I remember seeing the first IPod in high school. We had gone to a crawfish boil for my dads work in Louisiana and one of his coworkers had just bought one. He was showing us how many songs he could put on it and how the scroll wheel worked. In 2001 it was a magic device compared to the portable CD players we all had.
The thing about Apple, even back then, was that it was prohibitively expensive. iPods were hundreds of dollars. Napster was still the place you got songs from if you couldn’t afford individual cds but could afford a computer with a 56K modem. After that it was a race to move to the MP3 player. Most computers couldn’t burn to cds just yet, and those that did were not cheap.
At the Art Institute in Dallas we had several classes in the Mac labs. This was 2002 and if you did have a computer it was a tower that you kept at home, laptops were extraordinarily rare in school and then not powerful enough to run much. Even when I graduated in 2006 we still did everything on paper. So to learn software you had to use the computers in the lab, and AID had several computer labs with the latest and greatest Mac G4 beast towers. They had the bullshit single click mouse, they had the clear braided FireWire cables, they had real keyboards. We were stoked to be able to use such high end expensive hardware to run Photoshop 7.
After leaving the Art Institute I didn’t really touch a Mac again until 2008 when we got a brand new MacBook to code apps for those fancy shmancy iPhones. The rest of my college career was spent on home built PC’s and pirated copies of Adobe software. Most people I knew at this point had a massive pirated mp3 collection thanks to Kazaa and Limewire. We also had a massive collection of malware and viruses along with them. But if you wanted to play those songs outside your car (hoping it could play a burned cd) you needed an MP3 player.