Happy birthday, dear iPod, happy birthday to... us

The iPod turned five this week. How did you celebrate? I offered mine a cupcake, and then ate it myself. We have an all-Annie-all-the-time understanding like that. (See below.)

Slate.com’s Michael Agger wrote an interesting article suggesting that maybe the "White Wonder" device (I prefer to call mine "Rock-Hard Drive") hasn’t altered the cultural landscape as much as we Pod People may think. It’s a good read, and you’ll also want to check out the British guy who devoted a major part of a book to why his iPod can read his mind.

I particularly like the question of whether people use the iPod forenhancement or escape. The original marketers of Sony’s Walkman assumedthese were two separate camps. I’d argue that today more than ever, thetwo words mean the same thing, especially when they involve me makingthe world better by shutting the subway/possible conversation/annoyingpeople with backpacks out of my morning commute. Maybe it’s people likeme who are what’s wrong with America! We’re all solipsists who justwanna close our eyes and drift into the soothing, lonely realm ofOn-The-Go. But if that doesn’t define enhancement, what does?

Do you ever feel guilty about retreating into your very own iWorld,or do you consider the habit a necessity on the level of Internet pornor Reese’s Peanut Butter Pumpkins?


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Comments (11 total) Add your comment
  • Jae

    I live in New York and didn’t know how much I loved/needed my iPod until i spilled soda on it and was without my playlists for like a week — horrors! There is so much happening on this crazy island, but the moment I put the earbuds in I have the soundtrack and Manhattan becomes my playground. No regrets about living in my iWorld. Thank you Steve Jobs.

  • suz

    I love mine because it means I don’t have to talk to old people when I’m out with my baby in her pram, even though I rarely have it on. Thanks, ipod, Happy Birthday :)

  • KTS

    Happy Birthday to one of my most favorite things I own! I’ve always thought life should come with a soundtrack and now mine does. When all around me is crazy, it’s music that keeps me sane.

  • Vicky

    My iPod broke in June. I was pretty pissed when it just decided on itself to stop working (Plus my warrenty ran out and I didn’t want to pay all that money to get fixed cause I knew it was a hard drive problem). Alas, I miss the damn thing. Or at least I miss having an mp3 player. It was the perfect thing to drown out the annoying people in my commute to and from work. I’m looking for a new player now because I don’t trust iPod…anybody got any suggestions?

  • Lesha

    When mine went crazy earlier this year after two years of almost perfect service, I said I wouldn’t get another right away. Although it started working again, I broke down and bought a new one. I need something to keep my co-workers/people on the subway/ weird people on the street at bay!

  • aa

    happy b’day ipod! i had the u2 version and when it was stolen i thought i could do without it, how naive i was. two months later i have the u2 video and we are never apart. plus i bought a whole bunch of crap to go with it : cord to connect it in my car, an armband for the treadmil, a speaker for parties or just cooking. i have absolutely no qualms about living in a pod world.

  • Dan

    I’ve owned four iPods (original 5G, original 10G, original U2 and 60G Video). I can’t imagine life without it. I don’t miss the days when it would take me half an hour to leave the house while I decided which 10 Cds belonged in the car changer.

  • Ariella

    I love my iPod, but I think we may be in a bit of an abusive relationship. I am currently on my 3rd (THIRD!) iPod (2nd replacement iPod) since I bought mine Aug 2005. That means in just over a year, 2 (TWO!) separate iPods have completely stopped working for no apparant reason and had to be replaced at the store. Luckily, they’re still covered under my extended warrenty, so they just gave me another one, but still! And I lost all my music twice (TWICE!) Also, my mom bought me my original iPod for my birthday and I was like “I want the best one there is!) so I bought the outrageously expensive 60 gig Photo iPod, and like the NEXT week they came out with the video iPod. Plus, little did I know that I in no way needed an iPod with more memory than my computer…

  • Orlando

    I lost my iPod Shuffle once, and cried for days. I started carrying my Discman again, but I hated it!
    So I got another one, and the world is so much better. No more bulky CD player, and no more wasting blank CDs!

  • E-

    I am on my third as well and I have a hard time imagining my walk to class, with the dog, well anywhere without it. I’ve renamed my little buddy Pacemaker. I think it fits, as I can’t very much survive without him at this point, and he keeps me from walking slow. So a very happy birthday to you iPod. I wish you many more years and generations to come.

  • Ep Sato

    Orlando, I totally feel you. My Ipod shuffle needed resetting (after a day I went to the site and got it fixed), but for those two days of life with cds again, I felt like a time machine had taken me back to 1999. CDs feel so 20th century to me now that the flash based players can hold up to a gig of music.
    Hey, are there any Vespa Scooter people in the crowd per chance? If so, hit me up as I am custom making Vespa Scooter Stereo systems (PX only for now) that allow your mp3 player to plug right in. The only way to look trendier on a Vespa is if you’ve got 300 watts worth of hipness blasting out your speakers!

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