Evan Goldfarb

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Wiki Entry #1: Logic Piano

The Logic Piano was created by William Stanley Jevons, A British Economist and Logician in the mid 19th century. From a young age Jevons was a brilliant young man. He was born in Liverpool, UK to a father who had strong scientific tastes as well as a writer on legal and economic subjects. He was also an iron merchant. His mother was the daughter of William Roscoe, an English historian and a writer. At the age of 15 Jevons was sent to London to attend University College School. He graduated in 2 years and then was off to Sydney, Australia in 1854. Five years later in 1859 he returned to the University College London to get his B.A. and M.A. in moral sciences. He began to write often and soon became a tutor at at Owens College in Manchester. In 1866, he was elected professor of logic and mental and moral philosophy and Cobden professor of political economy in Owens college (William Stanley Jevons, Wikipedia). It was only three years after this that Jevons would create one of the most revolutionary inventions of his and our time, the Logic Piano.

Jevons was a very logical thinker obviously, so much that he created something called "Substitution of Similar's." An example of this would be Jevons picking apart metal (Barrett and Connell, 2005).

Iron is a metal
Metal is an element
Iron = metal
Metal = Element
Therefore, Iron = element

This goes to show just how logical Jevons thought process was. With this in mind, Jevons was using a "logical slate" on which he had his combinations typed up ready for elimination as early as 1863 (Barrett and Connell, 2005). In one of his later pieces The Substitution of Similars, he describes a series of wooden boards with various combinations. This was the outline that would soon turn into one of his greatest inventions. In 1869, fitted within a wooden case, and with a keyboard mounted on the front to operate the substitution mechanism, the Logic Piano was finally built. This incredible piano could deal with up to four terms at a time. Jevons wanted to build a machine with 16 terms, but it simply would have been too big and complicated to make. The logic expressions are typed via the keys (well...more like they are played since it is a piano), and hitting full stop removes all impossible combinations from the screen. The copula is the "=" key and the "finis" key resets the machine (Barrett and Connell, 2005).

Jevons, his logical thinking, and the logic machine/piano anticipate contemporary computing in some way. The logical aspect of computers today run on a system of 1 and 0s (embodied in the circuitry). In 1940, a man named Claude Shannon used Jevons logic and logic piano to present a "symbolic analysis of relay switching curcuits" that Boolean algebra could be used to describe switching circuits (Barrett and Connell, 2005). The computer's of Apple and Microsoft that we use today are made possible because of Jevons' logic and Shannon's. It is amazing how many technological advancements of today's time are due to findings in the 1880s where they barely had any technology whatsoever compared to the 1900s and the 2000s. Sure eventually someone down the line may have figured out how to run computers, but this may have come many years later and today we may not have the laptops, high definition televisions, and many more technological items that we use in our everyday lives. Jevons always considered himself "unworthy" of seeing the logic of the future, but he saw it (Barrett and Connell, 2005). Who knows what he could have done if Jevons was not hampered by the technology of his time.

Wiki Entry #2: Mr. Paul Allen


Mr. Paul Gardner Allen (born Jan 21 1953) is an industrialist and philanthropist. He gained most of his fame by co-founding Microsoft with Bill Gates (Paul Allen, Wikipedia). Today he is the 37th richest person in the world being worth about$13.5 billion (Forbes.com).

He is a big time investor, as he is the founder and chairman of Vulcan Inc. (private asset Management Company). Allen has a multi-billion dollar investment portfolio which includes stakes in Diego (A line of high definition Digital Video Recorders produced by ARRIS Group Inc.), Kiha Software (founded by Allen), real estate, and other media/technology companies. He is also chairman of Charter Communications, which provides cable TV, high speed internet, and telephone services to more than 5.7 million people in 29 states (Paul Allen, Wikipedia). Charter Communications is the 4th Largest cable operator behind Comcast, Time Warner, and Cox Communications. Allen Also owns three sports teams: The Seattle Seahawks of the NFL, the Portland Trail Blazers of the NBA, and the Seattle Sounders FC of the MLS (Forbes.com)

