We retired - we discuss once-popular audio gadgets that are already "outdated"

    Three years ago, Time magazine published a rating of devices that changed the world. It got a large number of audio gadgets, such as Sony and Apple iPod players. But today, many of them are already outdated. We are talking about audio devices that at one time made a lot of noise. Photo Eric Noapnen / Unsplash


    In late 2001, Apple revolutionized digital music with the release of the iPod. For a long time, the player remained the flagship product of Apple in the mass market - device sales grew steadily until 2008. However, the first iPhone was later released, and the corporation’s portable player began to “sag”.

    The IT giant continued to release updates for its device for a long time. For example, in 2010, the sixth generation of iPod Nano with a touch screen and the fourth generation of iPod Shuffle weighing just 12 grams came out. But the size of the revenue that the players brought continued to decline. The logical ending of the once successful lines came in 2017, when Apple stopped their release . Then the journalists of large media notedthat despite its former popularity, the devices could not stand the competition with smartphones and streaming services.

    The only iPod that has a chance to upgrade is Touch. Apple has not officially announced the closure of this project. In March of this year, even rumors appeared about the imminent announcement of a new model. But it is likely that they will remain rumors.


    In 2006, Microsoft officially released their iPod response - Zune. However, the product was not able to find a place on the market. For iPod managed to gain the status of a cult audio gadget, which at the time of the release of Zune already occupied three quarters of the world market.

    Microsoft has not abandoned attempts to keep up with Apple. In 2007, the corporation released the Zune 80 and smaller versions of the device - Zune 4 and Zune 8 - in response to iPod Nano. A little later was introduced Zune HD. Critics praised its design and screen quality. But all these models remained in the shadow of apple devices.

    New versions of Zune were released until the early 2010s. After they formed on their basemusic services of the same name and digital marketplace. A little later, they all merged under the Xbox Music brand and transformed into a music platform (today it is called Groove ). The Zune brand has officially ceased to exist.

    Photo frankieleon / CC BY / Photo modified


    In 1998, Diamond Multimedia launched the Rio PMP300. It is called the first commercial MP3 player. The device’s memory was only 32 megabytes, but for its time it was a breakthrough. At the same time, its price was $ 200 - the first iPod, released three years later, was twice as expensive.

    But the age of this device was short-lived. Just a month after the release, the American Recording Industry Association (RIAA) sued the manufacturer PMP300. The RIAA feared that the distribution of digital music would negatively impact CD sales and contribute to the development of piracy. As a result, the court ordered that the production and sale of the PMP300 be stopped. So, Diamond Multimedia has become a victim of the struggle with the new format.

    The company later appealed the court ruling, but time was lost. In total, Diamond Multimedia sold about 200 thousand copies of its player.


    In 2006, Samsung started producing Helix. These were small devices with the function of recording and playing tracks in MP3 format, broadcast by satellite radio stations. Although these audio gadgets were not players in the classical sense, at one time they did not escape comparisons with the iPod.

    In addition to Samsung, the Helix satellite operator XM Satellite Radio participated in the development of Helix. Shortly after the release of the device, he also had to sue the RIAA for the same reason as Diamond Multimedia. The association did not like that users could record songs from the air, thereby creating pirated copies of the tracks.

    While the courts were on, smartphones and streaming services became widespread. As a result, the Helix project was also minimized. As for XM Satellite Radio, the company subsequently transformed into an online radio with its own smartphone application. Pixabay / PD


    Chromecast audio

    In 2015, Google introduced a device that turns wired speakers into wireless speakers - Chromecast Audio. Users on thematic resources noted that this is a "very simple product with a simple function." The decision was also relatively budget - Chromecast Audio cost $ 35.

    Earlier this year, Google announced the discontinuation of the audio gadget. Probably, this decision is due to the fact that the device has lost its relevance. According to statistics, at the end of 2018, 41% of consumers in the United States owned smart speakers. And analysts expect this figure to only increase. Therefore, the need to connect old wired speakers gradually disappears, and with it the need for a specialized device like Chromecast.


    Another popular Apple product is EarPods. They appeared on the market with the first iPod and became part of the Apple music device ad campaign. Headphones have successfully survived the decline in popularity of digital players. In 2007, they received a volume control and became an accessory for the iPhone.

    Over time, the design and functionality of the headphones changed, and the company began to move towards wireless devices. In 2016, the corporation released the first generation of AirPods. In two years, they became Apple's second best-selling product (after the iPad). However, according to large media , this gadget may also be "out of date" soon. But here we are talking about a slightly different form of obsolescence associated with a lack of battery performance.

    According to some news portals , AirPods headphones begin to discharge quickly over time. The battery life of the device about two years after the purchase may be half that declared by the manufacturer. The presence of the problem is also confirmed by some Reddit residents .

    Apple says they knew about the problem and tried to correct the situation in the new version of the headphones - AirPods 2 - they were introduced in March this year. Whether it was possible to correct the deficiency will be seen in the near future.

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