Thursday, January 7, 2010

Translucent Whiteness

This was my very first iPod — it's commonly referred to as the Third Generation model. (Don't get me started on Apple's bewilderingly vague product naming system). It was given to me as a gift and housed a massive 40GB spinning hard drive.

This was back in the day when Apple offered you iPods in any color you could want, as long as it was white. I remember being at the Apple Store in Palo Alto where they had a large poster with a night shot of this iPod showing how the buttons light up in the dark and several different groups of people came in asking about the black one in the poster. Apple finally saw the light a year later, cautiously adding a black model at first and then eventually releasing a range of iPods covering the entire color spectrum.

This model differed from the first generation in that it had a row of touch-sentive buttons for playback controls. They were a little too sensitive for most folks — it was easy to inadvertently skip ahead with the slightest brush. But they were still preferable to the previous models that had long thin buttons arranged around the circumference of the click wheel. I appreciated the translucent white case — the clear plastic housing was coated with opaque white on the inside surface, giving a lustrous feeling of depth to the finish. I was never that excited about the brick-like form though, with its uniform radii on every edge. It had all the excitement of a squared-off bar of soap, a necessary accommodation for the electrical components, I suppose.

While still in great shape cosmetically, this iPod is completely dead, unable to be resuscitated with any amount of recharging.

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