How it all began

Allen was born and raised in Seattle to parents Kenneth and Faye. The dynamic duo of Allen and Gates met while they attended Lakeside School. Although Allen was two years older than Gates, they became friends because of their common interest of computers. They would often use the computers at Lakeside to develop their programming skills. After they graduated, Allen went to Washington State University but dropped out after two years to work for a company called Honeywell as a programmer. That company just happened to be in Boston where his buddy Bill Gates was attending Harvard University. Somehow Allen convinced Gates to drop out of school so they could pursue their dream of being software programmers (Paul G. Allen, Encyclopedia Britannica). This would forever change modern technology.

Believe it or not, Microsoft was co-founded by Gates and Allen in New Mexico in 1975. They began to write the first microcomputer BASIC for the Altair, a computer kit based on Intel’s new 8080 chip. Altair’s producer MITS makes Allen the associate director of software. Now Allen has to divide his time between MITS and Micro-Soft. Soon Micro-Soft was gaining publicity and everyone wanted a part of it. Apple commissions Micro-Soft to supply a version of its BASIC for the Apple II and Radio Shack bought a BASIC for its TRS-80. Then, IBM came to Microsoft and asked them to develop and license DOS and BASIC to IBM fro its new personal computer. Allen and Gates moved from New Mexico to Bellevue, Washington and they started the job for IBM. This is the foundation of Microsoft’s remarkable growth (Paul G. Allen, Encyclopedia Britannica).

However, right when things were booming, Allen had to resign from Microsoft in 1983 after being diagnosed with Hodgkin’s disease. This was treated by radiation therapy and several months later Allen was cured. From 1983 to 2000, Allen was involved in many projects and companies that did not include Gates or Microsoft. Allen came back in 2000 as a senior strategy adviser to top Microsoft Executives (Microsoft.com)

Allen's other projects/companies

In 1984, Allen founded Asymetrix, a software development company in Washington, to make application development tools that non-programmers can use. This company later became Click2learn.com and then later merged with Docent to become Sum Total System in 2004.

In 1992, Allen started Starwave which was a producer of online content sites. Starwave did great work for ESPN SportsZone and ABCNews.com, so much that Disney bought the company for $350 million (Wikipedia).

In 1998, Allen bough Marcus Cable which was the 10th largest cable company at the time for $2.8 billion (Pelline, "Paul Allen to Buy Marcus Cable".

In 2003, Vulcan Ventures began funding Project Halo. Nothing like this had ever been attempted, but Allen being the innovator he is wanted to pursue this idea. This project is an attempt to apply Artificial Intelligence techniques to the problem of producing a digital Aristotle that might serve as a mentor, providing comprehensive access to the world’s knowledge (PaulAllen.com)

Allen also is a major contributor to the SETI (Search for Extra-Terrestrial Intelligence) project (Paul Allen, Wikipedia)

Allen founded the Experience Music Project in 2000. This was inspired by his interest in a museum to house his huge collection of Jimi Hendrix memorabilia. It is a one-of-a-kind museum combining interactive and interpretive exhibits to tell the story of the creative, innovative, and rebellious expressions that defines American popular music (PaulAllen.com)


Allen is also quite the philanthropist. He has given over $1 billion dollars to charity. There are two major foundations in which Allen is involved. There is the Paul G. Allen Family Foundation that supports the work of non-profit organizations that conduct effective community work primarily in the five-state Pacific Northwest region of Washing, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, and Alaska. The foundation consists of 5 programs: Arts and Culture, Community Development and Social Change, Economic Relief, Education and Youth Engagement, and Science and Technology Innovations Programs (The Paul G. Allen Family Foundation, http://www.pgafoundations.com/). The other foundation is the Allen Institute for Brain Science (founded in 2001) is an independent, non-profit medical research organization dedicated to performing innovative basic research on cellular function in the brain and distributing its discoveries to researchers around the world.


