My MP3 Player History
I got the idea to make a sort of log of MP3 players I’ve had thanks to a friend who kept borrowing Clover, my iPod Nano (6G), to the point where I asked him if he had his own MP3 player, which he didn’t. I thought it was a good idea to let him borrow my old MP3 player Quatro, until I found that it no longer recognized a USB connection, making it have no way of charging itself or transferring files. So I proclaimed it dead, but then I wondered if my older MP3 players were still alive, and here I am writing a blog post about all of them.
It’s interesting to see what my tools were for music appreciation back then, tracing all the way back to my very first cassette player up to my budget CD player until the digital age happened. They represent points in my life where I listened to certain songs until my appreciation grew and evolved into what it is now. I would start with that odd Game-Boy-Advance-cartridge-looking MP3 player on the very left of the picture, but the progression would make much more sense if I started with my cassette player 😄
1) Sanyo Cassette Player
Obviously, this isn’t in the picture, but I do still have it and it still works. This represents the very first way I appreciated music, back then when cassette tapes were popular. I remember the days where our family would visit the music shops in any SM or similar mall, and our dad would allow us to get any tapes we wanted to have. I barely remember what I got, but I’m sure that I got…Craig David’s Born To Do It and Green Day’s Warning. I’m not sure which tapes I listened to that I owned, but I also got to hear Matchbox Twenty’s Mad Season, Linkin Park’s Hybrid Theory and Disturb’s Believe among others I can’t remember.
However, this was back then when I got the tape just to listen to that one song I really liked, and they were usually the ones that had music videos since my childhood was composed of Archie comics, gaming, Cartoon Network and watching the most popular music videos at that point in time. But I wasn’t limited to that. My brother had his own tapes by Aerosmith, Hanson, blink-182, Papa Roach & Limp Bizkit, while my sisters had The Corrs and even…the soundtrack for Dance Dance Revolution 3rd Mix. There was a variety of stuff to listen to, and I listened to the stuff I liked, usually just one song and not minding the rest. So carefree XD;;
2) CD Player
Yes. A generic CD player. Why? It was bought as a budget CD player from a members-only shopping mall. This marks my departure from the mainstream and into…the internet. It was with this CD player that I listened to multiple music rips (I did it manually) from Flash animations on the net, and whatever MP3s were sent to me by friends. There were also pirated CD shops in the grocery we went to, so I listened to what I got there, but I can only recall getting a pirated version of Gorillaz’ Demon Days. On this CD player, I listened to Trans-Siberian Orchestra’s Christmas Eve/Sarajevo. Well, back then, I didn’t know that was what it was originally called. It was used in a Flash parody with lyrics made from a perspective of someone who works in Burger King (which I can no longer find on the internet). I listened to The Outline’s Shotgun, openings and endings of animes that showed on AXN, manual rips of random music from Game Boy (Dr. Mario, Power Quest) games, E1M1 of the original Doom and Dragonforce songs sent to me among other things.
So yeah. I embraced what the internet had to offer me, as well as being able to learn about ripping video game music and having tastes of different genres I would dive right into in the future. I mean, indirectly, this was the first time I heard symphonic metal.
3) MP3 Games
This is the first you see in the picture. It is actually an add-on to some cheap console I bought for reasons unknown back then. That is why it looks like a GBA cartridge, but on the side is a USB port and an earphone input 😄 Even with the insanely limited space of 128 MB, I still got to utilize it well, and is in fact what I used to experience Arctic Monkeys, Foo Fighters, Avenged Sevenfold, Freedom Call, Hammerfall and eventually…Machinae Supremacy. The first two is because I had my first band and that was what we were playing, and the rest was thanks to games like Need For Speed: Most Wanted for A7X and a Flash rhythm game called MFX2+. Right then and there, thanks to that game and thanks to my brother discovering bands like Symphony X, Rhapsody Of Fire and Nightwish by himself, I experienced power metal.
Safe to say, love at first listen.
4) KingCom-JoyPal 3A3
Second you see from the left. It’s my first legitimate and actual MP3 player, and not just an add-on like the one I mentioned. I got used to the internet, and by this time I was already listening to multiple albums and discovering more and more about power metal and its similar genres and subgenres. By this time I already formed my own ways of music appreciation not so different from today. In fact, there’s not much to say about this one because all I did was discover more and more bands to listen to and to appreciate from the set of genres I love today. What I must mention about this MP3 player though is the fact that this is what I used to listen to Machinae Supremacy…and more Machinae Supremacy. My liking to my current #1 favorite band reached a peak with this MP3 player, and I can still remember the times I went through the Sidology Episodes and even when I watched the music video for Through The Looking Glass on it. Yes, it’s capable of playing videos.
