Apple finally phased out its iconic iPod click wheel back in 2014 with the music player’s 160GB iPod Classic variant, but the oddly satisfying, tactile scrolling hardware lives on in the hearts and minds of many. While it’s unlikely Tim Cook and company will roll out any kind of “retro” option to audiences in the coming years (aside from some very pretty color schemes), some of us are at least still keeping the dream of the click wheel alive and well. Meet Tanner Villarete, a frontend software developer who recently designed a lovely little free web app that imitates the last great iPod Classic click wheel. The app integrates with both Apple Music and Spotify.
Villarete’s iPod design includes multiple skins — silver, black, and even that old, red-and-black “U2” special edition that was super badass apart from the whole U2-aspect — along with the classic Brick game to kill even more time while you listen to all your favorite mid-aughts tunes.
While the site is available via any browser, we highly encourage checking it out via a touchscreen device for the complete effect. It’s a great compliment for those among us staring down a return to physical office spaces as post-COVID life continues to speed itself up. Just make sure the boss isn’t around whenever you’re toying around with that Brick emulator.
There’s still a lot of use in those old iPods — Even when close to two decades old, classic iPods can still be put to some pretty great use. Take this 17-year-old edition, which a YouTuber recently managed to upgrade into an actual Spotify streaming device capable of even searching the service’s entire music catalog. Unfortunately, the click wheel’s iconic sound didn’t survive the upgrade but look, we can’t expect everything from iPods of yore...
Except for detecting radiation — Yeah. Lest we forget: there was that one time Apple reportedly configured one of its devices to include a miniature Geiger counter for the U.S. Department of Energy. Unfortunately, not much else is known about the story, including how/if the badass spy hardware was eventually utilized, but it’s still a pretty great benchmark for “alternative iPod uses.”