Podosphere Celebrates iPod’s Fifth BirthdayOct 23rd, 2006 | By Elisabeth Lewin | Category: Audio Podcasting, Commentary, iPods & Portable Media Players, Video Podcasts
All right. We’re bracing ourselves for your catty comments, but we just can’t help ourselves. We’ve been sitting on our hands all day, knowing that we’ll be mocked mercilessly for mentioning this momentous event…. but it *is*, after all, five years since Apple’s Steve Jobs unveiled the first iPod.
And even though it pains us that Apple’s domination of the podcast world sometimes serves more as barrier than help in getting wider adoption of the technology…. we just can’t help it. We really love our iPods.
After spending the morning being deluged with stories and commentary around the Internet, all about the big birthday, we thought maybe we could post… a little something.
So, here’s a little sampling of what “the media” are saying about iPod reaching the half-decade mark:
- PC World’s Harry McCracken has five lessons [the iPod's] success has to teach us
- MacWorld takes a look back at the early days of Pod, along with a podcast interview with Newsweek Editor Steven Levy, about his new book, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture and Coolness.
Speaking of Levy and his book, we’ll be reviewing that new tome very soon, having just gotten a copy late last week (thank you, Simon and Schuster). It’s too early to tell whether it’s a lovingly researched collection of essays on the impact of “shuffle” on our personal, cultural, and business lives, or a rambling fanboy paean to the ubiquitous personal music player. (Stay tuned).
Back to the iPod’s birthday:
- Playlist magazine has a couple of birthday articles, including Christopher Breen’s “what now?” column, fantasizing about what new capabilities he’d like to see added to the iPod. Another Playlist story, by Jim Dalrymple, reflects on the wide-reaching effects the iPod has had on Apple’s fortunes since its debut.
- Engadget has a cute illustration of the iPod “family tree” (or evolutionary timeline, if you prefer)
- On public radio, the Marketplace radio show also commemorates the anniversary. Just last week, Marketplace joined a host of other American Public Media programs that have launched podcasts — which, of course, you can subscribe and listen to using said iPod.
What stands out today in our mind is the timing of the debut of the iPod. October 2001 was an anxious, grim time, just weeks after the 9/11 terrorist attacks. Public events were being cancelled right and left. People were in the throes of fear over anthrax-laced correspondence. The US had just invaded Afghanistan. One would have thought that the iPod would have seemed overly frivolous, another capitalist call to consume (remember the entreaty to go out and buy cars and other durable goods?).
How surprising that the fearful climate of that moment in history could also nurture the popularity of such a happy little gadget. Five years ago, we could not imagine having to spend so many hours at airports, going through the indignities of endless security lines and screenings. And today, we cannot imagine enduring such long and indignant waits, without a portable entertainer like the iPod.
Are you commemorating the iPod anniversary in your podcast? If so, please leave the link in the comments, below: