The end of an era for the iPod that changed the world

In The News podcast: Patrick Freyne talks about how the iPod reshaped our culture

The iPod created a legitimate market for music downloaded in MP3 format at a time when the world of digital music was a lawless free for all where pirates roamed. Photograph: iStock

The iPod created a legitimate market for music downloaded in MP3 format at a time when the world of digital music was a lawless free for all where pirates roamed. Photograph: iStock

 

This week Apple announced that it was discontinuing production of the iPod.

While the announcement was met with surprise from many quarters that Apple was still making iPods, there was a recognition that the silencing of the production lines marked the end of an era.

And not just any era. When the first iPod was unveiled by Apple’s Steve Jobs at a comparatively low key ceremony in California 21 years ago, he said the device would change the world.

He was right on the money. First it created a legitimate market for music downloaded in MP3 format at a time when the world of digital music was a lawless free (literally) for all where pirates roamed.

But there was more. The iPod, fundamentally changed how people consumed music, how charts worked and – ultimately – paved the way for the smart phones and streaming services that dominate our world today.

Patrick Freyne talks to Conor Pope for In The New and reflects on what the iPod meant, what it did and what the world has become because of it.

In the News is presented by reporters Sorcha Pollak and Conor Pope.

Listen to the podcast here:

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