Today’s iPod refresh came as an odd surprise to some and maybe even a long-awaited update to others. Now that the iPod line is finally up-to-date after being dormant for a few years, you might even be considering buying one.
Regardless of how you feel, do yourself a favor: Don’t buy one.
You may have written off the iPod as something Apple doesn’t care to breathe new life into by this point, but the iPod is exactly what appears to be getting an update. Alongside the release of iTunes 12.2 to support Apple Music, some users quickly discovered that images of the iPod family within the app feature new, unreleased colors.
Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.
Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.
An Illustrated History of the iPod
The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.
This is a speaker dock fit for the most holy of El Jobso's divine creations. Its gaudy decorations were handcrafted by George Dinkel, a Bavarian photographer who used golden-colored polymer clay for his creation, which houses a Dolby 2.1 sound system.
From Italian designers Enrico Bosa and Isabella Lovero, the Megaphone is one of the most magnificent iPhone accessories we've ever seen. Each Megaphone is crafted by hand out of ceramic and placed on a thin wooden frame that also plays an important role in sound amplification. The standard version costs $500, but your gold iPhone 5s demands to be paired with the $800 gold version.
Edifier Tick Tock Dock
Old clanging alarm clocks are practically extinct. But if your bedroom needs a nostalgic vibe, Edifier's Tick Tock Dock will recharge your iPhone while you snooze and blast you awake in the morning with its pair of 360-degree omnidirectional speakers.
Hammacher Schlemmer has been peddling eye-catching gadgets for more than a century, and the company's Futurist iPhone speaker is suitably intriguing. Not only does it pack two tweeters and a 12-watt subwoofer, the IR sensors on both sides detect hand movements that can control your music.
Philips Mini Hi-Fi System
Philips pushed the limits of what should be considered an iPhone dock with its FWP3200D. The twin-DJing iPhone setup packs a pair of 5.25-inch subwoofers that pulse and glow while spitting out beats from the scratchable mix-stand.
Artist Christopher Locke makes his Analog Tele-Phonographer speakers from old trumpets and various machine parts. They don’t use electricity, relying instead on the instrument's brass bell to magnify the sound from an iPhone’s built-in speakers. Priced at $400, they look good and sound great.
Not happy with your dock's tiny speaker? Behringer can solve all your problems with the biggest, baddest iPhone speaker dock this side of Mount Olympus. The iNuke Boom is a 700-pound monster speaker system measuring 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall. It can crank out up to 10,000 watts of sound (and it will only set you back $30,000).
Built for for iPhone and iPad, the Gramophone isn’t the first horn-speaker dock we've seen, but it might be the most beautiful. The speakers, which run from $200 to $300 depending on size, are fashioned from wood and metal and will boost the sound output of your device by 3 times.
If Ikea ever makes an iPhone dock, it'll look like this. The Horizontal 51 soundboard is a shelf and docking station in one. It carries integrated speakers plus extra connections for TV, PCs or an MP3 player. You could even put your iMac on it, since the shelf can support up to 55 pounds.
Most of the speakers you buy will one day end up in a landfill. Not iBamboo. It's made of real bamboo to create an electricity-free amplifier that will add some power to your music without destroying the planet.
Just in case his Sound Shrine is a bit too flashy for your taste, Bavarian photographer George Dinkle also created the iReliquary - an iPhone sanctuary fit for a king. It will protect your gold iPhone 5s from the satanic forces of decay for centuries if you'll let it.
Peter Morris rejuvenated an old Atari 2600 by turning it into an iPhone speaker dock, replete with six equalizer settings, an FM radio and a 3.5mm input jack. Perfect for playing soundtracks to your favorite 8-bit dreamscapes.
The iPhone is the most powerful thing you can drive that fits in your pocket, so why not add some hot-rod flair? That’s just what the iXoost does. Hand-built by Xoost in Italy, this speaker dock grafts some gorgeous aluminum exhaust pipes onto your iPhone.
You'll get a healthy dose of grade-school nostalgia with the iRecorder. The iPhone sits inside this plastic dock and hooks up via a jack. The buttons really do work, and there’s a pull-out handle for carrying it. Power comes from three AAA batteries or a Micro-USB port.
Your iPhone’s speakers suck. No amount of magical design from Jony Ive can change the laws of physics to give those itsy-bitsy tweeters earth-shattering bass, but plenty of acoustic iPhone docks are willing to try.
We’ve seen a menagerie of speaker docks over the years, and while most stick to being practical, we love the weird creations that make you do a double-take. We’ve gathered 14 of the most incredible iPhone docks you’ll ever see in the gallery above.
Got your own favorite bizarre dock for your iDevice? Let us know in the comments below.