Remembering how Steve Jobs's innovation changed the way we cover music

By PEOPLE Music Critic Chuck Arnold
Updated October 06, 2011 02:20 PM
Credit: Justin Sullivan/Getty

Despite being a music critic – listening to more albums in one year than many people would in an entire lifetime – I’ve always been old-school when it comes to music technology.

I remember being one of the last people I knew who switched from vinyl to CD. Years later, I reluctantly (and almost out of a sense of embarrassment) retired my Discman and bought my first iPod much later than those tech-savvy types. I remember begrudgingly importing my CDs into my computer over one long week, feeling like it would never end and wondering what it was all for.

Then something magical happened: I connected my new iPod and watched in amazement as all my music was transferred over to this tiny thing.

There would be no more lugging around stacks of CDs. A weight had truly been lifted off of my messenger-bag-carrying shoulders! And I no longer had to make mix tapes: I could make playlists!

As a music critic, having my most important albums and songs – practically the entire Prince catalog! – available at the scroll of that screen has proven to be invaluable. Not to mention the sharpness of the sound and that rewind/fast-forward feature to capture every detail.

I can’t imagine life without it.

Don’t get me wrong, I still love my CDs and I will always have a special place in my heart for vinyl. But thanks to the iPod, my world got a whole lot simpler – and sweeter.