(oh, the pain of wanting to capitalise the start of every word in my titles, but having to use lowercase ‘i’s in ‘iPods’)
This post won’t just be about nostalgia from the near-Medieval age that was 2009 for the sake of nostalgia; I feel that my third generation iPod touch is the best device in my life, in terms of its usefulness and effectiveness, and that it’s relative out-datedness is actually a benefit, not a drawback.
A key example of this is the YouTube app; rather than being the Google-designed one on recent editions, my YouTube app is the original, Apple-designed one, that looks like this. While the newer version does boast some fun features like being able to read comments while watching a video, an advantage I am made aware of by my younger sister and her therefore inherent coolness over her seventeen-year-old dinosaur of a brother, the new versions are annoying: you have to watch pre-roll adverts; there is an effective age limit on flagged videos; Vevo works.
Whereas on my archaic device, there are no adverts, so I can watch anything I want without being reminded about just how bloody fantastic that chocolate bar is, and the scandalous videos that have been flagged on YouTube (i.e. all the ones with more swearing than an episode of Spongebob) can be watched freely on my iPod. Also, the (weirdly unexplained) lack of Vevo music videos means I have to look up lyric videos of bands I like, which means I actually learn the damn words, or I see live performances, so I can see what those bands are like live, which is much more fun than just an album recording.
I am also exempt from all other software updates: I can’t get the new WordPress app, Facebook revamps are meaningless to me, and I’m still spluttering away with Safari as my only browser; all of you young people, and your complaints about the new Facebook layout, will never know the bliss and security that comes from having a fixed layout and website structure, due to basic technological backwardness.
And I hardly think I’m missing out in all of this, as new apps are almost always compatible with my decrepit old iOS 5.1: 2048 works fine, Quizup is a competitive and enjoyable combination of general knowledge and annoying your friends, and that has no problems at all. The only apps I’ve not been able to play because of my operating system are Backstab, an Assassin’s Creed clone that wasn’t that good anyway, and Flappy Bird, which my inability to play was probably a good thing for my school marks and general sanity.
Furthermore, only being able to satisfy my (albeit small and short-lived) need to poke a bird through some pipes meant that I could only play it with other people, making my experiences with the game much more competitive and communal than even the most sophisticated of Game Center leaderboards.
I also don’t have a need to update; my current software works fine, so why bother changing it? This sound s like an unadventurous attitude, but I’ve had the same operating system for about two years now, and so anything that I want to do with my iPod I find a way to do myself, rather than wait for Our Glorious Apple Overlords to allow us to do it with an update: I can’t read comments while watching a YouTube video? Well, that just encourages me to fully engage with the ideas discussed in that video, before going to read peoples’ responses, ensuring that the different ideas of creators and viewers are kept accurately separate in my mind.
There will come a day, however, when the inevitable Facebook-Twitter-Instagram-WordPress-Reddit-YouTube super-site of doom and online monopoly (copyright Mark Zuckerberg 2016) will force us all to buy ultra-modern Google Glass-iPhone-Oculus brain implants, and receive information streamed directly into our heads like those in Rodman Philbrick’s The Last Book in the Universe, leaving my poor old iPod ignored and useless; I probably won’t even be able to use it as a doorstop because by that point all doors will be replaced by those automatic sliding ones from Star Trek.
But until that day comes, I’m gonna be representing 2009 through my choice of iPod.