I was having a conversation with a couple of co-workers the other day, and at some point in that conversation, I mentioned using my iPod. One of the two women I was talking to, who's in her early 30's, roughly six to eight years younger than me, stopped the conversation, chuckled a bit, and said, "Wait, did you just say, 'your iPod?'" Yes. Yes I did.

In the age of Spotify, Apple Music, Pandora, and the various other online music providers, all of which you can get through your smartphone, the idea that I still use a totally separate device, in this case an iPod Touch, to listen to music seems like an ancient concept. Much like the idea that this was once considered "cutting edge technology."


"How do I create a workout playlist on this thing?"

I like to think I'm somewhat technologically advanced. I'm 41-years-old, but grew up with computers and video game systems so when pagers gave way to flip phones, and flip phones gave way to smartphones, I was able to transition from one to the next relatively seamlessly.

With that said, I'll admit I was a bit late to the iPod party back in the day. When they first became popular, I didn't quite understand what the big deal was. I didn't run from it like a caveman runs from fire, but I couldn't comprehend why would I need this thing to play my tunes when I could keep 200 CDs in a travel case under the seat of my truck. I didn't realize until later that it allowed me to carry every song on those 200 CDs, and more, in my pocket. Once I figured that out, I was totally on board.

Fast-forward to today, and here I am still carrying around a second device who's sole purpose is to play music whenever I'm in the mood while it seems everyone else just uses their phone. But why? I have my reasons...

Storage Space

This is by far the biggest reason. My current phone is a 16 gig, iPhone 6S (don't "at" me, it works just fine). My 64 gig iPod Touch currently contains 5,904 songs on 549 albums from 209 artists, and consumes 46.7 gigabytes of space. Even if I wanted to consolidate everything to one device, I'd have to pick and choose what songs to put on there, and delete every other app on my phone to make space. My phone would essentially become an iPod Touch with a bigger screen. Why not just buy a phone with more storage space you say? Well, since you asked...

I'm (Selectively) Cheap

Spending money is usually not a problem for me. If there's something I want, I will typically go get it (after okaying it with my wife first, of course). However, I cannot bring myself to pay a monthly fee for a service like Spotify, or replace a phone just because there's a hot new model available when the one I have is still in perfectly good shape.

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But ironically, I'll waste $20 in five minutes on this thing every once in a while.

I know, I know, you don't have to pay for Spotify or Pandora, but then you get commercials after so many songs, and you can only skip so many times. You know what my iPod doesn't have? Commercials. AND I can skip as many songs as I want!

I Like Albums

When I'm scrolling through the ol' 'Pod deciding what to listen to, I start by scrolling through the artists, once I find one, I choose one of their albums, tap the first track, and off I go. A majority of my listening happens when I'm driving so I don't want to take my eyes off the road every three to four minutes to switch between different artists and songs. That's just not safe! Plus, some of my favorite songs are those that were never released as "radio singles." With that said, I have created a playlist or two for those times when I can't decide on one artist to listen to.

Quality Counts

I want to hear every intricate sound as clearly as possible. In my experience with Spotify and Pandora, I don't always get that which I believe is due to where I am in town and the strength of my data connection. Now, if you're an audiophile, you may be bothered by the fact that I consider the quality of the music on my iPod to be pretty good considering mp3 files are compressed in order to keep the size of the file small, but compared to streaming services, I find it to be far superior.

Data Connection

I have an unlimited data plan through my provider, so using 4G data isn't an issue for me in terms of racking up a massive bill. What is an issue is the coverage area of my provider, which is pretty good in the more metropolitan parts of the Tri-State (Evansville, Newburgh, Henderson, etc.). However, there are nooks and crannies around the area, particularly the more rural parts, where my coverage bumps down to 3G, or worse. As you surely know, when you're used to the instant gratification of 4G, anything less feels like you're using dial-up internet. It's mind-numbingly slow.

Emily Churchill / Thinkstock

Actual footage of my data connection in Boonville

This is also the case on long road trips, particularly those stretches where you don't see a house for 20 miles. What am I supposed to do if I don't have tunes for 20 miles? Talk to my family (whom I love dearly)?

Call me old fashioned, traditional, or what have you, but until the day comes when my iPod plays its final song, the screen fades to black, and its soul drifts off to a mystical land filled with unicorns and Microsoft Zunes, we're going to keep rocking out, and we're going to like it.

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