With Apple discontinuing iPods, what are the alternatives? | Technology


I was appalled to read that Apple is abandoning iPods. I have a seventh-generation iPod that has just packed it in, but I hesitate to spend money on repairs if it is about to go obsolete. Meanwhile, I am happily using my 2008 model, which lacks a radio but is fine otherwise. The grandson declares that this is the moment to get a “proper” phone that will do everything, but I am refusing to submit to blackmail and have no wish to consult the internet at every opportunity.

I am addicted to podcasts and books from Audible, and don’t often play music. Would an MP3 player from another maker still tie up with iTunes and Audible? Could I get one with a radio, preferably DAB? Marigold

Apple is abandoning its traditional iPods because most people with smartphones now use them for everything. However, many current smartphones – including Apple’s – don’t have FM, and none has a DAB radio.

Worse, smartphones need regular app updates and sometimes annual operating system upgrades. You also get loads of annoying notifications. It’s not like buying an MP3 player that will work unchanged for a decade or more, until the battery no longer holds a charge.

Buy a Nano?

I usually take the view that “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it”. If the iPod works well for you, why not buy another, or get a price for fixing your broken one? I thought the fifth-generation iPod Nano (2009) was the best version, before Apple dropped the physical controls for a touch screen, but you can still buy a seventh-generation Nano with FM radio for £149, from Argos and other stores.



The seventh-gen iPod Nano is launched in 2012. Photograph: Beck Diefenbach/Reuters

Note that the latest 2015 Nano looks identical to the seventh-generation 2012 version, it just comes in fewer colours. However, the newer model requires a newer operating system: Mac OS X 10.6.8 or later, or Microsoft Windows 7 or later.

While Apple isn’t making any more Nanos, existing devices will continue…

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