I suppose the Nelly Furtado cover on this promo art is a pretty good indicator of how popular this thing is, huh

GateHouse — Do you know those annoying, pretentious, patronizing Mac people, the indigestible elitists who swear by their little ivory-colored best friends, the ones who wear small T-shirts with clever slogans on them to work, the ones who schedule days off of work to watch Steve Jobs’ keynote presentations and the ones who shake their heads in sympathetic bemusement at their friends with “drivers” and “security patches” and “several hundred dollars of Norton-based expenses”? Yeah, that’s me. Please take your shoes off and leave your Vista laptops in the car — we don’t serve their kind here.
I am a Mac nerdperson because, much like my indestructible Honda and this previously blue Cubs hat from like 2001, they’ve worked, really well, for a long time. I realize this may not be the common experience, and I can actually hear my reflexive Mac-hater friends clickity clackity-ing up witty rejoinders, but to them, as always, I say: You are probably using them wrong. Try checking the instructions.

For example, I have a nearly-destroyed five-year-old iPod that has basically been through the MP3 version of the Bataan Death March; it has been dropped and kicked and nearly put through the washing machine and almost fumbled into the sea, but the damned thing just will not expire, like that liquid metal Terminator, or John McCain. The front screen is now in a state of such unreadable scratchiness and pixel blowout that you can literally only read titles if you hold the device at a 40-47-degree angle to your nose, and do you know what? IT STILL WORKS FINE. I’m scared of it, to be honest.



I am also a Mac person for the excellent reason that iPods can read human minds. This is not a debatable theory, like President Obama’s birthplace or evolution, it is scientific factualness. I literally have lost count of the number of occasions that I’ve had a brief, random flash of a song or artist and my iPod immediately said, “Oh, did you just start humming Run-DMC’s ‘Mary Mary?’ Here, have a listen.” Some weeks ago I thought, gosh, I’d love to hear a lovely female voice right now, and the iPod immediately dished up Rush. I swear on drives through Indiana, it plays an irrationally high percentage of Mellencamp — and just when I thought that was accidental, it played some Korn (ka-POW). I know everyone’s against this whole self-aware-omnipotent-robots-will-take-over-the-world-and-create-a-technological-armageddon thing, but I’ve gotta say, I’m kind of all about it right now.

Anyway, the point is, my iPod and I enjoy a deep emotional connection I traditionally save for the closest friends and family. But even the most functional obsessions are subject to change, and having watched Steve Jobs’ annual presentation on my iPhone last week, I have a complaint: Why, sir, do you hate my iPod Classic so much?

Jobs’ presentation revealed shiny new upgrades to the entire iPod line except the stately, grandfatherly Classic, the one that will soon be known as That Brick-Sized Thing With The Click Wheel That You Can’t Tweet From. The Classic was abandoned, unmentioned, left out of the family photo.


Related, sort of

• Dear Apple, FINE, I give up, send me an iPod / interocitor / frog exaggerator immediately


Now, as an Aging Music Person, I know that progress marches on and we’re heading to a world of touch screens and Katy Perry, but I remain attached my old 160GB Classic because it contains a metric Bieberload of music, and I am someone who feels the deep need for 17,000 songs in my pocket at all times, and that 11-minute live version of “Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)” from the Roxy in 1978 YOU MIGHT NEED IT TODAY, YOU JUST DON’T KNOW, NOW DO YOU?

For my particular brand of idiot, the iPod Nano is woefully inadequate. The iPod Touch is pretty and apparently a means by which you can create emotionally manipulative human-interest commercials (no I AM NOT CRYING AT THE ONE ABOUT THE SOLDIER, NOW LEAVE ME ALONE), but they max out at a paltry 64GB, which may be good for people without obsessive-compulsive disorders, but I would have no idea. Simply stated, I am comforted knowing that if my house were to be crushed by a rhinoceros stampede today, my songs, photos and home movies are safely in a cigarette pack in my car, or pocket, where they cannot be harmed. By rhinoceroses. Why do you minimize my rhinoceros theory, Steve Jobs?


About Jeff Vrabel

My writing has appeared in GQ, Men’s Health, Success, the Washington Post, the official BruceSpringsteen.net, Indianapolis Monthly, Billboard, Modern Bride and more. View all posts by Jeff Vrabel


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