iPod vs. Sony Discman

It’s been 3 years since I bought my iPod. Now it sits and acts as a paper weight on my desk. It turns on for a brief second or two before dying. Slowly it had been getting this way over the past year or so. About a 10 months ago, it would only last me about an hour. Then 6 months ago it was down to about 30 minutes of play time. Now it barely holds a charge. It’s the battery I’m told. The battery that’s encased into the iPod. The battery that I can’t easily to change.

Now I sit here looking at this useless piece of equipment and wonder why I ever purchased a device that doesn’t allow me the ability to easily take out a part as simple as a battery and replace it. Haven’t we gone backwards here as far as technology here?!? Would you buy a laptop that you had to take completely apart in order to replace the battery in it? We all know lithium-ion batteries have a limited shelf life. Once they are made, they lose capacity. So why is Apple building all of these devices with a part built into them that will eventually go bad?

As I was looking for some tools recently, I came across my trusty Sony Discman. Oh the memories it brought back. Many years I spent with it listening to Guns N’ Roses and Peral Jam on the trains and buses. I bought the thing in 1993, and it cost me $150. Could this item that has been sitting in my storage drawer still play CD’s? I tried it out. Of course! it works Because it runs on 2 AA batteries that I can buy at any corner drug store.

It’s things like these that make me believe that as consumers, we need to make better choices. Sure the iPod is cool, but there are other players that are even cooler that work and do things as good as the iPod and last longer. When I buy a music player, I expect it to have a longer shelf life than 2 or 3 years. The people plunked down $600 for an iPhone will have to deal with the same situation 2 years from now. Granted that technology will change and people will probably want something new by then. But if it’s my money, I’d rather spend it on something that gives me the choice of using it 15 years from now without having to disassemble it, just like my trusty Sony Discman.