The IPod is considered the greatest music player to exist: Revolutionary, dominant, and untouchable. But is it the same classic, timeless device that swept the world away? In Tom Gunning’s essay, Re-Newing Old Technologies, we explore just that. The IPod has been existent for about 13 years. During this the beginning of the 2000s, the market was dominated by large cameras, camcorders, and other larger devices. Apple, along with Steve Jobs, demanded a newer, smaller, faster device with easy user interface (Wikipedia). The IPod was born. When launched, it came with a booming advertising campaign of commercials, posters, referred as “thousands of songs in your pocket.” Changing the music industry, digital media, user interface, and sales, the IPod made its mark. Demand was high, and sales even higher. But after many years, has the IPod declined in production, demand, and sales? With newer, never-ending, and eye-catching technology coming out, the IPod has lost its spark. Tom Gunning helps to assist our understanding of old media in the modern world of today. Onians Four Stages of Amazement (Gunning 41) can explain the IPod’s early success. “A striking experience, usually visual, but sometimes aural” describes the IPods unveiling: a new, shiny device that changes music portability. “A consequent physical paralysis” describes users physically attachment to their device. “A reaction which results in something being learned” means the IPod’s demand and success resulting in teaching the world an easier way to listen to music. “ A new action” results in newer IPod’s, newer looks, functions and sizes. Four Stages of Amazement may conclude IPod success. However, the IPod’s decline can be hinted in Ginning’s first thoughts. Gunning mentions how old technology had “become part of a nearly invisible everyday life of habit and routine” (Gunning 39). The IPod, when new, was the only device doing what it was doing. It was portable, interactive, and successful. Now, in the modern world, The IPod has been lost and forgotten. New technology can do anything the IPod can do, and more. Portable tablets, smart phones, Laptops have made the IPod invisible. For example, the IPod is literally built into the iPhone. So why would the world need an IPod today? Music is more portable now than ever before, so the IPod has since been forgotten. The world of habit and technology advancement has made the IPod old. With my meme, I incorporate less on the IPod’s impact and decline, but more on what it did it the world. Parents and teachers believed IPods consumed us, society believed it the IPod was a distraction, yet all the IPod did improve the way we listen to music. That’s why it was successful, that’s why the IPod dominated. It was because it gave the world a device to listen and carry music in a way it couldn’t do before. From new to old, the IPod has still made its mark in history.
Gunning, Tom. “Re-Newing Old Technologies: Astonishment, Second Nature, and the Uncanny in Technology from the Previous Turn-of-the-Century.” In D. Thorburn and H. Jenkins (eds). Rethinking Media Change: The Aesthetics of Transition. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, pp 39-60.