Kickstarting the truly portable music revolution in 2001, the iPod has become perhaps one of the most recognizable products in its legacy lineup — and now it’s back. Kind of.
High street fashion brand Urban Outfitters now has iPods on its site for you to buy in various guises, from the original model to an iPod mini. They’re being sold by 3rd party seller Retrospekt — which is now calling the iPod lineup ‘vintage’. Thanks, Retrospekt, for making us feel old. Now drop those prices.
Don’t buy an iPod on Urban Outfitters
Why not? Because the iPod Mini that we found on the Urban Outfitters site is being sold for a cool $200. That’s only $50 less than you could have bought one new back in 2004 when the then-smallest iPod was first released, and now it’s roughly $170 over what you should actually be paying.
These are refurbished products, with Retrospekt saying they have fresh batteries and new, more modern storage of greater amounts than you’d find in a disk-drive-based model from eBay, but you still shouldn’t pay the premium that is being peddled here.
For all intents and purposes, unless you are a collector looking for a mint-in-box device that still comes in all its plastic wrap, you shouldn’t be paying any more than $30-$50 at a stretch for a 20-year-old iPod — refurbished or not.
iMore’s take — don’t pay $200 for an inconvenient novelty
I am uniquely placed to make recommendations here, mostly because I still use iPods to listen to music. I keep a couple in my drawer — a blue iPod mini, and an iPod Classic with a new case on it. Both have new batteries, and new storage (tripling the 128GB I had in the Classic, in fact), and they are both dumb.
They are hobbyist equipment for weird users who like old things, not viable portable music players in the year 2023. They don’t play music from Apple Music or Spotify, they require MP3 or AAC files from your Mac, they need headphones with a cable, and they need a surprisingly large amount of pocket space to work. For those of us who are audio geeks, they are loads of fun, but for the punter with $200 burning a hole in their pocket, they are a daft plan.
If you really want an iPod mini, or original iPod for that matter, to muck about with, make it a project. Buy a second-hand model off eBay for $30, grab a new battery for $10, and then an SD card for $20 with an adapter to use it to replace the now ancient hard drive for a further $20. That’s now just $80, and you’ve got a little weekend hobby on your hands. Like a project car, only it takes up less space and doesn’t eat away at your finances every week when the exhaust manifold goes to pot.
They’re not hard to mod. iFixit has excellent guides about taking all of them apart, and there are a million YouTube videos on the topic. Just, don’t pay $200 for one. There are better things to spend your time with than overpriced old tech that can be bought cheaper elsewhere.
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