it is fairly obvious what important contributions Paul Allen has made to the history of the digital age, computers, and computing. If Allen had not convinced Gates to drop out of Harvard and start Microsoft, computer would not be the same as they are today. The technology would not be as advanced, we may still have slow computers, and the Microsoft empire which includes all the office programs, instant messengers, and just the programs 95% of computers in the world use would not be available today. Allen and Gates are the two people who have made computers what they are today. Sure Steve Jobs and the people at Apple are doing a great job in revolutionizing the computer industry, however I don't think that would be possible without the work of Paul Allen and Bill Gates. In a way, they have helped lead us into the digital age. Today when you think of computers the first thing that pops in your mind is Bill Gates and rightfully so. The man is the face of Microsoft and has changed the world forever. However, do not forget the man who CONVINCED Gates to drop out of college and start this company because if it had not been for Paul Allen, there would not be Microsoft Today. There may be Dell's, Mac's, and many other types of computers, but most of them are designed for Microsoft XP or Windows 7. Long after Allen passes on, his legacy will live forever thanks to Microsoft. Everyone in the world has come in contact with Microsoft in one way or another and I don't see why this will ever change.

Welcome, You've Got Mail! Wiki #3 America Online (AOL)

AOL inc (Formally America Online and AOL TimeWarner) is an American based global internet and media service provider. AOL was established in 1983 and at time provided dial-up service connection for anyone who wanted to join the network, and it was officially founded in 1985 in Dulles, Virginia (PBS).

In the year 2010, there are many applications and functions that people use AOL for everyday. There is AOL Instant Messenger, AOL Mail, AOL Radio, AOL Weather, AOL Video, and many more options from the online community. At the peak of AOL's popularity, over 30 million people were members world wide. In 2001, AOL and TimeWarner announced they would become a conglamorate, which was considered to be "the most significant development in the Internet business world to date" (Hu & Junnarkar). However, on May 28th 2009, AOL and Time Warner split ending a 8 year long relationship. What had thought to be a visionary attempt to meld old media with new media never materialized.

The Beginning

It is hard to believe that AOL started off as a service to provide online gaming in the early 1980s, but this is how AOL started off. In 1983, Bill von Meister founded Control Video Corporation (CVC). The only product the company provided was online service called Gameline for the Atari 2600 video game console. The interested gamers bought a modem from the company for 49.95$ and paid a one-time new membership few of $15, then Gameline allowed it's members to download one game at a time to play and look at the high scores for $1. The game could be played as long as they console was not turned off or a new game was downloaded. However, a minor downfall to this idea was that when a subscriber was playing a game, they had to disconnect their telephone line.

In January of 1983, Steve Case was hired as a marketing consultant for CVC and in May of 1983, Jim Kimsey became a manufacturing consultant for CVC to help out with their financial troubles. These two men would become two of the most important people to the creation of America Online. In 1985, Von Meister quietly left the company and Kimsley took over as the CEO. He renamed CVC to Quantum Computer Services, Inc. From there, Kimsey took the company to new levels and increased the technology and efficiency of their software (Wikipedia, AOL).

Kimsey wanted to change the strategy of the entire company, so he launched a dedicated online service called Quantum Link, which was based off the software of PlayNet, Inc.(person-to-person online communication and game network). The word got out about Quantum Link and soon everyone wanted the software. In May 1988, Quantum and Apple launched AppleLink Personal Edition for Apple II and Macintosh computers. In August of the same year, Quantum launched PC Link, a service for IBM-compatible PCs developed in a joint venture with the Tandy Corporation (Wikipedia, AOL). In 1989, Quantum Link and Apple parted ways and to distinguish themselves from Apple Steve Case put out a company contest to name its main online service. However, he did not like any of the answers he received so he went with his own choice, America Online, in October of 1989 (Swisher, AOL CEO Tim Armstrong Plans Rebranding Effort). Meanwhile, when Kimsey took over Quantum Link, his goal was to eventually make Case the CEO. Case went form Vice President of marketing when the company first started, to executive vice president in 1987, and then eventually became CEO in 1991 when Kimsey retired. A new era for America Online and the online based community was about to take place.

