Go iPod, it’s your birthday

Adam Griffiths

How will you celebrate with yours this weekend?

You can put it in a wallet. It has its own bed. And you can even use it while you’re going to the bathroom.

At a press event on Oct. 23, 2001, Apple CEO Steve Jobs told the media, “with iPod, listening to music will never be the same.”

He was right.

As the iPod approaches its fifth birthday, sales of the popular gadget account for 75 percent of all MP3 players in the United States. Since its initial release, more than 60 million units have been sold across the world, which amounts to roughly one iPod to every 100 people. More than 3000 accessories carry the official “Made for iPod” logo.

Gene Shelton, assistant professor of journalism and mass communications, said the iPod expanded on what Sony had started with its Walkman, which was released in 1979.

“We thought it just couldn’t get any better,” he said. “With the Walkman, you could record your own mixes and listen to it wherever you were. The iPod built on that and made it easier.”

Freshman advertising major Adam Oliver agreed.

“I was tired of carrying around all my CDs,” he said. “It’s easier to have all that music in one place.”

Oliver said he has spent approximately $500 on his iPod, a case, wires to connect it to his stereo and an FM transmitter to use it in the car. He said he has about 3,700 songs on his iPod, most of which he has obtained through various online file-sharing programs.

Shelton, who worked at Warner Music Group, said the advent of the digital age, which was heralded by Apple’s introduction of the iPod forced the music industry to reevaluate distribution of music.

With the latest generation of iPods, more media are producing content available for an audience that gets bigger every day. The latest video iPods and iPod Nanos support feature-length films, TV shows and podcasts, which Shelton said play right into the contemporary “digital generation.”

“If you’re into ‘CSI’ or ‘Desperate Housewives,’ it doesn’t matter,” Shelton said. “It’s all right there for you.”

But the iPod hasn’t just opened up new outlets for media distribution. SparkNotes, the popular study guides, can now be purchased in iPod format to use on the go. Audio books have long been available on the iTunes store for purchase.

Despite the advantages and wide variety of uses for the iPod, Mike Kozlowski, freshman sports management and business administration major, said the iPod didn’t attract him.

“The iPod just wasn’t the cheapest when it came to space per dollar,” he said.

Still, the iPod is at the forefront of the digital lifestyle revolution.

“This generation wants what they want now,” Shelton said.

He said that because devices like iPods are customizable, the consumer has more choice about which content he or she wants.

“It’s almost narrowing people into their own little bubble,” Shelton said. “Because you can now access only what you want, you don’t have to explore or worry about what else is out there and it’s almost limiting.”

Oliver said that he’s found different artists and availability of different types of music online.

“And it’s all right there in your hand,” he added.

Get used to those white earbud-headphones all around campus. If anything is clear, it’s that more of them will be showing up in the not-so-distant future.

Contact features reporter Adam Griffiths at [email protected].

Top Five Strangest iPod Accessories

5 – C.E.O.

A billfold wallet for the iPod Nano. At first glance, it looks like a normal wallet until you flip it open to reveal a special slot for the Nano.

More info: www.marware.com

4 – Pause

DesignMobel introduces “Pause,” the world’s first iPod compatible bed which features an integrated iPod Dock and a Bose Speaker System (optional).

More info: www.designmobel.co.nz

3 – iBoxer

This list wouldn’t be complete without iPod boxers. The “Play iBoxer Solid Boxer” is made from a cotton/spandex blend and features an integrated front pocket for your iPod.

More info: www.playunderwear.com

2 – iLounge

You’ll never miss a song even in the bathroom with Atech’s iLounge hybrid toilet paper dispenser/iPod dock. The iLounge supports all iPod models that have a dock connector and has an integrated USB slot for the Shuffle. Speakers are hidden in the dispensers arms with navigation buttons located conveniently on top for easy access.

More info: www.atechflash.com

1 – iBuzz

If listening to your favorite songs isn’t enough, a UK company has created a music-activated vibrator for the iPod.

More info: www.ibuzzusa.com

– TechEBlog