Do you remember where you were on October 23, 2001? I don’t, but I do remember that Apple make a very big announcement, which—at the time—I thought was a big mistake: the iPod. Today marks the eighth year of the iPod’s existence and these days I find it hard to image a time when the iPod wasn’t a part of the cultural zeitgeist.
The first iPod had 10 hours of battery life, a FireWire port (which I still miss), and 5GB of storage for $399. Oh, and it was Mac-compatible only. When I first heard about it I thought, “Who the heck even has one gig of music? Dumb move, Apple.” Good thing Apple doesn’t call me up for business pointers because I couldn’t have been more wrong about the iPod if I had tried.
Over the years, the iPod has morphed into far more than an MP3 player but today, on its eighth birthday, let us take a moment to remember fondly that simpler time, when seeing someone with white headphones was a rarity and there was a sort of unspoken bond between iPod users. Here's the news story that ran on Macworld about the announcement, and you can watch the Apple music event in which Steve unleashes the iPod an an unsuspecting world.
Here’s to another eight years of the iPod. (I’m sure that I’ll be amongst the first to line up for the iPod cranial implant that Apple will introduce in 2016.)
For more iPod nostalgia, check out our iPod 5th anniversary podcast, Jason Snell's recollections of that day, a timeline of the first five years of iPod, and a selection of iPod quotes from back in 2001. You can also read Jonathan Seff's first look at the original iPod.