Mod-pods: Music fans ditch streaming services for old iPods

© Shannon Stapleton
Consumers are beginning to wise up to the cloud computing ‘trap’ by using ‘old’ MP3 players like the iPod Classic instead of music streaming services that require costly monthly subscriptions and internet access.

Apple stopped making their classic model in 2014, but music lovers are putting their DIY skills to the test by refurbishing the nostalgic devices, Motherboard reports.

This involves violating a big Steve Jobs no-no by cracking open the music players, installing a new battery, and a larger solid state drive.

Users can then transfer most or all of their music collection onto the resurrected devices and carry it around, the original intent of the iPod as advertised in the famous campaign 12 years ago (and parodied on "Family Guy").

"No streaming service has everything, and the necessity of an internet connection to use is still a barrier that can be pretty limiting to many users," Anthony, a refurbished iPod owner, told Motherboard.

He added that the overhauled devices are ideal for "music lovers unwilling to compromise their digital collections' size and mobility”.

While the tech industry trumpets cloud computing, internet pioneer Richard Stallman once called it a "trap".

READ MORE: Apple, music labels investigated for antitrust violations, collusion ahead of Apple Music launch

For those less trusting of their own skills, upgraded iPod Classics are being sold on websites such as eBay from around $300, which gets you a 256GB solid state drive capable of holding more than 40,000 songs.

Certain smartphones can also use the new 200GB micro SD cards, which eliminates the need for an extra device.

The increased interest in refurbished iPods is the latest rejection of music streaming service like Spotify, Apple Music, and Google Play Music.

Spotify’s revenue topped $1.1 billion in 2014, but a survey of 3,000 people published by Nielsen this month found that 46 percent of people consider such streaming services "too expensive" while 78 percent of those survey said they were "somewhat/very unlikely" to pay for a streaming service in the next six months.

This growing anti-cloud movement is backed by musicians like Taylor Swift and Adele who removed their music from those services.

On Spotify, a song must be played for at least thirty seconds for it to register as a legitimate stream, after which the company pays anything from $0.0037 to $0.007 per play to the holders of the music rights, Forbes reports.

The Los Angeles band Vulpeck used this payment information to its advantage to help fund a tour. The band released a silent album called ‘Sleepify’, which consisted of a number of silent tracks, all lasting at least 30 seconds.

By asking fans to leave the album on repeat overnight, Vulpeck managed to rack up over 5.5 million streams and $20,000 in the seven weeks before Spotify pulled the album.

In 2015, the New York band Ohm & Sport, who believed Spotify was not a fair deal for artists, launched a website called Eternify.

The site allowed users to stream music from their favorite artists on Spotify in 30-second increments, thus allowing the artist to receive royalties.

Spotify issued a takedown notice and the band were forced to remove the service.