2022-06-23 14:55:13 By : Ms. Flora Li

There are still people who prefer to have a device dedicated exclusively to listening to music rather than resort to the smartphone player.With the end of the iconic Apple model, we leave some alternatives recommended by users and specialists.Every afternoon, Sebastián Rodríguez goes jogging through his neighborhood.He always runs about 5 kilometers, with the idea of ​​cleaning his head after the work day, and as usual among those who run, he accompanies the exercise with music.A bit of heavy metal, national rock and even reggaeton to not let the will fall.What is less common is that he does not play the songs from his smartphone but from a small iPod Shuffle, Apple's portable player stopped manufacturing five years ago.There were two decades of history of one of the most iconic devices of the company founded by Steve Jobs.The iPod —as every article that has come out about it has pointed out— revolutionized the music industry by offering the possibility of having thousands of songs in your pocket, consolidating digital listening as the most popular way of consuming music and as the most profitable business from the east market.In 2008 alone, 54.8 million units were sold, which meant more than 9 billion dollars in profit for Apple.But success doesn't last forever.Little by little, the iPod was giving way to new devices manufactured by Apple itself, such as the iPad, the Apple Watch and mainly the iPhone.In 2014, for example, the iPod Classic, one of the favorite models among users due to its immense capacity: 160 GB, was discontinued.Five years later, Apple released the latest generation of the iPod Touch, which even offers smartphone-like functions such as connecting to the Internet and sending messages.Last Tuesday, the company's vice president of marketing, Greg Joswiak, announced that no more units of the model will be manufactured, sentencing the end of the story.The news did not surprise Sebastián, who is always aware of what is happening at a technological level due to his work at, the company he founded a few years ago and that offers website development.However, he couldn't help but feel homesick."Unfortunately, it's part of the digital evolution," he says.And perhaps what he most regrets is that the iPod is a representation of another time —although little more than ten years have passed since its peak—, in which products resistant to the passage of time were still being manufactured.In that sense, Sebastián was left not only with a piece of history, but with two, because in addition to the Shuffle he keeps the iPod Classic that he acquired ten years ago as new."It has more than nine thousand songs, from Amar Azul to Zwan, going through Metallica, AC/DC, electronic, classical and jazz music."As if that were not enough, as the model also allows the viewing of photos, movies and series, it also has the seven seasons of Family Guy stored on it."Even play solitaire," says Sebastian.Thanks to the iPod, he assures him, trips on the subway, bus or outside the city were less tedious, "despite its tiny screen."It is not that Sebastián is against music streaming platforms —in fact, he is one of the 180 million users who pay for a Spotify account—, but for that very reason the question remains: why insist on the use of a device as specific as the iPod for listening to music when you have that option and many more on your smartphone?Francisco Romero spends most of the days in the midst of a musical environment.Not just for pleasure: his work as a post-producer for Radio Horizonte conditions him to do so.He says that he once had an iPod, but it was late in fashion.“I'm younger”, he excuses himself.In fact, he had a Touch, precisely the model that Apple has just withdrawn.However, his favorite portable device is neither his iPod nor his smartphone, but the Sony NW-E016, an mp3 player."I use it a lot when I have to travel," says Francisco.The size of the device, much smaller than that of a smartphone, makes it more comfortable to carry.For him, there are several reasons why he prefers this type of player over the use of a smartphone and streaming platforms.One is that he "maintains that romanticism of taking the time to choose the songs and put together a playlist for different occasions."In his case, those lists are loaded towards the alternative rock of bands like Placebo, Franz Ferdinand and Arcade Fire, to which is added one or another podcast.His player allows him to tune into FM radios, something he says "most iPhones" don't offer."If I want to be informed and listen to news more immediately than connecting to the Internet, I tune in to a station."For Francisco, the quality of the audio obtained is also decisive.