America Online, the choice of a new generation

When Case first came out with America Online, he wanted to appeal to the every day common person rather than only to people who specialized in computers and computer gaming. Therefore, he positioned America Online as an online service for people who were not too familiar with computers. Case wanted AOL to connect people from all over, so he used the "chat room" concept from PlayNet where gamers could talk to each other and applied it to everyday people. There were three types of chat rooms:

1. Private chat rooms - Could be created by any user and held up to 23 people

2. Conference chat rooms - held up to 48 people and the content of the chat room was moderated by American Online.

3. Auditoriums - This is not like the other two types of chat rooms. There was a "stage" where everyone in the auditorium chat room could see what was happening. However, there were also individual rows of the auditorium (27 people per row). Anything that happened in an individual row, only those 27 people in the row could view what was happening (Wikipedia, AOL).

From there on out, American Online's popularity flourished in the early 1990s. In March of 1992, American Online officially went public (WSJ, AOL Time Warner Inc.) However, the headaches were just starting for America Online as they had some serious takeover scares from the creators of Microsoft Bill Gates and Paul Allen (WSJ, AOL Time Warner Inc.) Those issues were shortly handled and in the following year America Online grew to be the 3rd biggest online internet provider. It was a rocky start for America Online but things seemed to be going in the positive direction as membership was growing each day. However, on May 11, 1993, Gates went head-to-head with Case again and said 'I can buy 20% of you or I can buy all of you. Or I can go into this business myself and bury you. (Swisher, American Online: Often Down, Never Out). Despite the major threats from genius Bill Gates, America Online prevailed and continued to grow.

On March 11, 1996, AOL signed an agreement with Netscape to develop a browser that AOL could integrate into its client software. Seeing as Netscape and Internet Explorer were right in the middle of the "Browser Wars", Microsoft came back with a deal that offered to bundle and promote AOL software with its Windows operating system. This was an offer than AOL could simply not turn down. Internet Explorer was more easily adaptable to AOL and Microsoft made it so that AOL could integrate browser technology seamlessly into AOL's service (Hu, AOL Exec Details Choosing IE). From there on, Microsoft kept growing and along with Microsoft came the growth of AOL.

By the mid 1990s America Online had surpassed all of the leading online service providers. America Online passed GEnie, prodigy, and CompuServe. In 1996, America Online made the smart choice from charging an hourly few to charging a monthly fee of $19.99. Not only could people now use an online service, but they could go on 24 hours a day and pay a flat rate (Wikipedia, AOL). By 1999, America Online had over 10 million subscribers and the numbers only kept rising.

American Online and Time Warner Merger

In 2001, American Online and Time Warner created a merger to take over the digital world. The merger was an all-stock deal and amounted to more than $160 billion based on the trading prices of 2000. The new firm AOL TimeWarner had an estimated combined value of over $350 billion. The merger was so huge, that word of the two companies merging skyrocketed Time Warner's stock to $90.06, a 39 percent increase. AOL's stock rose and then fell $1.88 (2 percent) by the end of the day. This merger gave AOL the opportunity to have a broadband explosion, cutting deals with satellite delivery firms and telecommunications companies that offer digital subscriber line (DSL) services. AOL also has focused on gaining access to cable services controlled by AT&T and other cable companies. The Time Warner deal gives AOL access to those services (Hu & Junnarkar). The new company will have more than 100 million paying subscribers, including AOL's dial-up customers and Time Warner's cable and magazine subscribers (Article). AOL soon reached over 35 million members in July of 2002 (25 Years of AOL: A timeline).

