Restored iPod models are selling out at retailers after only a year of being discontinued

The iPod 5th generation on a cyan background
(Image credit: Apple)

It looks like tonight's Halloween outfit for me is going to be Barbie, specifically the "do you guys ever think about death?" version. That's thanks to Urban Outfitters, who are currently selling restored iPods. The bit that's making me think about death is that they're calling it "vintage retro tech".

Clearly, there's been some kind of mistake. Vintage retro tech is wax cylinders and wind-up record players, not the best MP3 players. I mean, it's not as if the iPod came out 22 years ago and is older than both my children, the entire recorded output of Taylor Swift and many people in the crowds at the concerts I still go to.

And to add insult to injury, the "vintage" iPods that Urban Outfitters are selling aren't even the oldest ones. Damn.

iPod 5th generation

(Image credit: Apple)

Why iPods are a big retro hit

The iPods that Urban Outfitters has been selling are fith generation iPods, which I know very well because I had those ones. I've had iPods from the very first one to the very last, the iPod touch that Apple finally killed off in 2022. They were brilliant things, and while getting music onto them now is a bit of a struggle – their connections are super-slow and most generations used the very obsolete 30-pin connector – the sound quality is potentially much better-sounding than the analogue tapes Gen Z has been buying from the likes of Billie Eilish.

For all their age, I think iPods are still very much worth having. I had an iPod classic in my car for years because it was a more affordable stereo upgrade than ripping out the in-dash ICE for something more current, and unlike the best music streaming services you don't have to pay a subscription to keep listening to your music. And the iPods were beautiful things.

But if you fancy one, you might be better giving Urban Outfitters a swerve. At $349, they're charging way over the odds for fifth generation iPods. And while they've currently sold out, there are plenty selling online on auction sites and other outlets. Just don't pay more than they're worth – and $349 is definitely more than any fifth generation iPod is worth.

Now if you'll excuse me I need to go shout at some clouds and yell at the kids on my lawn.

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Carrie Marshall

Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now and her next book, about pop music, is out in 2025. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band Unquiet Mind.