10 Years of the iPod

A few weeks ago, the iPod turned 10. Hard to believe I know, at the time I’d just recently been bought an iMac (of the original curvy variety) and so I was keeping a close eye on all things Mac (only my AOL dialup connection). I remember reading about the announcement of the iPod and thinking “Wow!” – and feeling pretty smug because as a Mac user I would be able to get one (they were Mac-only to begin with). Of course at the age of 16 £300 for a gadget is hard to come by and so I wait until that Christmas and to my surprise I had an iPod in my stocking.

What struck me was the simplicity and purpose the device was beaming with, it integrated with iTunes so well and songs transferred across at lightening speed. Before the iPod I had been using an MP3 CD player which was a nightmare to navigate, and exceptionally bulky. I was getting the bus to college daily, and I remember I would have to pack it up the stop before because listening on the move wasn’t really an option due to it’s general bulkiness. 

Any music player is pretty useless without good music to put on it, at the time I remember listening to Turin Brakes’ debut album The Optimist LP. Even today when I listen to this album, I am reminded of the novelty of the first iPod (as well as standing in freezing January weather waiting for a bus). 

Apple released various updates, to support AAC and improve battery life – but the iPod remained the same essentially, a beautiful music player.

By about 2004 my iPod was well and truly battered, this was before it was common knowledge that that “durable” metal back was also very stretchable. I decided to move to a HP PocketPC running Windows Mobile 4, with a 500MB Compact Flash Card. It was nowhere near the 5GB of the iPod, but the geek in me wanted something that could play video and surf the web (using IrDA and GPRS). It was a functional little device, but shoddily built. In 2006 I decided to get an iPod Video 5.5. By now Apple had moved well and truly away from the physical scroll-wheel to a touch-sensitive one – I still use this iPod today and I have never managed to get on with it as well as the first iPod. The video was great though, and the battery was even better. I remember it got me through the hours I had to sit in LAX when my flight was cancelled. That trip was to New York in 2007, a few months after the release of the iPod Touch. After visiting the Apple Store on 5th Avenue, I couldn’t resist the spending my entire holiday money on one of the things and promptly purchased an iPod Touch.

The first generation iPod touch was all about music, and being able to buy it online wherever you were – there were no games, no apps, you couldn’t even edit calendar appointments – this was all about the music (and video). It was therefore a nice addition when Apple released an update (I think it cost about £5) that gave users the ability to install apps.The iPod Touch was also the first time I had ever used a mobile browser and actually enjoyed the experience. My phone at the time (a Nokia N95) was a great phone, but browsing the web it it was awful.

The iPod Touch, like the iPod Video I own remains in use today (I have passed it down the family). Shocking when you think since 2008 I have had 2 laptops fail on me yet these devices still work perfectly. The original iPod powers up, but the battery only lasts a few minutes, and I don’t have a PC with FireWire to get songs onto it anymore

So just some of my iPod memories! I wonder what I’ll be using in 10 years time?

One response to “10 Years of the iPod”

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