AOL Time Warner Decline and rebuilding

The highest value AOL TimeWarner had was then they fist merged and since 2002 there has been no quarterly growth for its subscriber basis. Since AOL TimeWarner seemed to fail, they have tried to make themselves something different, more like Yahoo! in a way. It seemed that every year or twice a year AOL TimeWarner was releasing a new version of AOL to compete with the competition. It started in September of 2001 with AOL 6.0.2 for XP and has gone as far as AOL 9.5 Refresh compatible with XP, Vista, and Windows 7 (Wikipedia, AOL). Between these two versions, there have been 17 different versions of AOL released. On May 28, 2009, AOL and TimeWarner announced they would end their 8 year marriage. In the time that AOL TimeWarner existed, Time Warner's stock plunged nearly 80% from $99.49 on Jan 10, 2001 to $23 on May 28th, 2009 (Smith, Time Warner to Split off AOL).

America Online's importance to computers

Since 1983, Steve Case, Jim Kimsey and their vision which soon became AOL has transformed the way we use computers today. I think that at one point or another, every person who has ever used a computer in America has heard the static dial-up connection of AOL and finally after many minutes of waiting for AOL to load were always hoping to hear the wonderful phrase "Welcome, You've Got Mail!" It was AOL that started the first instant messenger service and now there are tens of different types of messengers that people can use. AOL was the first to develop chat rooms that were not for the use of gamers so differently people who share a similar interest could find new friends or a group of people who lived in all different parts of the country could communicate in an easy manner. Now there is gmail, email at colleges, yahoo, MSN, and all other sorts of websites where you can have an email address. However, none of this would have been possible without AOL. AOL has revolutionized almost every aspect of the internet we use today. Today there are browsers that when you open them up immediately bring you the daily news from around the globe. You can thank America Online for that as well. When they connected with Internet Explorer, their homepage would show the latest news from all over. Thanks to AOL, we have all the new and updated email providers, browsers, and instant messengers. Sadly AOL has fallen off the map a little with the tough competition over the past few years, but with their history of making technological history, AOL will soon be back at the top of its game.

Wiki Article: How the iPod beat out all other mp3 players


Music has always been a part of American culture. It helps people relax during troubled times, it helps define people, and it tells the stories of people who have suffered heart ache, trauma, happiness, joy, excitement, and everything in between. A song or a certain genre of music, such as the 1950s with Frank Sinatra and the 2000s with Rap music, can often define a decade or a generation. With the creation of the portable audio player in the late 1970s, music became more a part of individual’s lives. In 1979, Sony came out with the Sony Walkman. It was a bulky square music player that required two AA batteries and an audio cassette to listen to music. There was no skip, replay, or changing artists; one cassette, one artist, all in order. Then came the Sony Walkman CD version. It was a circular device, however it was still nowhere near comfortable to use on a daily basis (Lungu, History of the Portable Audio Player). This was the only method of portable audio players at the time, until Apple released the iPod in 2001, a release that would subsequently change the music world forever. The Sony Walkman is still sold and used today, however the iPod has taken over the mp3 market and it does not seem to be going away anytime soon. In 2005 the iPod owned 92 percent of the market for hard-drive-based music players (iPod’s 92 percent market share due to competitors’ neglect of niche, macdailynews.com) and as of September 2009, the iPod owns 73.8% of the market share (Goldman, CNNMoney.com).

iPod Walks All Over the Walkman

On July 1, 1979, history was made when Sony Corp. introduced the world to the Sony Walkman TPS-L2, a 14 ounce blue-and-silver, portable cassette player with huge buttons and headphones. It also had a second earphone jack so two people could listen to in at once (Haire, A Brief History of the Walkman). Sony’s portable audio player ruled the 80s and 90s, as the Walkman helped the cassette tape outsell vinyl records for the first time since 1983. Billions of Walkman's were sold during the 80s and 90s as it thrived as the number on portable audio player (Millard, pg. 66). Similarly, during their peak years of sales and production, aerobics became incredibly popular. Everyone seemed to be listening to his or her favorite band rock out on a Walkman while they got their daily exercise. However, as the technological advancements became more prevalent, Sony seemed to stand pat with their older version Walkman. With this brought a new competitor to the portable audio world and the creator of the mp3 player.

