Thursday, January 07, 2010

Ipod Decade

I know I'm a few days late with this posting, but I've been thinking about the first decade of the new century, new millenium, however you want to describe it. When you think back there's been a lot of things happening; from 9-11, the War on Terrorism, Hurricane Katrina, the latest global recession and all that. So much to think about and write about. While all that could be considered important enough to mark a decade, I've thought about a few other things, trying to keep positive about it. After all, how do you deal with two wars and the expansion of terrorism. It's easy to point all sorts of fingers and while many have tried to make this a 'west' vs 'east', especially in content of radical Islam, it goes far deeper then that as the only reason.

There's was a fair discussion regarding the decade,just as was the case in the year 2000, was that the first year of the millenium, century, or the last year of the previous? I know those who keep count will say the thing doesn't begin until you see the number '1'. I got to agree, so as I write this it's the last year of the first decade, so I think I'm safe.

A few years ago I purchased the book The Cult of the Ipod. It was written about 5 years ago and give one person's look at the impact of this little music player. It's rather interesting to consider some of the statements made by the book. Leander Kahney does wax a bit eloquent when he writes:
The ipod is a bona fide hit- a genuine cultural phenomenum..The Ipod is changing the music industry- not just how it is played and enjoyed but how it is distributed and perhaps how it is made. The Ipod has usurped the album as the key product of the music industry, replacing it with the playlist...The Ipod has rescued and redefined Apple. The company may yet turn into a music company or one that sells all sorts of entertainment devises.

Steven Levy wrote a book and called it "The Perfect Thing", which sums up his feeling about the devise.

As disclosure is good for the soul, I have been an owner. I've owned the Mini, the Nano and now the IPod Touch. While not known as a MacSlappy, I would say it is one of my favourite electronic devises. I've gone from listening to music and podcasts, to viewing photographs to now, movies, televisions show, in High Def of course, audiobooks and games. Apple calls the Touch, the funniest Ipod ever and when one considers all that is possible, one would be hard pressed to call that some hyperbole.

It has been pointed out that the IPod was not the first MP3 player, but since its launch in Octobe 2001 it has defined the genre. In fact since its launch companies have tried to imitate it, not only in service but looks. It has become the gold standard of that is to do with portable music. Probably it could be said there are other devises that are at least comparable in looks and ability, perhaps even adding a few more features and certainly a lot cheaper or at least more at the same price, but it still holds true, there's something about the IPod.

As I read those comments I have to say, that even after 5 years, those words hold true. It has tranformed Apple, yes it still has computers and my understanding some very nice computers, but with the ipod and iPhone it has become the player on portable computing/communication devises. the iPhone has transformed the cellular phone industry as well, now everyone is attempting to build the "IPhone Killer". What it has, others must make a feature. Touchscreen? Better have it in an upcoming devise? Apps? Your app store better be growing, because all of a sudden people want apps on their smartphones and more then something to simply make notes and keep a list of contacts plus a calendar. The environment better be seamless as well so the people who own the devise don't have to go out and find content.

So has this devise defined the first decade, I would say it has. When it first came out, the white earbuds was the status symbol, you could look and see if a person had them and you knew they had an ipod, now if you see someonen with an mp3 player you naturally assume it's got to be an ipod, or touch or iphone. It just has to be.

The 2000's, the iPod Decade.

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