I just upgraded my kids’ iPod again so that it could obtain a feature I never thought I would consider critical: wireless connectivity. My kids are only five and three, and even I must admit that this does seem a little premature.
For many years, we had an refurbished 2nd generation iPod Nano in their room so that we could play music at bedtime. This had the old touch-sensitive dial controls, and my wife absolutely hated it. There was something about the dial interface that just didn’t make sense to her. Normally, I do bedtime, so she almost never needed to use it. However, on rare occasions when we were having a bad night, she would find herself getting quite frustrated when she tried to put music on to coax a kid back into his or her own bed and couldn’t work the controls.
About a year ago, I decided to bite the bullet and upgraded to a 5th generation iPod Nano I found on eBay. On this version, they had eliminated the dial control and replaced it with a more intuitive touch-screen interface similar to the iPhone’s. This made my wife much happier.
We started to listening to music more on it. Partly this was because the kids were older and partly because the iPod was easier to use. If the kids were interested in a song I had introduced them to that was already on the iPod (like American Pie), I could just quickly create a playlist on the fly. We used it more and more.
Where things became inconvenient was when they wanted to listen to something completely new that wasn’t already in the library. For example, when they became interested in the Cup song from Pitch Perfect, they wanted to listen to it at bed time. To get it on to their iPod, I needed to purchase the song on my phone, then boot up the three-year-old laptop that holds my music library. I would then need to create a playlist with the song, connect the iPod to it, sync the library, and then put the iPod back in their room.
It wasn’t a huge deal, but it took 10-15 minutes, and it happened right as I am trying to put the kids to bed. It was not the kind of disruption I had i mind. Really, what I wanted was the same convenience I had on my phone – download the song and play it.
As luck would have it, we have just come full circle with the iPhone upgrade cycle. Two years ago, when we upgraded our iPhone 3GSs to iPhone 4Ss, we converted the old phones into iPod Touches and gave them my nieces. Now, we are due for upgrades again. While we won’t be receiving our iPhone 5Ss for a few weeks, my nieces will once again be upgrading with us, and there is already an iPhone 3GS up for grabs.
It’s too old now to run the latest apps or operating systems, but it still plays music just fine, and it comes with wireless access. Tonight I wiped it, loaded the full music library, and installed it in their room. I can now download music straight to it when I am in a rush, or I can manage the music library using wireless syncing with iTunes.