On October 23rd, 2001, Apple introduced the iPod. This was a new breakthrough mp3 music player that held up to 1,000 songs in a portable device that fit in your pocket with a lithium battery that lasted up to 10 hours. (Products of Interest, Computer Music Journal). Ever since its release, the iPod line has dominated digital music player sales in the United States, with over 90% of the market for hard drive-based players and over 70% of the market for all types of players (Marsal, iPod: How Big can it Get?) Right from its release date, the iPod brought in a shift in musical technology; the Apple product was the hot new portable audio player that everyone had to have, while the Walkman was pushed into the distance. The iPod has been able to grab and maintain such a large market share and beat out other mp3 players because of it’s sleek, sexy look and advertising towards young music enthusiasts, the ability to hold thousands of songs by multiple artists, and the new technological advances and ease of use.

The iPod immediately grabbed everyone’s attention with the ability to hold 5 GB worth of music, while at the same time looking fashionable and being small enough to fit into a pocket. Apple created a fantastic brand with the all white look, with the earphones being featured prominently in advertisements. The white earphones have become the symbol for iPods because of their advertising campaign, and ironically, they have become so recognizable that they have been blamed for an increased number of street robberies in certain places (How the IPod Dominates the MP3 Market). As Steve Jobs said, “With the iPod, Apple has invented a while new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go.” (Apple Present iPod). With the creation of the iPod, it was now possible to listen to music whenever and wherever a person wanted to. The small and sleek mp3 player was accessible and desirable to people of all ages.

Sony was very clever in the way they advertised to young music enthusiasts, with bright and upbeat commercials, as well as modern campaign advertisements. The main advertisements were the infamous commercials with the black shadow dancing and listening to an iPod with the white ear-bud headphones (iPod Advertising). In the background, bright colors flashed across the screen as the song, “Are You Gonna Be My Girl" by Jet,[1] dictated the gyrations and movements of the character on the screen. This image of a shadow dancing with white ear-bud headphones was advertised on television, posters, magazines, online, billboards, and anywhere else imaginable that has advertisements. If the younger generation had not heard about Apple or the iPod before, this certainly grabbed their attention. The iPod commercials have mainly remained the same with some slight alterations. In 2006, apple released a commercial that spotlighted album art that was constructed into a city and then flowed into an iPod nano. All the other changes in September 2006 and beyond all dealt with darker backgrounds and different color schemes than the original commercial (iPod Advertising). While Apple was coming up with remarkable commercial campaigns to promote their iPods to the younger generation, Sony did basically nothing with their Walkman to compete with Apple’s new “hip” portable audio player.

