Like many millennials, our gateway to Apple products was the iPod.
“My first iPod was the blue iPod mini. I started college in 2004 without a car, so I walked everywhere. I suddenly realized that I had nothing to listen to on my walks to class and no music to accompany my lengthy library study sessions. What were my classmates doing to solve this problem? I wondered. They either went without tunes, like I did, or owned iPods. I requested one as a Christmas gift from my parents, and they obliged. It was life-changing.
“I have so many memories of wandering the campus with my earbuds in, reading political theory treatises with my earbuds in, pondering the meaning of life with my earbuds in. It seems strange to think about now, but being able to carry my music in my pocket was a revelation. I was hooked. Two years later I bought my first MacBook, then the iPhone, and never looked back.”—Caitlin McGarry
“I saved up to buy my first iPod back in 2004—a 20GB fourth-gen iPod with the clickwheel—when I was a senior in high school. Before the iPod, I kept stacks of CDs in my car and a Sony Discman in my backpack, but I always had to swap things out and anticipate what I’d be in the mood to listen to. Having my entire catalog stored in a device the size of my hand was the ultimate dream.
“My first iPod was with me during many defining moments of my young adult life. It helped me move across the country to start college, consoled me during my first big breakup, coached me through late-night study sessions, kept me company on the subway, and entertained my friends during many dorm room dance parties. I really considered it to be an extension of myself. By the time it kicked the bucket in 2009 (yes, it lasted for five whole years!), the iPhone 3GS had been released, so my next move was pretty clear—but I still think back fondly on the iPod’s glory days.”—Leah Yamshon