If you haven’t noticed, Mp3 files have practically become the primary way that people listen to music. Whether at home, in the office, or on the go, the majority of us are using one device or another to listen to Mp3 playback. With the number of devices that play Mp3′s vastly increasing, how long will it be before standalone Mp3 players like the iPod Touch and Nano become absolutely obsolete? Scroll on down to see our reasons why we think may be gone by the end of the year.

1. iPhone Trumps iPod Touch

Apple iPhone

When the iPhone first came out, it was little more than an iPod with a phone antenna. Over the years, that has changed and the iPod (Touch) is now just a lighter iPhone with less features. Sure, it’s cheaper than buying a new iPhone, but isn’t the smarter decision of picking up a used 64GB iPhone a better decision? With that purchase you get a capable device that gives you Wi-Fi connectivity as well as the option to connect it to cellular service when necessary? Speaking of Wi-Fi connectivity…

2. They’re Wi-Fi Only

WiFi in Hand

Many people have begun to decrease their purchasing of Mp3′s in favor of using streaming services like Spotify, 8Traks and Pandora. Having a device such as an iPod Touch or Nano means you won’t be able to use such service on the go as they’re Wi-Fi dependent for internet access. Also, many mobile games now offer the ability to play with or compete with friends online, how are you supposed to do that if you aren’t home or at work? Should you even be playing games while you’re at work, on their Wi-Fi connection?  Of course you could bring a Hotspot along with you, but considering the added weight, mass and monthly bill, shouldn’t you just take your phone?

WiFi image courtesy of Shutterstock

3. Limited Capability (Redundant Device)


There is absolutely no shortage of Mp3 players in the world. There was a time when the only trustworthy Mp3 players on the market were the Creative Nomad Jukebox, Microsoft Zune and the iPod, but that time is long gone. So many devices offer Mp3 playback now that spending money on a standalone device explicitly for playing music is absurd, especially if you plan on purchasing better headphones to use with it. Why not instead spend the same money you would on a Nano and get these awesome headphones instead? They’re Bluetooth compatible and even have 4GB of storage for Mp3 playback.

4. Android Displacement and its Market Share

hugo barra android

As Android is now dominating iOS in smartphone Operating Systems market share, it’s very apparent that fewer people are opting to spend the extra money on iPhones. Considering this, it wouldn’t be a surprise if we soon see Apple consolidating their available mobile products down to simply the most successful. What is the benefit to them of paying the costs to manufacture devices that aren’t being sold? As more people carry around smartphones with Mp3 playback, iOS or Android, the demand for standalone Mp3 players decreases correspondingly.

5. Logical Evolution of Products


As the Mp3 player, Pocket PC, digital camera and cell phone evolved into the modern smartphone, so shall the smartphone evolve into something else. Think about it. Google’s already making their first attempt at smartphone evolution by releasing Glass. Add to that the several companies working on devices to compete with Glass and you have a forthcoming movement. Multi-purpose devices are quickly becoming a standard in the tech market, just look at the increasing availability and decreasing cost of Smart TV’s. We now have a societal requirement for our TV’s to do more than just display videos, how long do you think the appeal of an Mp3 player will persist?

6. Family Data Plans Becoming More Affordable


Let’s face it, the primary market of the iPod Touch is/was parents that didn’t/don’t want to give their kids smartphones. In most examples of this that I’ve encountered centered around the cost of voice and data plans. Sorry folks, that excuse is going to be going out the window soon. Each of the three major wireless providers, (Verizon, AT&T, Sprint) now offer very affordable “Family” Plans with reasonable Data caps. Some of them are even cheaper than standalone plans. If a parent can easily afford to, if not save more by adding another line to their plan, why wouldn’t they? Once again, if you’ve got a smartphone, you don’t need an Mp3 player.

7. Cheaper Smartphones

Moto G Announcement

In addition to voice and data plans becoming progressively more affordable, so are the devices that utilize them. Even if the idea of a wireless contract is impracticable, there are many pay as you go plans and devices available such as the Nexus 5, Moto G and the Droid Maxx. Know what’s not special about these devices? They all offer Mp3 playback!

8. Who Doesn’t Have a Mobile Phone?


Pop-Quiz hot shot; how many people do you know that do not own a mobile or smartphone? If you could name anyone, I would bet that the number is less than five. Even the number of Middle School students without mobile phones is rapidly decreasing. The few people without them are mostly in a demographic that won’t exist for much longer. When was the last time you saw a mobile phone, smart or otherwise, without Mp3 playback? That capability’s been available in mobile phones since before the first RAZR. How many people are left to even crave iPod ownership?

I can’t stress enough how impractical and obsolete standalone Mp3 players are. I’ve only listed eight of the various and innumerable reasons that you should reconsider purchasing one and I’m sure there are many more that will be posted to the comments below. Apple has yet to make any announcements about discontinuing the above mentioned iPod products, but if you had millions of them in stock, would you? You don’t want to end up mirroring the person who bought a Saturn right before the company collapsed in the recession, do ya?

Jordan Goodson

Jordan Goodson, the geek in the darkness, guiding his readers through the vast catacombs of tech and science. He journeys the interwebs searching for any and all relevant data to be absorbed and shared.