Compared to the iPod, the Walkman was much less efficient and stylish. Some of the reasons for this are because the Walkman came out more than 20 years after the release of the iPod. As such, the latest version of the Walkman simply did not compare to Apple’s new gadget. The only item Sony provided at the time that was comparable to the iPod was the CD Walkman. The only difference from the original Walkman was it took CD’s instead of audio cassettes. Thus, in theory, it was basically an updated version of the original device, and nothing more. Its size was still an issue. Although it was considered “portable”, it was nowhere near comfortable to use on a daily basis, as the best way to carry the player was probably in a backpack (History of Digital Audio Players | Random History). The technological advances since the CD Walkman came out have been astronomical, and yet Sony still did not change its product to be more suitable for the 21st century. However, in the past few years Sony has come out with a few new mp3 players of there own. Sony launched MiniDisc Walkman’s in the early 2000s, which failed in comparison to the iPod, then they introduced NetworkMD that the use of a PC to convert music from CDs or MP3s into ATRAC3 format, and use a USB cable to transfer the music to the MiniDisc at a much faster rate than was possible when using a line-in cable (Walkman, Wikipedia). Since 2005 there have been many versions of the NW (Network Walkman) to be released, but they have all failed in comparison to all the versions of the iPod (Sony MP3 Players Finally Debut, Techtree.com). Also, Sony has not had a successful advertising campaign for the Walkman in years. They may have had good reviews on commercials in the 1980s and early 1990s [2], but the younger generations do not remember those commercials, and many were not born to see there advertisements, which gave Sony a distinct disadvantage. While there were some people who bought Sony’s version of the mp3 player, iPod still destroyed their numbers with 22 million units sold nation wide in 2005, about 40 million in 2006, and the pinnacle number in 2008 with about 55 million units sold (File:Ipod Sales per Quarter.svg, Wikipedia). With the difference in sales from Sony’s Walkman mp3 player to Apple’s iPod, this shows that the advertising campaign to younger music enthusiasts and the sleek, slender look of the iPod were main reasons for the popularity of the iPod compared to the Walkman. However, nothing is perfect so the continual improvements of the iPod also played a role in grabbing a large market share.

When the iPod came out in 2001, now people could listen to music portably and were allowed the possibility to listen to more than one artist at a time. Now the iPod can hold thousands of songs, but when it first came out it could hold up to 1,000 CD-quality songs and featured up to 20 minutes of shock protection for nonstop playback when running, biking, or other activities. One could download an entire CD into the iPod in less than 10 seconds and 1,000 songs in less than 10 minutes. It could play up to 10 hours of continuous music, and the battery was rechargeable by plugging the iPod into a computer that holds your iTunes using a USB cord (Apple Present iPod). The second generation iPod in July of 2002 had over 20 GB of storage space, 4 times the size of the first iPod. In 2003, the third generation iPod was created and the GB ranged from 10-40 (Hormby & Knight, A History of the IPod: 2000 to 2004). Later versions of the iPod were smaller and more advanced with access to the internet, online gaming, instant messaging, and watching videos and movies. Regardless, even though those versions of iPods are much more advanced than the original one, there was still at least 8 GB of storage space minimum for each new version (Hormby & Knight, A History of the IPod: 2005 to Present). While the iPod is able to hold at least 1,000 songs, the Walkman was not able to match up with that kind of GB storage.

The older versions of the Sony Walkman could only hold one audio cassette or one CD at a time. The cassette or CD may have had 20 songs at the most, nothing compared to Apple’s iPod. The MiniDisc player only had up to 74 minutes of music that could be uploaded and the newest MiniDisc’s as of 2005 only allowed for 1 GB of music to be stored, 20% of what the original iPod allowed users to download in 2001. The newest Walkman mp3, the Walkman X Series, has a touchscreen audio and video player from Sony. It has a 3 inch OLED touch screen, internet access through Wi-Fi and digital noise-cancelling as well as applications for Slacker and Youtube. It is available in 16 GB and 32 GB versions (Walkman, Wikipedia). This series came out in 2008, but despite its video and audio capabilities, it proved to be a disappointment. By this time, the iPod had built such an enormous reputation that they seemed to have a monopoly over mp3 players, leaving Sony and their Walkman X series in the dust. The iPod may have been more at the time of its release (I believe it was retailed at $399), for the amount of music that it holds, it was a much better deal than having to carry around a overly large “portable” CD player that could only play one CD at a time. The amount of GB of storage space was not the only technological advancement the iPod carried. Apple kept on refurbishing their prized jewel almost every year to make it more advanced, yet easy to use at the same time.

