Once upon a time there was an angry ipod. Gen3 hadn’t always been angry, but he was bitter with jealousy after he was superseded by Gen4, a newer version of himself that came with photo functionality and a colour screen. This was the part that riled Gen3 the most, being the original, and a purist. “Ipods were invented for music not for photos,” he wanted to yell. “Where are your scruples?!” But just like that, people decided that pixels were more important than the The Pixies. If someone had told him then that his descendants would eventually allow the sons of Hades (or Apps, as he is currently known) to run rampant through their chipsets he probably would have wiped his own hard drive right then and there.
Gen3 had other reasons to hold a grudge. For a start, he was by far and away the superior device to his incumbent. Before he was discarded like a used megabyte, Gen3 had been the thinnest ipod anyone had ever seen. With gorgeous white curves and a non-mechanical interface, he lit up a room with his back light. He was also the first to introduce Dock, his soul mate and one true love.
Back in the day, Gen3 and Dock were even sold as an item. But eventually that man-whore would betray him with every skanky ipod to hit the market, from the soulless nano to the schizophrenic shuffle to the anorexic pink mini barely out of high school. He expected promiscuity from that cougar Ipod Touch, but even Gen3 was caught off guard when he heard through the firewire vine that Dock had once tried to have his way with an iPad. As if he was ever going to get in there, the damn fool.
At one point not long after his short-lived heydey, Gen3 tried to stage a revolt. “Friends,” he said to his gathered colleagues “you know as well as I do people are being sold an inferior product for more money. It’s time we did something about it.” But unfortunately for Gen3
he was overheard by Special Limited Edition U2 Ipod. That fraud was smug in his red and black two-piece, acting as though a few tats on your backside gives you the authority to drag your elders to the trash. He passed word of the brewing conspiracy to Jobs and within the year a new Operating System writ the code on the wall, cutting short Gen3’s political aspirations before they even got bandwidth.
Gen3 couldn’t prove any of this, of course. But when he was lucky enough to find himself fully charged, it was all he could think about. And as time wore on, he watched the landscape in which he’d grown up in slowly crumble away until eventually there was nothing left at all that he recognised. Gone were the four amber-lighted auxiliary buttons and the touch wheel, no-one even cared about Remote anymore. When it became apparent that no-one would ever be more than an arms-length away some kind of i-device, Remote simply made his way to the afterlife with his batteries fully charged.
In time, Gen3 observed that Ipod operating systems had become so fast and hard drives so big that even MacBook Pro got moist between her neoprene. For awhile it seemed that support for new file formats would be offered indiscriminately as well, although Gen 3 did have a good chuckle on the day that it was revealed that that ponsy tosser Adobe Flash wasn’t going to get a look in. “Well what did he expect, aggrandizing himself with a name like that?” Gen3 said to anyone who would listen. Gen3 also noted the development of Slutty with interest, or Siri as she calls herself. “She plays hard to get on the surface,” he said to a blue Nano lying discarded at the back of the kitchen drawer “but deep down she’s up for anything. It’s all just a ruse to keep people pushing her sweet little button.”
Nano didn’t respond. He had a fork up his d-hole.
Eventually, Gen3 would have to sit by and watch helplessly as Ipods became ipads became iphones became mini ipads masquerading as ninja computers. Gen3 marvelled without any trace of envy that these slick clones were neither one thing nor another yet all things at once.
People simultaneously watched the news and talked on the phone while following the steps that Jamie Oliver called out in the kitchen and writing blogs and reading e-books and tweeting text messages and looking up “epic fails” on youtube and ignoring their children who ignored them in kind. Yet for all of that Gen3 observed, people often did not answer the phone when it rang. Later when speaking to those so-called “friends” they would say “sorry, I missed your call, my phone was on silent”. Which Gen3 thought was ironic considering all 6 devices plus the desktop had pinged and donged and blared and whistled.
Worst of all, no-one even listened to music anymore. Oh, there was plenty to go around, scarcity wasn’t the problem. It was distinguishing one track from another when everything was called “Untitled” that had everyone up in arms.
But the real slap in the face came when, after all this stealing of music (or sharing as they like to call it), it was the iPod itself who everyone blamed for their inability to enjoy music anymore. “What did I tell you about size eh old boy!” Gen 3 yelled to Gen 1. “Too big for their own good!” He had to shout, the geezer was losing his RAM chip over byte. “And now they have to pay a subscription to this dimwitted idiot they call Genius to sort out their own music for them. It’s a scandal! Sony walkman will be turning in his grave.”
“Did you say something?” Gen1 muttered, slapping at a fat purple vein underneath his LCD . Gen3 shook his head in disgust. To think Gen1 was now considered “collectable”. That bug-addled machine was not only ugly but he was thick as two short shuffles.
And through it all, contrary to his prediction, Gen3 had to watch in defeat as prices kept plummeting. Soon, everyone could afford a device. The slogans became “Feed a child for an Ipod a day.” Parents, kids, friends, grandparents, colleagues, husbands and wives increased their distance from one other while becoming inextricably linked (and sometimes physically tied) to his kind.
It was a plague of device-dependency that made Gen 3 feel both guilty and blameless at the same time. He wondered vaguely if he should “do something” but he chugged through his lithium whenever he got his binaries in a twist like that. Besides, what difference could one lone Gen 3 in an Iverse riddled with disease really make, he reasoned with himself?
Then one day Ipod Gen 3 had a brilliant idea. He could ditch his hardware and come back reincarnated as an App, a son of Hades himself! His revenge would be sweet. Ipods and Ipads and Iphones would be defenceless once “Ipod Gen 3 – The App” was downloaded and installed.
The first thing he would do would be get rid of Notifications, he thought. “That good for nothing whinging cow deludes herself that anyone listens to a ding she says. They don’t pay any attention to her anymore than they do Tasks, Notes, Calendar, Reminders and especially that mutton dressed up as lamb, Clock.” Gen 3 rubbed his clickwheel gleefully, imagining how Angry those Birds were going to be when they realised Games had run off with a joystick twice his age.
After the resurrection of Gen3, people would remember the old ways and appreciate a simple thing well made. Phones would once again become phones; people might even recall the pleasure of being surprised when they answered it. Cameras would be cameras whose photos couldn’t be sepiarised to look more romantic than the moment actually was. Books would be books with pages that had to be turned manually. Music would be music, legally owned. And vibrators would be, well, vibrators. Yes, Gen3 marvelled hopefully, there would come a day when Ipods everywhere would cease their fruitless pursuit to be all things to all people all of the time.
And so it was. When Gen 3’s final passing came, he negotiated a deal with Hades and was resurrected as an App. Nowadays, you’ll find Gen 3 in the App Store, contented to be offering people the purity of his own heart, which was always and shall ever remain, about music. Find him, and support his good cause here.