Zamen | زامن
Comment: The iPod is all but forgotten by Apple now, but 15 years ago it forever changed the way we listen to music
I've always loved music, and am old enough to have lived through every generation of portable music player, from the original cassette Walkman on. The transition from cassette to CD made little difference: you still only had one album loaded at any one time, and carrying others was a pain. The same was true of the very first mp3 player, the MPMan, which I bought in 1998.The first hard drive-based mp3 player was the Personal Jukebox in 1999. It beat the iPod to market by two years, but was large, heavy and hard to use. Even as an early adopter of technology, I was only briefly tempted.It was the launch of the iPod fifteen years ago yesterday that changed everything for me. That tagline of ‘1000 songs in your pocket' said it all: you could now carry a substantial proportion of your entire music library on you at all times. And that changed the way that I – and millions of others around the world – listened to music …The iPod was incredibly small and light for the time, and the scrollwheel meant that it was actually practical to scroll through the 100-ish albums you could store on it. Firewire meant that you could also transfer those albums onto it in a reasonable time in the first place.Pre-iPod, I'd ripped a dozen or so of my favourite albums, and I'd rotate through those on my MPMan, perhaps once a week. It was too fiddly to do it more often than that. By the time I was on album twelve, I was ready for album one again.With the iPod, I set about the tedious task of ripping my entire CD collection and transferring what was, at the time, most of them onto my iPod. For the first time, I wasn't stuck with the choice of whatever album was currently stored on my player, nor did I have to decide in advance what I was in the mood for – I could choose my music on the go. That was just a joy.
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