As the years have gone by, the iPod has moved forward into the technological age, however it is still easy to use. These are two things that draw society to Apple over all other mp3 players. People can work the iPod with ease as thanks to the scroll wheel. Instead of using skip buttons, a user could spin a wheel on the front of the device to scroll through a list of songs to find the song the user wanted to play. The same wheel was also used to control the menus of the system. As a result, it was much easier to navigate through the iPod's playlist than the comparable Nomad or Compaq MP3 players (Hormby & Knight, A History of the IPod: 2000 to 2004). This was unlike anything produced by the portable audio player industry, and it took a hold the interest of consumers. No matter what devices were added to the iPod in its newer versions, the scroll wheel was the key for controlling it and it made things less complicated for the user, leading to easier use of the iPod than other mp3 players. Although it was a positive that the iPod was easy to use, the devices technological advances proved to be their most useful selling feature.

At the time the original iPod came out, there was absolutely nothing like it. It held more songs than anything on the market, yet it could fit in your pocket. There were minimal games on the device (such as Brick), and a notepad section where you could write down information for school and keep reminders. One could create playlists with all of their favorite songs, and it even kept a list or your recently played songs and most played songs. However, the big thing at the time that separated it from other mp3 players was the release of iTunes (History of Digital Audio Players | Random History). The iTunes craze started in January 2001, and it has not stopped since. At the time, there were only songs that you could buy for $0.99 each, and the song would download instantly. Now the iTunes Store is the world’s number #1 music store, with over 13 million high-quality DRM-free songs priced at $0.69, $0.99, or $1.29 each. You can also download music videos, TV shows, movies, and podcasts all in high definition (iTunes). As iTunes has developed over the years, they are on version 9, the iPod has developed right with it.

Of course there was the original version of the iPod in 2001, but since then, there have been 19 different versions of the iPod to come out. For the class iPod, the second version came out in July of 2002, and it contained 10 or 20 GB storage and a cover came with it. The next version came out in April 2003. The third had either 10, 15, 20, 30, or 40 GB and was the first complete redesign with all-touch interface, dock connection, and a slimmer case. The fourth generation came out in July 2004, and had a color screen with picture viewing. This was the beginning of the iPod becoming what it is today. The fifth class generation came out in October of 2005, and it was a full redesign with a slimmer case, a larger screen, and it had video playback. It was offered in black or white and held up to 80 GB of storage. The final class generation was the sixth, which came out in September of 2007, and it held either 80, 120, of 160 GB. The iPod Mini line started I 2004 and they are basically a smaller and thinner version of the original iPod’s but they are available in many bright colors. Then there is the iPod Nano, which is very similar to the iPod mini. The real technological difference in the iPod’s came in 2009 with the fifth generation nano in 2009. It was the first iPod to include a video camera, it had a larger screen, an FM radio, a speaker, a pedometer, and a strong exterior case. Finally, you have the iPod Touch first, second, and third generation. Starting in 2007, the iPod touch almost works as a computer. The iPod Touch has Wi-Fi, a Safari Browser, wireless access to iTunes and YouTube, and 32 GB of storage. There are thousands of applications and games to download and now the phone has 3G (Hormby & Knight). There are other mp3 players, specifically the Walkman X Series, that have many of the things that iPod has. They have audio storage and video storage and they allow playlists and they are touch screens, however they do not have all the amenities that the iPod Touch has and they do not advertise as well, so many consumers do not know about their products. As such, it is clear to see that the ease of use and the technological upper-hand on the rest of the mp3 players are prime reasons why the iPod has succeeded in beating out other mp3 players.

Over the past ten years, there have been many changes in technology, music, and the way that technology has affected music with Apple always a step ahead of the rest. The iPod has revolutionized the music world and will continue to do so for years to come. Unlike the Walkman of old, the iPod is slender, stylish, holds 1,000s more songs, and you can download videos, play games, go on the internet, and so much more. The Walkman will remain a great memory, and it ruled the mid 1980s and 90s, however it is the iPod’s time to shine. With the sleek and stylish look, appealing to younger music enthusiasts, many GB’s of music storage, and technological enhancements almost every year, the iPod has been able to grab and maintain such a large market share and beat out other mp3 players. As the slogan goes, the iPod really is “Everything you need to be entertained.”

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