manufactured in April 2006 and has long since been replaced with multiple generations of iPods including at least six generations of the iPod Touch. Given the rate at which technology changes the prudent thing should be to just accept the fact that this device lasted a decade and move on. The lifecycle of the iPod has come and gone as most people now use their phones for serving music in addition to the multitude of other uses it can also do.
But in this case I find myself have a particular attachment to this device to the point where I am actively trying to find a replacement hard drive to bring it back to life. Part of it may be nostalgic as it represents a time when we were filled with wonder being able to carry around all of our music in a pocket. This particular version of the iPod was the first that would also play video meaning that you could watch movies and other video clips. Granted, the experience of watching video on a screen that is just 2.5 inches diagonal is not nearly as impressive as seeing it on an iPhone 6 Plus or an iPad which immerses you in color and sound.
My interest in restoring this iPod is much more personal. This particular device was given to me as a gift from my wife for our 25th wedding anniversary. It is the first piece of technology that she bought on her own without any help from anyone. She bought it and had it engraved just for me. It wasn’t just the purchase, she also had it stealthily delivered and with the help of our kids she had it loaded with all of my music.
For our anniversary we celebrated in Orlando at Walt Disney World so she not only had to get the iPod and load it with music but she also had to hide it through airport security so I didn’t see it then keep it under wraps until that day. I was never more surprised than I was opening that box.
Through the years I have gotten newer technology that had more bells and whistles but I always kept this iPod loaded with music that reminded me of her. For the past couple of years I had it connected to the alarm clock in our bedroom playing tunes that I would go to sleep to and wake up to and every time I would think of her.
It’s funny how such a small device like this can bring such meaning and contain so many memories. This little electronic gadget has come to represent our marriage in a way. It is something I take for granted much more than I should. I have gotten so much joy from its companionship but I have somehow come to neglect it more than I should have.
Perhaps if I had taken better care of it the drive might have lasted longer. Then again, things just seem to wear out when used as much as this has been. But like my marriage, I can’t stand the thought that when this iPod ran into a rough spot and stopped working like it should that I just tossed it away for something new.
This technology is worth saving just like a marriage. Yeah it might not always be easy. You can’t just plug it in and let it go; thinking it will always be great and trouble free. There will be times a part doesn’t work or the communications break down leaving you feeling alone. It is at that moment that you need to take a little extra time to understand what the problems are and how you can overcome the difficulties.
It may not be cost effective to keep throwing money into something when there are newer things that can do everything this does and more but it’s not just about immediate gratification. In this case I’ve come to appreciate the little things such as the way it feels to work with something so familiar.
I’m sure my wife will question why I am even considering searching for parts to an iPod that has outlived its usefulness. I’ll never be able to explain it to her and I am not even sure she would appreciate my analogy comparing our marriage to an iPod but in my own strange way it is a reminder of why we’ve been married so long and how I will always find a way to make it work even when from an outsider’s perspective it might not seem to be worth it.