iPodded long before you

iPodded long before you

Summary: I used to be the only kid on the block with an iPod. Now I'm old and uncool, and salespeople don't understand me.

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TOPICS: Apple
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ZDNet HQ sounded like a nightclub today, with the brand new iPod Hi-Fi cranking out house tunes at high volume.

Apple has been releasing a slew of iPod add-ons of late, perhaps having realised that third-party vendors are cashing in big time on the little white jukebox's massive success.

The products that most reflect Apple's image makeover since the dawn of the iPod are the iPod socks. For just under $50, you can encase your precious Pod in coloured cotton. Apparently 13-year-olds around the world are digging it. I feel old.

Now I find it supremely irritating when people try to prove their superiority by dragging out the tired "Well, I was into it before it became popular" line, but...I was into iPods before they became popular. Well, at least before every second person in Australia had one.

On January 4, 2004, I purchased a 10GB, third-generation white wonder at the truly beautiful Apple Store in New York's SoHo. I had just spent three weeks working as a retail lackey in a women's clothing store off Times Square and was cashed up and ready to reclaim my musical integrity after being subjected to noxious festive music for eight hours per day.

New York streets were lined with posters featuring dancing silhouettes of iPod owners, their aural freedom delineated by two snaking white lines that represented earphone cables. I wanted a piece of that freedom.

Thanks to extended holiday retail hours, hundreds of American dollars were at my disposal. It was time to get Podded.

I got back to Australia and felt like one of those "Early Adopters" I'd read so much about. Strolling down the main walkway at uni, an American exchange student saw my white headphones and gave me a knowing look. "Hey, a fellow Podder," he said, a look of respect and solidarity gracing his visage.

Two years later iPods are as common as sliced bread, and it's all about the Nano. Though tempted to buy one, I tried to rise above fickle aesthetic concerns and that nagging, irrational "I want it because it's new" feeling, and decided instead to buy a charger for my "old" iPod, having lost the original. I went to Myer, and tried to sound cool by telling the salesperson I had an "old skool" iPod and needed an AC adapter. When he gave me a blank look, I confessed sotto voce that it was one of the four-button ones, and he lifted a $48 USB charger from the shelf and placed it in my hands.

Of course, I got home to find that the charger is only compatible with fourth-generation iPods and above. I felt like Grandpa Simpson -- old, irrelevant and a bit misunderstood. But hey, at least I can say I was into iPods before they were popular.


Simpler times: Your blogger purchasing her iPod at the SoHo Apple store

Topic: Apple

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8 comments
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  • You call that Grandpa Simpson?

    I not only had a huge collection of 8-track tapes, but I had an *8-track recorder* so I could make more of my own. You kids today don't *know* what we had to go through for our music.
    anonymous
  • iPod smypod

    I had my first MP3 player in March 1999 (portable one that is). Software on the Computer goes to 1996/7 (and I had a libreto and a wearable :P than)

    I can proudly state that I have NEVER owned an iPod and Never seen why I would want to. They are more expensive than the alternatives, have less features and their best still has a small HDD.

    Another gulible person sucked in to purchasing a technically inferior product just because of marketing...

    Craig
    anonymous
  • iPod smypod

    I had my first MP3 player in March 1999 (portable one that is). Software on the Computer goes to 1996/7 (and I had a libreto and a wearable :P than)

    I can proudly state that I have NEVER owned an iPod and Never seen why I would want to. They are more expensive than the alternatives, have less features and their best still has a small HDD.

    Another gulible person sucked in to purchasing a technically inferior product just because of marketing...

    Craig
    anonymous
  • Puh-lease

    Hmmm, another arrogant techier-than-thou person who refuses to use an obviously superior, simple to use product because it won't mark him out as some sort of tech illuminati.
    anonymous
  • obviously superior, simple to use product my ...

    iPod has great marketing. This is all.

    Superior - how, they have a traemark design that was copied from another brand.
    They make using the product more difficult with the restrictions they impose.
    iPod has no ease of use that is not found in other products. It is more expensive, has fewer features and was not the first.
    This is another I got to market with cash and PR product from Apple.
    Apple are great at this. They take other peoples designs and inventions and market the Cr#p out of them - good for them as there are a lot of gulible people.
    Like taking the mouse and GUI from Xerox - they have not invented anything, just marketed it well.
    Another technically inferior product with great snake oil sales.
    Craig
    anonymous
  • obviously superior, simple to use product my ...

    Ummm, don't tell me you can sit there with a straight face and say a Creative player or a Sony or a Cowon is simpler to use than an iPod? Or that Connect, Creative MediaSource or Windows Media Player is easier to use software than iTunes?

    And like Joe A Consumer gives a tinker's cuss about trademark issues. Or how many features are packed onto a product. If it does what it can do well, then who needs a Swiss-Army knife approach?

    Dude, rethink the whole "gullible people fooled by snake-oil merchants" argument. It just makes you sound like you think you're better than the 70 percent of the MP3 player market with an iPod. Is that what you're saying?
    anonymous
  • And itunes = locked in

    And being locked into selected sources is simple? See how many competing DMA's an ipod will allow

    Apple did not make the interface they tout either. There are other MP3's - some arround pre-ipod with the same config.
    anonymous
  • And itunes = locked in

    "And being locked into selected sources is simple?"

    iTunes is simple to use, yes. And saying you have more choice with Windows DRM sites is a fallacy. It's like being able to go to any car yard you want, but only being able to buy a Hyundai. At the end of the day no matter where you go, if you have a non iPod you're stuck with MS-flavoured DRM.

    "See how many competing DMA's an ipod will allow"

    Let's see, about the same number other players will allow -- one, in this case WMA (as opposed to AAC for iPods).

    "Apple did not make the interface they tout either."

    Once again, who cares who made it? It's a good product which is easy to use -- plain and simple. To stick with the car analogy, do you stick with Ford because they were the first to mass produce cars?
    anonymous