A new hit movie has stirred up nostalgia for the humble iPod, igniting calls for Apple to “bring back” the original classic model.
Baby Driver, an action/comedy/thriller flick directed by British director Edgar Wright, features the now-retro music player heavily, leading many to declare the discontinued device “cool again”.
The movie tells the story of Baby, a teenage car-thief-turned-getaway-driver played by Ansel Elgort, who is unwittingly caught up in a world of violent crime.
To cope with the horror of his job, as well as a hearing injury he sustained as a child, Baby listens to a near-constant soundtrack of music on the iPods of people whose cars he has stolen.
As a result, the film’s soundtrack is a fabulously discordant combination of old-school hip hop, blues, rock and soul. And it has audiences across America reaching for their long-abandoned iPods.
The film, which hits Australian cinemas on Thursday, has prompted many to take to social media and demand Apple take action.
— paul shaw (@paulshaw81uk) July 10, 2017
Apple discontinued the 160-gigabyte iPod classic in September 2014, simultaneously doing away with the iconic click wheel design.
While Apple still stocks several iterations of the original mp3 player – the Touch, Nano and Shuffle – the versions that were popular in the early 2000s are harder to come by.
According to The New York Times, Baby Driver‘s set decorator Lance Totten struggled to track down old-school iPods, spending plenty of time and a total of $US2500 ($A3281) to obtain the colourful array used in the film.
Baby Driver influenced this: if anyone has an old iPod classic they don't want anymore, I'm interested.
— Bradley Phil Smith (@bradleyphlsmith) July 10, 2017
Got a fully functioning iPhone 7. Considering buying a iPod classic.
The Baby Driver Effect. @edgarwright
— Liam Hejsak (@LiamHejsak) July 7, 2017
After baby Driver I'm buying like 5 sunglasses and dusting off my old 80gb iPod classic
— ro (@makeswgayagain) July 10, 2017
While Apple would not reveal whether it had experienced a boost in iPod sales as a result of the film, Tech Guide editor Stephen Fenech said this is all part of a bigger technological nostalgia movement.
A need to disconnect and get back to simpler times is driving people back toward products like the iPod, which offer basic functions without too much outside interaction.
“The most attractive thing about the iPod was that your music was there no matter what, even on a plane or without an internet connection,” Mr Fenech told The New Daily.
“There were no worries about being disturbed by a call. It’s you and your music and that’s it.”
Mr Fenech said there would be many who recall – and still appreciate – the massive influence the iPod had on music, himself included.
“I still remember the Macworld conference in San Francisco in 2005 when Steve Jobs introduced the iPod shuffle,” Mr Fenech recalled.
“When he got up and introduced this product everyone was gasping with astonishment. Then he said, ‘It’s available today’, and I suddenly heard a massive noise in the room as people ran out of the auditorium to go and buy it.”
While it may seem as though the iPhone has surpassed the iPod in terms of relevance and popularity, Mr Fenech said there was still a market for the music-only device.
“The iPod Touch is often given to kids who aren’t old enough to use the iPhone because it has everything the iPhone has without the monthly bill,” Mr Fenech explained.
“Plus, there would be audiophiles who want to have all their music stored on one drive. When you’re a music lover you want to hear your music and not be disturbed.”
Baby Driver hits cinemas on Thursday, July 13. Watch the trailer below (warning: explicit language).