I missed out on digital media player craze of the early 2000s, but I knew all about the iPod.
Just like with smartphones a few years later, Apple wasn’t the inventor of the device, but the company improved it and made the player a must-have item.
The little white boxes and accompanying ear “buds” were everywhere starting in 2001 in a way that I hadn’t seen since Sony’s Walkman became ubiquitous in the early 1980s. With a computer and a cord, you could download thousands of songs and other media and take them anywhere. The cassette-based Walkman or portable CD player didn't stand a chance. I didn’t purchase an MP3 player until 2008, when sales were starting to fall thanks to the ability of the then-new iPhone to do everything an iPod could do — and a lot more. But I still use it, even though my smartphone has more capacity and do far more than just play music.
Even before I bought a player, I enjoyed podcasts. These Internet-based radio shows allowed anyone with software and an MP3 recorder to make a show without having to find someone to put it on the air. Some were (are) not very polished, while others were as slick as anything on morning-drive radio.
I never stopped enjoying podcasts, which you don’t need an iPod to listen to, but apparently they had become less popular in recent years. The iTunes store was full of shows that hadn’t produced a new episode in months or years.
But apparently, we are now in a podcast renaissance, according to many sources. The best example may be “Serial,” a podcast series that investigated a 16-year-old Baltimore murder case and captivated much of the world. Its ratings (based on downloads and streaming) are some of the highest ever for a podcast. People are downloading it, streaming it and making their own podcasts about it — all for a show that is not broadcast over the air.
I too, was hooked on it. All the praise for “Serial” made me want to record another SNIPS podcast, which I acknowledge we haven’t done in a bit. We try to give listeners a chance to hear from some of the sheet metal works and HVAC construction industry people featured in SNIPS as well as anything else going on in the industry.
If you haven’t listened to our podcast, check it out (we’re on iTunes, just like “Serial”) through the link on our home page. We'll have another up soon.
I won’t say it’s as compelling as an episode of “Serial,” but I think it’s pretty good. And let me know if you have an idea for a podcast.