20 years of memories of listening to the iPod
As a tech journo, I love it when people share their knowledge of technology with me. It's much more interesting than a review that someone pays for writing or marketing blurb. So to mark the 20th anniversary of the iPod, I contacted several people I know to hear their stories. Just friends, some times, and old PR for Apple…
Software for new music a
I remember uploading my trusty oldiPod with my favorite music before I traveled around Europe back in 2008 (I was 22). About a month into the nine-month journey, my iPod stopped working and it felt like the biggest crash ever!
Luckily for me, I visited the Apple store in London and used very encouraging language (threatening to buy Iriver and not supporting Apple again.) This caused a new one for free though I was two months out of warranty, and I still am today.
Having lost all my music, I ended up collecting music from lots of different people I had met while traveling for the next eight months. I found so much cool stuff that I hadn't heard about that literally for years I was discovering cool music (13th floor elevators, Death cab for cutie, Broken Social Scene, the list goes on ) by picking up something random on my iPod.
- Ceit Walker
Songs for Stonehenge
When I left Express Media in 2005 after five years as Artistic Director, my gift was a 160GB iPod classic that was a fad.
A month or two later I was in the UK for the first time in my life, and that iPod was my soundtrack for a trip to Stonehenge - somewhere I had wanted to visit since I was a child.
I still remember the first sighting of the megaliths while our bus was carrying us across the Salisbury Plain, and the record that was playing on my iPod at the time: Hilmar soundtrack Orn Hilmarsson for the film 'Angels of the Universe.
To this day, listening to that album - and in particular the closing tracks Sigur Rós 'Bíum Bíum Bambaló' and 'Death Announcements and Funerals' - brings back vivid memories of that day.
I still have that iPod.
- Richard Watts
How to raise boys
I remember having one of the first iPodMinis - the thin ones you could get in different colors and for a time engraved for free. My uni was the main talking point, who got the engravings on theirs and so on. I think I had something awful emo, like 'Dreams are a way of escaping' me, which was a green apple. I met my boyfriend uni by going on in the Student Union about the philosophy behind this modern quota.
- Rachel England
How to lose your arm
I had a first-gen white man with the mechanical scroll wheel. I really enjoyed it, and it went everywhere with me. I worked for a tech mag and people were very excited about it when they saw it. I carefully copied every CD I had on it, and my BF's CD at the time.
Hours and hours of life work in what is called 'record collecting' on my cool, thin iPod. Didn't feel so unlike the Walkmans who died in size…
Then I foolishly left it in my car and someone took off my car from outside the house. The car left. All the music I've ever played is gone.
Since then, I have not downloaded or purchased music in the same way. A few of me died that day.
- Jane Bentley
Hide your lost music using iPod
My iPod, and then iPod shuffle, helped me a lot in exploring music that I can't get away with at home. I remember going through an emo stage at home - I had requested Stain'd, Break the Cycle but was then told that I was not allowed to play on my speakers.
The pocket machine made it easy to hide from my indie friends I was listening to Eminem. Plus, it was a lot easier to carry around than a personal CD player.
- Gina Clarke
Songs for snowboards a
Despite my large audio library, it was incredibly easy to switch between songs on my 4th gen. iPod. The best part was blasting my songs on a snowboarding tour bus with the help of an FM transmitter. And later taking over radio channels in the café we visited. The Herbaliser was heavily played on that tour.
- Toms Panders, Chief, Setupad
Bad iPod fun nothing
I got my first iPod for Christmas around 2005. It was a present from my dad, and I was on the moon about it. I still remember the pleasure of unpacking it and seeing the lights come on when I turned it on.
Then I saw that something was already on! Just one song, but it had to be special since my dad put it there on my Christmas present.
I plugged in the headphones with trembling hands and waited - what will be in that particular song, the first one my iPod has ever played? And he was there.
Singing Christmas jingle bells.
This is a song that I will never hear and I will never forget, and that's just my father's idea of a Christmas gift that I will never forget.
- Ieva Sipola, Content Marketing, Truesix
There are tech magazines sensible
I ordered my first one from Apple in 2004 (?), Had it shipped from the US to the UK office and was not excited. My funny colleagues took a look at the serial number and set up an awareness campaign / fake email that I was one of a stolen badge that had to be handed over to the police immediately. So funny
I still have it!
- Clare Shephard
DJ Club for iPod
I ran an iPod DJ club called Playlist. We had offshoots all over the world. It used to be a fun pastime but the site is now offline. We had judges and prizes and people kept up ads saying 'Tune' when a DJ played something great!
I also briefly edited a part-time iPod-based magazine.
- - Iain Rocaid
Wow Apple was very strong with their PR
Ah, memories. I literally can’t believe it’s been 20 years. Also I can't believe we had 3 days from receiving a briefing to launch the journalist, including finding a place and inviting everyone… no someone close to believing. And I think we only had one iPod for the event, which is still one of the best things in my life.
- Chevy Davis
Lessons from Apple's former head of UK PR
I was the head of PR at Apple's UK when iPod was launched. My journo friends will never believe that we might only have two or three early modules to cover all PR and sales activity for the whole country. But it was very frequent.
Early on, I remember deciding to visit every music magazine I could get in to see and put the first iPod in the hands of journalists. You could not "get" the interface until you played with it.
After a few rounds, the most successful playground became clear: Go out with anyone who smoked. When a music journalist discovered that they could smoke with one hand and browse their music with the other, they were sold.
I remember driving the UK's first Bondi blue iMac to a service station late at night where it was assessed plugged into a washing machine socket in the cafe.
Apologies to everyone who did not get the hook they needed. Unfortunately we were always short of resources and could not set the bean counters. It was hard work but good times.
- David Miller