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Kiss goodbye to the iPod classicCarl Berkeley via Flickr

RIP iPod Classic

Kiss goodbye to the click wheel: Apple quietly retired its most cherished old-timer yesterday

While everyone was ooh-ing and aah-ing over the new Apple Watch, the company quietly pushed one of its most iconic music players into the grave. That's right – the iPod Classic is dead and buried, a casualty of younger, better-looking and more versatile new products that offer more than just music. 

It looks like the Classic has gone for good. The Apple site was updated after yesterday's high-profile launch, and there's no sign of it in the online store. No farewell speech, no drinks do – just the silent disposal of a loyal servant that laid the foundation for Apple to dominate the tech market. Or as TIME wrote two years ago: "Without Music, Apple Would Be Nothing".

For many of our generation, the iPod was the first Apple product we ever experienced. It was so good, so reliable that Apple managed to convert those people using Windows and those people using desktop PCs. Because of Apple's effortless association with music, and consequently "cool", it managed to make fanatics out of formerly indifferent tech shoppers. Beloved for its revolutionary click wheel function and sturdiness (I think I dropped my iPod once a day), it held its own for 13 glorious years. 

There's good reason to miss it. Devout music fans have often been frustrated by having to relegate music listening to just one of the many functions available on an iPhone. The simplicity of the iPod is its entire appeal: you can't be interrupted by a phonecall and its battery life lasts far longer as a consequence of only having one responsibility.

The storage capacity was unreal; 160 GB is enough space for entire record collections tens of times over. (Though the iPhone 6 is catching up – it packs 128GB of flash memory, perhaps one of the reasons that Apple felt confident that the Classic could be consigned to the digital junk heap.)

The iPod has inadvertantly propped up musicians too. Its ad campaigns helped spawn and then cement the careers of emerging artists – although let's face it, who's heard of The Caesars since "Jerk It Out"?. But we have Apple to thank for thrusting Chairlift into the world's consciousness when their song "Bruises" appeared on an ad (OK, it was for the nano model but whatever). So, even as the iPod Classic slides into the afterlife, its cultural impact should not be underestimated.

Goodbye mate, you and your highly ergonomic click wheel function can come over anytime you like.