Ever since the introduction of the “revolutionary” iPod, I’ve wanted to be able to wrap my grubby hands around one and call it my own. I must admit, part of it was Jobs’ Reality Distortion Field, but it was more than that. I saw this product as genuine Apple. It gave you more than others offered, with a great design and a high price tag. I remember when it was first announced, I was browsing the MacAddict Forums, and everyone was complaining about the fact it was $400 and there were so many players currently on the market for half the price. Well guess what, they don’t offer FireWire, they can’t be portable HD’s, they can’t easily sync with iTunes 2. What Apple has given us may not be as revolutionary as some had hoped, but it is still ground breaking. What I was seeing at the different forums I was visiting was nothing but complaining, and these people hadn’t even seen one in person yet. My theory is, don’t dog it until you’ve tried it (well, in most cases).
I can tell you when and where I was when I first saw the iPod. CompUSA in Overland Park, Kansas, on November 24th, 2001. I passed through the automatic sliding doors and winded my way to the Mac section of the store, all the way in the back. To my surprise, all I saw were pamphlets for it. I couldn’t understand what was going on. I knew the store had some, because I checked online. Talk about a disappointment. I decided to go to the help desk and inquire about the iPod there. I was told it was in the MP3 player section. I was a little thrown by this, but no biggie. At first glance at the MP3 player section, I see no iPod, and then, out of the corner of my eye, I see another pamphlet sitting where the iPod should be. You’ve got to be joking. I ask the sales person why they don’t have one on display, and he can’t really give me a straight answer. How are you going to sell any if you don’t keep them on display! Learn to think guys! Kind of like keeping people in the Mac section of the store. Don’t complain about poor Mac sales unless you’re actually trying to sell them! Please excuse my bitterness towards CompUSA. I plan to work for them during the summer, so I guess I shouldn’t bang on them too much.
Anyway, back to my first iPod experience. The salesperson brought out the box and let me open it. As I unfolded the final flap, a bright light filled the room, and my hands seemed to be drawn to the shiny white device. I had held perfection. A finely crafted device who’s only issue was fingerprints on the back, but those didn’t matter to me, this wasn’t mine. I was hoping I could listen to some music, but they hadn’t even opened the earphones yet. Don’t get me started about that again. I rolled my thumb over the scroll wheel and immediately fell in love with the soft clicking sound. To this day, I’ll scroll through my library of songs, just so I can listen to that soothing click. After about 15 minutes of fondling the iPod, I figured I’d better head on out and let someone else have a chance. I will never forget that day. Kind of sad isn’t it?
This would not be as close as I would get to the iPod however. As soon as I had seen it in person, it moved to the top of my Christmas list…
As Christmas drew near, I returned home from college for the break. Being a kid at heart (well, I guess I’m still kind of a kid in body too), when I see gifts under the Christmas tree, I want to examine them closely, and find out what they may be. This year was no different. After chatting with the parents for a bit, I was on my way up to my room, but was suddenly distracted by several wrapped boxes that had my name on them. One in particular caught my eye. A perfect cube. Bingo. Could this be it. Could this be my iPod? I wouldn’t find out for another seven days, another very long seven days. Each time I would round the corner and the gifts came into view, my mind would race wild as to whether or not the iPod was resting comfortably in its packaging. Christmas day was now only hours away.
Now, tradition for my family is to save the best gifts for last. Needless to say, the cubed box fit this category. After going through several gifts, the cube was the only one left. My parents had finished opening theirs as well, and this was the only one left. They both smiled as they handed it to me, and my palms began to sweat. I knew it was my iPod. I knew it was one that I could call my own. I slowly unwrapped the paper, and I saw the gray top with the white Apple logo. I was the proud new owner of my very own iPod. No more slow unwrapping. I tore the rest of the paper off and immediately opened the box. I pressed the play button to turn it on and check the software version. Nothing happened. I pressed the menu button. Nothing. I pressed the play button again. Nothing. My heart sank. Being in a good mood, I just plugged it in and charged it for about five minutes. When the five minutes was up, I closed my eyes, pressed the menu button, and slowly opened them. It was on. It worked. I now had the ability to carry around 1000+ songs in my pocket. Rock on!