Apple launched the iPod 21 years ago, and changed the world

The iPod line did not survive to see its 21st birthday, but the influence of this once-ubiquitous device shaped Apple, music, and the world.

You had one. Everybody had an iPod, some people had several, and at the time it seemed as if Apple had somehow thrown a light switch. One moment, almost nobody had any portable music players, and the next they were all wearing those white earbuds.That isn’t true, of course, because the iPod did take a long time to climb up as high as it got. Yet its ultimate dominance was so total that it used to be hard to imagine a time when there wasn’t an iPod.

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