Americana: iPod

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by schneefloeckli.

Photo courtesy of Flickr, uploaded by schneefloeckli.

Ride shotgun with me as we go into the Wayback Machine. Let’s travel deep into the past, all the way back to the time when portable music meant a clunky Walkman or a boxy mp3 player. All the way back…to 2001. Look, Apple is getting ready to make an announcement.

Listen to the reaction: “The iPod? Oh, that’s crazy. It’s $400! It’s got that funny little wheel thing. It’s not compatible with Windows. It’ll never…oh, wait. Hey, you know, that’s pretty cool looking. You say there’s a whole store for iTunes? I think I might just get one of those things.”

Back to the future. Here in 2009, you may not own an iPod. Well, I’d like you to meet Stinky Stevens. Who’s he? He’s the other guy in America who doesn’t own one.

Sure, Apple got a little possessive of its product, and its DRM ticked off some of those who look to keep digital music as free and open as possible. But the company has relented (some), and is back on the side of good. Meanwhile, iPods now not only store music, but pictures, TV shows, even movies. Though I’m not sure why anyone would want to watch them on a screen smaller than a gum wrapper.

Is the iPod cool because Apple makes it, or is Apple cool because it makes the iPod?

Yes.

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