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Apple confirmed today that the iPod Touch, the last remaining iteration of the portable music player that served as a forerunner to the iPhone and hence smartphones, has been discontinued.

Apple announced that it will discontinue iPods

Apple is ending production of the devices that revolutionized consumer electronics and led to the invention of the iPhone after nearly 22 years. The lead of Apple’s announcement was subtly hidden, with the company pointing to the way music players have become integrated into phones and watches, while also mentioning that the iPod Touch will be available “while supplies last.”

The iPod has had a long and successful career. The first edition was released in 2001, back when you had to manually encode song titles and aux cords were still treasured party accessories. Of fact, portable MP3 players existed before the iPod, but Apple significantly improved them. The iPod, you could argue, exemplifies Apple’s proclivity for taking an existing concept and making it practical for a broad market.

Back then, it was a truly remarkable piece of equipment. The user interface was intuitive, the batteries lasted up to 10 hours, and the storage capacity was adequate for the time. The initial generation had 5GB and 10GB models; the most recent Touch model has 256GB, meaning you could store Metallica and Lou Reed’s underappreciated Lulu LP 1000 times. If you so desired.

It was with the fourth-generation iPod that it truly became a phenomenon. The click wheel controller was a breakthrough, the display acquired color, and, well, let’s not mince words: the pack-in game Brick reigned supreme, albeit Vortex significantly outperformed it when it was launched in 2006. The click wheel-equipped iPod Classic model was phased out in 2014. Since then, the Touch has taken the lead, resembling a smartphone but lacking the phone.

For quite some time, the writing has been on the wall. Nowadays, audiophiles are more likely to own discrete music players, and the thought of storing actual music files on a device is probably inconceivable to the great majority of individuals who utilize streaming services. It’s undoubtedly not helped PC users’ case that, unlike in the early days, getting around the iPod’s reliance on iTunes has gotten increasingly difficult with each passing year. These are pretty decent mp3 players if you want a good, inexpensive one.

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