Yesterday it was 10 years ago that Apple launched the iPod and changed the way we use personal stereos. I wrote a post for the daily blog on my company’s website, commemorating this moment and explaining the iPod’s popularity with academic research. This was picked up by Radio 6, an online radio station part of the public broadcasting system. On the air, I was asked about the iPad’s success, the differences with previous personal stereos and the future of the device. I discussed how the iPod is unique in its design, how the white earplugs became a status symbol and how the assocation with the Apple brand provides the user a kind of coolness. Mostly, however, it is the iPod’s functionality that changed everything. The memory size allowed users to upload their entire music collection, which means the user no longer needed to decide in advance what he wanted to hear later that day but playlists could be adjusted to mood and location. Furthermore, browsing through someone’s iPod became comparable to staring at someone’s CD collection: it showed taste, and taste is all about distinguishing yourself from others. Listen to the clip.
Radio 6, Mijke’s Middag, October 24, 16.15.