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An Artifact for Our Future Generations

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Topics: IPod, ITunes
An Artifact for Our Future Generations

March 16, 2013
Unit 5 IP
AIU Online

Abstract
Artifacts are defined as “Any mass-produced, usually inexpensive object reflecting contemporary society or popular culture: artifacts of the pop rock generation.” (2013). Although this is just one definition for the word artifact, it is the one used for this paper. Of every generation there is an artifact that could be looked back at by future generations to gain insight to the past. The iPod is no exception, as it is a very widely used item that plays a big part in the lives of many people in this era.

What is an iPod?
An iPod is a device that is used for many technological reasons. The first iPod was called simply the iPod and was the first generation version. This device made its debut on October 23, 2001. The original iPod was used to download music from all genres to the device to listen to anywhere. The device was very tiny but could hold up to 1,000 songs on its 5 to 10 gigabyte memory. There have been many more versions of the iPod since its debut. Being able to carry 1,000 songs around in your pocket was a huge technological breakthrough. The iPod has made it possible to do so many tasks, whether low or high impact, while listening to music through the little ear buds that are connected to the device. This is much smaller the walk man radio/cassette players or the disc-man portable CD players of the 1980’s. All of one’s favorite music fits in the tiny device without changing tapes or CDs or dealing with commercials or unwanted songs from the radio.

Where did the iPod come from and what are its cultural roots?
On October 23, 2001, the first iPod was introduced to the world. The person that invented the iPod was Steve Jobs. Mr. Jobs was the co-creator of the Apple Corporation. He was famous for inventing the Macintosh computer, also known as the Mac system computer. Steve jobs brought to the world such items as the Mac, iMac, iPhone, portable devices and user interfaces. The iPod has continued to evolve to meet the needs of tech users by adding many features besides just music storage and listening ability.
When talking about the cultural roots of the iPod, one sees that as with so many other things in the culture of a society, that music and entertainment are where the roots of culture are embedded. Music has been a part of the human culture for many centuries. Entertainment is a major of many reasons for music in this era. Music has been and continues to be used to stimulate the mind for education, worship, and even has mental and medical applications. According to Plato “Music is a moral law. It gives soul to the universe, wings to the mind, and life to everything… Without music, life would be an error.” (approx. 385 BC). Finding new and inventive ways to keep music around at all times has been something strived for throughout many centuries.
Advancements and Evolution of the iPod
Since the debut of the iPod first generation, there have been a total of 36 versions created. The classic iPod has nine (9) versions as well as the number of versions of the following: * iPod Mini – 2 versions * iPod Nano – 7 versions * iPod Shuffle – 4 versions * iPod Touch – 5 versions * iPhone – 6 versions * iPad – 3 versions
The original iPod was strictly used for music or other audio files. Since its debut, so many versions have hit the scene. The newer iPods are ever evolving into more advanced versions of the preceding ones. While some iPods are still for audio files, many of the newer types have so many more capabilities. When the iPod Touch was released on September 5, 2007, it was like a mini computer in one’s hand. The Touch not only had the capacity of 8 to 32 Gigabytes of media storage, but it could surf the web through wifi connections. A person could listen to their favorite music as well as watch the songs video on the iPod screen. In September 12, 2012 the fifth generation Touch was released. The capacity jumped from the 8-32 Gigabyte storage to a whopping 32-64 gigabytes. Literally 8,000- 31,500 songs could be stored in the slim pocket fitting device. Videos, photo programs, a camera, as well as many other applications are right there to be explored.
What’s next for iPod Evolution? When it comes to technology, the possibilities are limitless. If we took the iPod fully loaded with many types and centuries of music back in time, the people of that era might think we were from outer space. Things that were never thought possible are old news now. As the times change, so do the needs of the world’s inhabitants. There are games that can be played with the mind now days. Once such game is called Mindflex, and is controlled by your brain activity (Mattel, 2013). It would be very plausible for the Apple Corporation to one day advance to the thinking the iPod into action. With the iPhone 4S, there is an application called Siri, which can be talked to like it is a real person. One could say, “Siri, call home.” And Siri would reply and call the number. Transitioning to mind controlled applications has not yet happened, but as far as technology has advanced over the centuries, it seems like a possible next step. As a person that was trained in Humanities, this invention is a substantial artifact of the era. Not only was it greatly rooted in past cultures through its reasoning, but it is an evolved version of many past such artifacts. From simple instruments of music and singing live, to the idea of having music and other Medias play through thoughts in the minds of future generations, finding ways to readily enjoy music has become a part of the world’s culture.
Conclusion
In conclusion, when thinking about what could be seen as an artifact of our time, the iPod would be a prime example. The one thing that all cultures have and have had throughout history is music. When our future generations look back and see how music was used, obtained and utilized, they will find that the iPods were very much a huge part of our lives in this era.

References
Artifact. Definition.(2013). Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, Random House, Inc. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/artifact?s=t iPod. History. Apple Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.ipodhistory.com/ iPod 4s. History. Apple Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.iphonehistory.com/iphone-4s/
Mattel, Inc.(2013). Mindflex. Game. Retrieved from http://mindflexgames.com/what_is_mindflex.php

References: Artifact. Definition.(2013). Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Dictionary, Random House, Inc. Retrieved from http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/artifact?s=t iPod. History. Apple Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.ipodhistory.com/ iPod 4s. History. Apple Corporation. Retrieved from http://www.iphonehistory.com/iphone-4s/ Mattel, Inc.(2013). Mindflex. Game. Retrieved from http://mindflexgames.com/what_is_mindflex.php

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