Thursday, November 09, 2006

The Perfect Thing

With apologies to the Beatles,

It was five years ago today,
Steve Jobs taught the world to play
It raised the bar in style,
Guaranteed to raise a smile.
So may I introduce to you
The thing you've known all these years,
Apple corp's lovely, lovely iPod.

Yes, the iPod hit the stores November 10, 2001, with cultural reverberations that approach another event a couple of months before. Stephen Levy, an Apple enthusiast to say the least, chronicles the story of the iPod in his intriguing new book, The Perfect Thing: How the iPod Shuffles Commerce, Culture, and Coolness. Farhad Manjoo reviewed Levy's book in an excellent piece in - iPod: I love you, you're perfect, now change.

The Edmonton Journal's music writer, Sandra Sperounes, had a piece about iPod's 5th birthday in the paper yesterday - The iPod at 5: Ubiquitous mobile device changed the music world. She has some great quotes on the iPod from musicians like Gord Downie and Frank Black, as well as local musician Ross Moroz:

"Could iPods and iTunes spell the death of the album, as we know it, in the years to come? Ross Moroz, a local journalist and musician, thinks so.

"The concept of an album is now completely abstract," he writes in an e-mail. "In a music environment where an artist can release as few or as many tracks as they like at any given time, with the full knowledge that the tracks will probably be listened to out of order, mixed into a playlist with other tracks or shuffled at random, the instinct to release a cohesive, linear album is probably waning."


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