Republished from MOVE Magazine
It’s been about a week since Apple founder Steve Jobs died, and while there is some debate as to how good a guy ol’ Steve actually was, there’s an undeniable consensus that this man had a tremendous influence on our entire society, not simply the technological sector. He gave us the iMac and Pixar and the mouse with only one clicker thingy (Ctrl + click or GTFO), but I would argue that his greatest contribution was the iPod.
Within a matter of years, this tiny device made it possible to keep thousands of songs in your pocket. More importantly, Jobs made it expected to have an overabundance of tunes at your disposal. Seriously, everybody has an iPod: you, your friends, your 11-year-old sister, your dog, your grandma and your mom, who still doesn’t know how to use it (hey mom, the hold switch is still on). And your one friend with the Zune? He’s not your friend anymore, now is he?
These tiny, $400 rectangles became more than a mere appliance in our everyday lives. We care about our iPods. We don’t care about our dishwashers. Somehow, in the 10 years since the original 5 GB clunker was released, iPods have become a reflection of our individual personalities and psyches. We are our iPods — or, should I say, iAm my iPod.
iHorde: I have 4.6 hours of REO Speedwagon on my iPod with an aggregate play count of 12 plays. Twelve! I’ve listened to Shaggy’s “It Wasn’t Me” more times than that! Yet, I will probably never delete this stuff off my iPod. Why? Because I don’t have to. iPods allow us to keep a ridiculous number of songs in our library, which is fantastic, because I like having the ability to instantly check out what I listened to in middle school, even if I don’t particularly want to. Past generations had cassettes and 8-tracks and LPs and lute-toting minstrels to serve as their personal history books. We will have gigabytes upon gigabytes of nostalgia — and all those NOW CDs — as ours.
iExplore: Roughly 48 percent of the songs on my iPod have a play count of zero, and a majority of these songs were, um, legally purchased for me by friends. Jobs established a culture where, with enough mateys, almost any song can be pirated with ease. (Let’s be real: no one can afford to legally fill up a 64 GB iPod.) This has fostered a golden age of music in regards to productivity and at the expense of profitability. What’s that, you say? Sure, I’ll check out your favorite Armenian dubstep banjo quartet’s new EP. With my 160 GB of space, why not?
iHeartMusic: The essence of technology is taking full advantage of life in ways you never knew you could. IPods embody that essence by allowing us to make the most of our music, to do with it what we please without the hindrances of space, functionality or even cost, for the most part. We love iPods, because an iPod is really just music in its least obstructed form. Your iPod is nothing if not for what you drag and drop onto it. For me, my iPod is James Taylor — my family. My iPod is St. Vincent — my friends. It is reflections of the past — Relient k — and dreams for the future — Bruce Springsteen.
iAm my iPod.