5) aigo MP3 Player
Third from the left. This wasn’t exactly a replacement for the KingCom-JoyPal 3A3, but more of an add-on. Here, I specifically remember listening to lots of Heavenly and Redemption. Also, you may notice that this MP3 player started a trend that the rest of my MP3 players followed. And actually, things aren’t as they seem. This MP3 player isn’t a small rectangle. It used to have a strap, and was designed to be a wristwatch MP3 player, but the rubber strap crumbled long ago. The feeling was great however, to have a fancier way to display time compared to everyone else, along with the fact that I can just plug in earphones into this and start listening to music, recording conversations without people knowing and even watching…more Machinae Supremacy music videos. Yes, it’s also capable of playing videos despite its tiny 128 x 96 screen. This was also the first media player to ever actually have LEAF XCEED Music Division songs in it.
Funny how my teachers questioned it without asking about its cheating capabilities. It can read text files and view images. Then again, I never did something like that and never will do anything like it aside from that last time I cheated in Grade School’s SRA.
6) Philips GoGear Spark
Fourth from left. Given the name Quatro. Why? The very reason I bought this exact model was simply because I was highly amused at its form. It was a square, a freaking square of a media player. I saw square cellphones before (I’m pretty sure that never worked out) but ever since then I wondered what square devices could exist and what I could do to obtain one. Thankfully, I spotted this gem and started earning for it right away. Quatro means Four, referring to its four sides of equal length.
Now THIS player lasted with me for a very long time. Like, since 2008 and I stopped using it by early 2011. It lasted as long as my longest-lasting pair of Sennheiser earphones, my MX 550s. The player was perfect…its square was the perfect ratio for displaying album art in pure 1:1 length and width ratio glory, and its 4 gigs was enough for a couple of complete albums to listen to. For a huge portion of what I would refer to as very important parts of my life, this was the player I listened to, and was always there to provide me music whenever I needed it badly. Musical revelations, opening up to other genres through bands like Wintersun, Children Of Bodom, Paramore and Plain White T’s, emotionally trying times and the huge progression of LEAF XCEED Music Division all happened with this. It’s too bad that it has truly passed the torch by sacrificing its own fire.
That’s a fancy way of saying it doesn’t work anymore since I have a new MP3 player.
7) iPod Nano (6G)
Fifth from left. Or should I say the rightmost? I don’t care, I copy-paste. 😄 After so many years and memories with Quatro, I already noticed that it was beginning to die out, and I had to look for its successor before it did. What in the world could continue the trend of minimalistic square-like MP3 players that I’ve learned to follow? That’s what I was wondering…until Apple came to the rescue and turned its sixth generation of iPod Nanos into squares. Impeccable timing. But not much history since it’s relatively new.
However, it reminded me of the aigo after I bought the wrist add-on for it and had a much more crystal clear screen that displays pixels incredibly well compared to Quatro. With 16 gigs, a rotatable screen and being the smallest media player I’ve ever used so far as well as being from a high-end brand like Apple, a huge improvement from obscure Chinese brands, brands you can find in CD-R King and standard brands like Philips, things can only get better. Or at least stay fine. After all, I opened up even more with this player…I have Maroon 5, Tokio Hotel, Jason Mraz and Goo Goo Dolls in this at the time of writing. That’s basically embracing what I never did before because of my concentration on my main genres.
Oh, and its name is Clover, named after the character from the Nintendo DS game called 9 Hours, 9 Persons, 9 Doors. Unbelievably awesome game. It references four-leaf clovers, so you can see how the words “four” and “leaf” appealed to me looking for a name.
And there you have it (Side comment: Holy s**t, 1800+ word count. So tl;dr prone). Each and every single one of my MP3 players hold very, very important roles in my life, more so than the average person. It’s a given that I love music, but here I get to explain the evolution of my musical appreciation through portable music players alone.
Goes to show that you can’t really make music and have any sort of progression without first learning to appreciate more and more of it. After this historic entry, it should be obvious to anyone who reads this that I’ve taken this to heart.