Owning multiple iPods

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Why some people buy multiple iPods.

I bought my first iPod back in 2005, a first generation iPod Nano. Shortly after I upgraded to a 30GB video iPod which I kept for a little over 3 years. Recently, my music collection exceeded the storage capacity of my video iPod which meant it was time for a bigger iPod.

At first I was going to just sell off the old one and buy a new 160GB iPod Classic. But then I realized I used my iPod often at the gym, which would mean needing a new sport’s armband to hold the new iPod and a risk of damaging the hard drive based iPod Classic.

I did end up selling the old 30GB iPod, but to replace it I bought the iPod Classic to store my growing music collection and a small iPod Shuffle for use at the gym.

At this point I joined a growing number of iPod users who own multiple iPods for use in different situations. What are the benefits to owning multiple iPods?


My iPod Classic lets me carry my whole music collection as well as videos and movies. The iPod Shuffle gets used at the gym and during physical activity. Both serve a unique purpose.

The Shuffle is more durable due to a flash based storage system making it ideal for the gym. Plus it can clip on clothing and its small size keep it from getting in the way at the gym. Also it doesn’t require an armband or case for use in the gym.

Also if it gets damaged or broken while working out, it is a lot cheaper to replace than the larger iPod Classic or other iPods that can cost up to 4 times as much. This is a huge benefit to owning two iPods.


The Shuffle plays music randomly from the songs loaded onto it. Combined with iTunes’ Genius feature this makes an excellent workout companion. I can randomly generate a “Genius” playlist in iTunes based around one workout song and have up to 100 similar songs on a random playlist.

I can then copy this playlist to a standard playlist in iTunes and set the Shuffle to automatically sync to the playlist. This means I can create new workout mixes in just a few minutes, ensuring the music is never the same.

The iPod Classic lets me make Genius playlists on the go right on the device. This is great for long trips, bus rides, or just when I want to listen to a wide range of artists that sound good together in a playlist.

Besides use at the gym, many iPod owners will use their iPods in the cars, in different rooms in their house, or at parties with friends. Owning multiple iPods for multiple locations can make it easier to access music on the go. For example you might keep one iPod in your car, other in your gym locker, and another in your home.

If you have docking speakers in one room, you can keep an iPod there connected to your home stereo system. A smaller iPod might be left connected to your car stereo. Another might be just for use while traveling or commuting.

Does everyone need multiple iPods?

It does seem a bit absurd at times to think that one needs multiple iPods. But the point here is that with different types of iPods and different sizes, there is the potential for use in different situations. An iPod Shuffle is great if you only want a small amount of music with you, but if you want your entire music collection then the Classic is the only way to go. An iPod Touch is useful for music and online access, but it is fragile and not ideal for all situations. A Nano is great for the gym, but might not hold enough music for long trips.

Overall the biggest selling point for me to own more than one iPod is that I can use the Shuffle when working out or when I don’t want to carry the heavier Classic around. I don’t have to worry about breaking the expensive Classic at the gym and I don’t need to buy multiple cases for the Classic.

With Genius playlists and syncing capabilities, you can manage your music collection across multiple iPods with different music for different situations.


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