Science, Tech & Environment

Apple's iPod marks 10th anniversary today

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The current family of iPods. (Photo via Wikimedia Commons.)

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Today marks the 10th anniversary of the iPod.

More than 300 million have been produced and sold as of October, according to Apple.

Walter Isaacson, the man who wrote Steve Jobs: A Biography, said with the iPod, Steve Jobs changed the music industry, changed Apple and really changed the world.

"Steve Jobs was able to transform whole industries by putting inventive things together, and the iPod is the best example," he said.

Isaacson talked of the white earbuds that seemed to sprout like weeds from people's ears. He said the iPod really changed the relationship people have with music, from one focused on building an album collection in your home, to one that focused on building a song collection in your pocket.

And he did it in a beautiful way.

"It became part of your digital lifestyle. No longer was your music collection something you kept at home, it became something you kept as part of your digital lifestyle," Isaacson said. "I think putting together technology and art is the value added in our era," and that's what Steve Jobs did.

Just the fact that today can even be the 10th anniversary of the iPod is a tribute to Jobs. In mid 2001, Jobs said the iPod would launch before Christmas. Most of his colleagues told him it would never happen, but it did.

"He bent reality and did it. Could he have been kidner and gentler and sweeter in the process? Probably so. But when I asked him about it, he said that's not who I am."

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"The Takeaway" is a national morning news program, delivering the news and analysis you need to catch up, start your day, and prepare for what's ahead. The show is a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH.