Remember the iPod?

Remember the iPod? I used to own an iPod Classic, and an iPod touch 2. Long since gone, the old and slow iPods of yore are dead. However, while moving some old boxes, I found a familiar friend: the iPhone 5. Nostaligia got the better of me. Could this be the centre of my new music system?

Remember the iPod?

iPod Classic:

The classic. Those were the days. When the most magical thing in the world was music NOT on cassette. You could fit thousands of sounds on this thing, and put your wired headphones on, and escape to another universe.

What were you doing in the 1980s?

Regardless of whether you were listening to BROS, Richard Clayderman, or classic Michael Jackson, the iPod defined a generation of young music lovers, escaping the cassette and leaving their Sony Walkman at home.

iPod touch generation 2:

I'll admit it, I was in love with the click wheel on my iPod classic. It was tactile, it was great, it soothed my OCD. You could rewind to exactly the right spot, without taking it out of your pocket.

When the iPod touch was revealed in 2007 - wow - it was amazing. A touch screen! No click wheel! Sad.

I loved the classic. I kept the classic.

Alas, someone else (who shall remain nameless in the face of severe scorn), borrowed and broke my iPod classic while skateboarding. I was forced to buy the latest and greatest from Apple - the new iPod touch generation 2.

It was a 3.5" touch screen iPod without my beloved click wheel, and it had its own unique charm. For the first few hours, I was trying to use the Home button in the same way as the click wheel, to change songs, fast forward, rewind, to no avail. Sadly you had to touch the darn screen.

The iPod touch 2 was available from 2008 to 2010. I remember keeping and using my iPod, complete with the original 30 pin connector, right up until 2014, long after Apple had stopped updating its software.

Before the iPhone 5

Back in the day, no one had an Apple phone. If you were one of the rich cool kids in 1995, you rocked a Nokia or an Ericsson phone. Ericsson phones were so popular, Sony bought Ericsson Mobile.

If you were in business, serious business, like a lawyer, stock broker, or, um, Apple staff member, you had a BlackBerry Curve in your pocket.

The iPhone interrupted all of this. Nokia, Ericsson, Sony, BlackBerry, Palm, and a host of others slowly died on the vine, as Apple took over ownership of the orchard.

From 1995, I had a Nokia, another Nokia, another Nokia, then a Sony, then a Nokia, another Nokia, then a HTC Windows Phone. When my beloved Windows Phone got stolen (OK, my car got broken into, and they took my whole work bag, including a lot of IT gear and the phone), I was distraught. How would I replace the lost data that was saved only on my portable SCSI Iomega Zip disks? I had a lot of project work on my Zip disks. I had an internal Zip drive on my PC at work, an internal Zip drive on my PC at home, and a portable Zip drive that I took to work in case I needed to go out to a customer and they didn't have one (they were kind of expensive at the time).

(Yes there was a time when Windows Phones were popular, and they were made by both HTC and Samsung!)

The iPhone 5 stopped the world

Yes, the iPhone 5 stopped the world. It had a bigger screen, a better battery, a brighter clearer sharper screen, other features, a better screen, other features, a better screen.... we were told endlessly that it had a gorgeous amazing wonderful big screen. It introduced the Lightning connector. That screen, though. Gorgeous.

As my HTC Windows Phone was stolen from me, I needed a new phone. I could have bought another Nokia, or a Samsung... but I made a mistake and I wandered in to the Apple store.

Having completely ignored everything made by Apple since the death of my iPod touch several years earlier, and still lamenting the loss of my HTC phone, I was locked in the warm embrace (figuratively speaking) of a fun and caring Apple employee, who cared so deeply for me that an Apple device was the only solution to my tears of woe. I could feel Steve Jobs leaning over my shoulder and whispering, "one more thing... buy one more thing...".

I left the store wondering what had happened. I sat at a cafe and ordered a coffee. I looked inside my Apple shopping bag to find:

  • an iPhone 5

  • a case

  • a better battery charger

  • an iTunes gift card

  • a sim card box

  • a photocopy of an original signed-in-ink Apple poster with Steve Jobs own real signature on it.

That was the start of the descent in to madness.

After that, when I needed to update my laptop, I switched from HP to an Apple MacBook Pro.

When I needed to update my home computer, I switched from a Dell PC to an Apple iMac.

When I needed to really really really finally let go of my Sony Mini Disc collection, I switched to an Apple iPod touch final generation. I even had a Mini Disc player head unit installed in my car.

All of the Sony-branded things in my life started to look old.

My original Sony Walkman cassette player...

My updated Sony Walkman cassette player with FM radio (wow!!)...

My Sony CRT computer monitor...

My newer Sony LCD computer monitor...

My Sony Discman CD player...

The Sony CDROM drive in my computer...

The Sony portable Mini Disc player that replaced my Walkman and Discman...

The Sony Mini Disc head unit in my car....

The Sony Mini Disc micro hifi on my lounge room shelf...

I cry when I think about my dedication to Sony... all the money I spent... only to have it wiped away by Apple.

Now in 2018, could my old iPhone 5 become the centre of my new music library?

Well, yes.

Moving in to my new home office this week, I installed a new JBL sound bar. It has USB, Bluetooth, Toslink, wifi, AUX in, and HDMI ARC in and out (for using it as a sound bar with a TV).

I pre-wired the room before it was built, to include a Toslink cable, LAN port, and two HDMI ports in the cabinet where the JBL sound bar was going to live. This means I can pipe music to the sound bar via cable, or wirelessly via Bluetooth.

Could my iPhone 5 provide the music over Bluetooth, connected to the sound bar? Yes.

Could I plug the other end of the Toslink cable in to my Xbox as well? Yes.

Could I connect my laptop and desktop PCs to the sound bar over Bluetooth or wifi? Yes.

Could I plug in something to the USB port and play music that way? Yes.

Would my old iPhone be up to the job? Yes.

Has Apple stopped updating iOS on the iPhone 5? Yes (It's stuck on iOS 10.3.3, instead of iOS 12.1)

Would it still pump out Jamiroquai? YES!

Very loudly in fact.


My poor, sad, lonely old iPhone 5 has a new life as an iPod in my office.

Would Steve Jobs be happy? I think so.

Until next time,

Xavier Zymantas


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