What happens when you try to power up and look at the contents of your seventeen year old iPod? James Bareham fights Firewire cables, antiquity, and Thunderbolt dongles to find out. And the results? not just a bit of digital archaeology but a look back into the mind of his younger self:
Though my Apple music devices changed over time, growing slimmer and more powerful with every iteration, much of the music on them remained the same. Seventeen years is a long time in both the worlds of music and technology, but not everything dates in the same way. Though today I am listening to a lot of new music from the likes of Adele, Alabama Shakes, Kaki King, Lana Del Ray, Philip Glass, Michael Kiwanuka, Chvrches, and Gary Clark Jr., looking back through the playlists on my first and oldest iPod I was struck by the fact that some of the music from 2001 and 2002 seemed far more dated than some of the ‘70s, ‘80s, and ‘90s.
As I mentioned earlier, most of the music and the artists from that period are still in my playlists: Abba is as vibrant and fun as the day it was written (#notatallsorrysojustdealwithit); Rush may have retired from playing live and recording new material, but I am still listening to their enormous back catalog; Radiohead continue to make angst the most powerfully powerful creative force in the universe; Oasis and Blur (both of whom are surprisingly missing from my iPod, but I was definitely listening to them back in 2002) are a link to my London past; and David Bowie’s final album Blackstar proved that the world is a less interesting place since his untimely death in January 2016.