“One with the trickier ear tends to prefer these older sets, which have a penchant for maintaining good audio.And Sony is one of the brands that has worked quite well on that.”Although he began by ripping mp3s—which resulted in low-quality audio files due to their compression—he evolved to high-resolution formats such as FLAC or ALAC.The device's resistance to the passage of time is a detail shared by Francisco's player and Sebastián Rodríguez's iPods.The radio post producer Horizonte has had his device for more than twelve years and it still works without any problem.In addition, the battery "lasts much longer than the cell phone," says Francisco.This, in part, because it is only used for the playback of audio content and is not shared with other features.This player is not the same one owned by Francisco Romero, which is no longer manufactured.However, it has similar functions: it has 4GB of internal storage, 23 hours of battery life in continuous use, 3 minutes of fast charging and integrated FM radio.There are two other very good reasons to go for a portable device other than a smartphone, like any iPod or mp3 player.One is that they do not need an Internet connection to play their content, something particularly favorable for those who do not have a cell phone data plan.But perhaps the most important reason today, in times of so much dispersion and distraction, is that they only work for one thing: playing audio.There are no interruptions or temptations such as WhatsApp, social networks or incoming calls that alter listening.A point that any music lover appreciates with particular fervor.But what other alternatives are there, if not the iPod or the Sony player that Francisco uses?“What I can recommend the most is any of the Fiio brand.Although they are mainly sold through AliExpress, over the years they have become 'the best kept secret' among people who prefer to listen to music in this type of format (not streaming or analog)'”, says technology journalist Martín Calderón."The price is not cheap, it starts at 250 thousand pesos, but since they are hi-fi, you get all the juice out of your music," he adds.Rodrigo Rosas, from the specialized high-fidelity audio equipment store Allegro Hi-Fi, comments that at the level of portable players, the natural evolution of the iPod is the Digital Audio Players (DAP), which represented a leap in terms of audio quality and storage capacity.This is the case of the mentioned FiiO, also of the Astell & Kern.The latter, explains Rosas, "have a greater memory capacity, handle high-resolution files, such as DSD (Direct Stream Digital), which incidentally allows streaming audio playback from services such as Tidal."This Astell & Kern player allows high-quality audio playback, being compatible with codecs such as Qualcomm, aptX HD and LDAC.It offers 20 hours of charge in continuous playback.And it has two-way Bluetooth connectivity, allowing it to receive and transmit data.Francisco, in turn, recommends any player from the South Korean brand Cowon, specialized in the manufacture of portable multimedia devices.While these aren't for sale in Chile—unless they're second-hand—you can find them on eBay.Either way, they can be a lifesaver when you don't have your smartphone to take refuge in music.Francisco says it's like "the battery-powered radio when the power goes out."And he recommends getting one if you can't rescue an old one, forgotten in some corner of the closet, to have it as a “back up” in your bag."If they run out of battery on the cell phone, they can continue listening from that device."If you're still crying over Apple's decision to discontinue the iPod Touch, or you're afraid of losing all those files you've collected for years on your iPod Classic —a lifetime of music, as is the case with Sebastián Rodríguez—, we leave you with some recommendations.One is to back up all that content.Martín Calderón says that the best way to rescue music from your iPod is to use software other than iTunes.“iPods aren't designed to pass music from them to your Mac or PC.Apple's idea was that you would 'synchronize' your library with the device's.So, to rescue her, many and very cumbersome steps are needed.For this reason, third parties have created unofficial software that helps with this task.I used iMazing 2 and it worked very well for me”.And if your computer doesn't have enough space to back up those 10,000 songs you have on your iPod, you can back up to an external hard drive.“The Kingston brand has very good quality affordable models,” he says.If not, here you can review a list with the best on the market.Sebastián Rodríguez occupies NAS, a storage device that stays online via Wi-Fi."That creates a cloud at home."This complements it with Plex, an application that supports all kinds of audio and video formats and that allows you to access those files from any device that is connected to the network.On the other hand, if no alternative convinces you more than extending the life of your iPod for as many years as possible, Francisco Romero says that on YouTube you can catch "a lot" of tutorials in which they teach how to change your battery for a new one.Who knows if you'll make it survive until nostalgia for the iPod hits as hard as that of vinyl, cassette or CD, and makes them revive in a couple of years.For now, a small consolation provided by the specialized technology site Mashable: if you have a Nano (7th generation), Shuffle (4th generation), or Touch (4th or 5th generation), you can already boast of having a vintage model in your hands. .*The prices of the products in this article are updated as of May 20, 2022. 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