During the last decade, we have seen the way we listen to music change dramatically, including the way we buy music, store music and even our attitude to music. The music industry has been revolutionised by a tiny device called the iPod, which is small enough to fit in your pocket. Since its launch in 2001, music has never been the same. Here is how the iPod has changed so much in the last ten years…
How we buy music:
Before: Pre digital music and the introduction of iTunes in 2003, we would have to physically go out to the shops to buy our music. Music shops were thriving, as this was by far the most popular way to get hold of the latest CD album or single, although ordering online was becoming more popular by the day too. CD’s were amongst the most popular gift selections, and we often had a few CD ‘wish lists’ around Christmas time that we would subtly drop hints about. Part of the lure of buying CD’s was their cases and artwork, which was seen as being as valuable as the CD.
Now: Nearly a decade later, many of the most famous high street music stores have ceased to trade, meaning that there are only a few of the big chain shops left for us to browse for music in. Now we don’t even have to get dressed to buy music; simply log on to your computer and your album or single can be downloaded within minutes. With iTunes saving your bank account details you don’t even have to enter them, making downloading music possible by the click of a button. With the introduction of the iPhone, you can now download music on the go via you iPhone, which doubles up as an iPod too. This is convenient for those always on the go.
How we store music:
Before: CD’s were designed to be compact and easy to store before the age of digital music. When decorating a new room we’d have to pick a storage solution to hold our CD collection, varying from traditional wooden designs to modern metal stands. CD storage was also incorporated into pieces of furniture. You could also store your discs in CD books, which meant that your CD collection was portable and lot more compact.
Now: iPod owners can now carry their entire music collection on a device smaller than a playing card. Digital music means that we no longer need physical storage space, and our computer will store it all for us. iPods and MP3 players are getting bigger in terms of storage space all the time. You can now fit up to 40,000 songs on a 160GB iPod Classic, impressive as you could previously only fit a couple of hundred songs on a traditional CD rack.
Our music habits:
Before: Buying music has always been exciting, but it used to be even more exciting when you actually had a physical product in your hand after buying your music. There was an element of suspense in buying a new CD, because you had to wait for the album/single release, find the time to get out and buy it and then find a CD player (if you didn’t have a Discman).
Now: Music in 2011 is instant. There is no longer the need to wait as you can download music wherever you are if you have the right smart phone and a 3G signal. Music will be downloaded within minutes and you can listen to it there and then, no need to wait to get to somewhere to insert the disc and skip to your favourite tracks. You can now make playlists too, mixing and matching from a large spectrum of artists to fit in with your moods. Our music library may encourage us to diversify what you listen to on a daily/weekly/monthly basis, and that music is with us at all times; at work, at home, at the gym and on holiday.
Fun iPod Facts
- 10th November 2001 saw the 1st iPod go on sale.
- The iPod Touch is now selling at a quicker rate than the iPhone.
- Over 250,000,000 iPods have been sold to date.
- The designer of the iPod, Jonathan Ive has been voted more influential than J K Rowling.
- The 3 founders of worked for Atari before they formed the company Apple.
- June 2002 saw the launch of the first Windows compatible iPod.
- If you live in Europe your iPod won’t be as loud as it would be across the pond. The iPod has the ability to play music up to 120 decibels, but France have a legal limit of volume for a personal music player which is 100 decibels, so if you buy a European iPod it won’t be as loud as it could be.