Max’s school was out of session and he was hanging out in my office when I started repairs on my iPod Mini. He seemed genuinely interested in the little device and asked if he could have one. I laughed it off at first, but after a bit of thinking I realized it wasn’t a terrible idea.
Max has started to develop his own musical taste and has asked to have a way to play music in his bedroom. Ashley and I have considered allowing him to have his iPad in there for playing music, but I do not like the idea of him having access to the internet in his room at the age of nine, potentially unsupervised. I could add internet filters to our home network, but that can be its own can of worms or whack-a-mole. We’ve also considered purchasing him his own HomePod for his bedroom. My initial concern was introducing a potentially always on microphone in his bedroom. Fortunately, it is possible to disable the “Hey Siri” functionality with its always on microphone. There is the risk of Siri misinterpreting the request and playing something completely wrong, which could include explicit content. Thankfully, there are settings to for the HomePod to enable or disable explicit content. My only other concern with a HomePod, would be the noise aspect. The speaker can only be used to play music for the room and not be routed through a headset or headphones. With an iPod, Max could listen to music quietly, without the need for the internet, and would only have access to a pre-approved music library. It honestly doesn’t seem that ridiculous.
As luck would have it, the website I found for purchasing replacement iPod Mini parts also sells refurbished iPods. Not only are there refurbished iPods, but there are custom build iPods, with novelty cases. I decided to give it a try and purchased an iPod Classic 5th generation for Max’s Christmas gift. I also purchased a pair of wired headphones that mimic the design aesthetic of the original iPod earbuds. I plan on buying a few albums and syncing them to the iPod as well so that he’ll be able to enjoy it as soon as he opens it. I like the idea of him also having the chance to explore music with an iPod. I also don’t hate the idea of staving off more internet access and screentime for a little while longer.