They’re everywhere, and not only are they everywhere, they look cool too. Since its launch in 2001, 10 million have sold and 8 million of those were in 2004. So welcome to the next generation. 8 tracks, records, cassettes, CDs, and now the iPod.
I don’t have one, yet. My first taste of it came when my girlfriend got one, and asked if I would set it up for her using my computer. Wearing those now immediately recognizable hip cream coloured headphones, I could feel the eyes of every have-not-an-iPod on me with curiosity and maybe a little jealousy. I even started walking differently. Listening to Led Zeppelin, then Radiohead, and then some Bob Marley on my way to school, there was definitely more spring in my step, and I sat through class in a much better mood than usual. For a mere two days it was in my possession and immediately I could feel myself being sucked into its cult.
And why wouldn’t you? An iPod lets you put 10,000 songs inside something the size of a pack of cigarettes. Gone are the heavy, fragile CD cases and the Discman that skips after each step.
Is the iPod changing the way we listen to music? Undeniably. With an iPod, we can take our music anywhere, and not just one album like we could with the walkman. Now we can carry our entire collections everywhere we go. It can play mixes at parties. You can bring it on the commute to work or for a jog. You can save Microsoft Word documents on it and photos for that matter. Don’t like a particular song on an album? Delete it. Thanks to the iPod, music has become an even bigger part of our lives because now it’s just a click away, and it’s exactly how we want it.
Apart from the possibility of our entire collections being with us at all times, the iPod’s capabilities have done something even better. By being able to store over 700 albums, the iPod is encouraging us to try types of music we might not have listened to before. When burning a CD to an iPod takes a short few minutes, what’s there to lose?
But is it all just a trend? Doubtful, especially with people spending on average 100 pounds on iPod accessories. It’s difficult to picture something people now say they can’t live without vanishing, unless Apple CEO Steve Jobs finds another way to outdo himself yet again. And on that note now Apple has come out with the smaller, cheaper version of the iPod called the iPod shuffle. Will it have the same impact as its predecessor? Only time will tell.