“The Perfect Thing” Turns 5

Longtime Really Rocket Science readers will recall our intrepid reporting on the "Ipod From Space" rumor that went around the Internets back in March.

As it turned out, there was no grand marketing plan to unveil an Ipod that was viewable from space. But since then, at least one Ipod has gone into space: Anousheh Ansari brought her Ipod with her when she became the first female space tourist (and first female Muslimin in space) when she travelled to the International Space Station last month. (Ansari blogged about her cosmic music selection here.)

Hey, who doesn’t like a little electronic diversion on a long commercial flight? 

All of this is to say that sometimes a technological and design break through isn’t really rocket science — but it can change the world nonetheless. 

And today, on the Ipod’s fifth birthday, we doff our hats to the beautiful design and transformative power of what is — let’s face it — not much more than a portable hard drive with an occassionally buggy OS.

But our Ipods are something we just can’t imagine living without. And that, ultimately, is the most meaningful testament  to any technology.

But we’re not alone in singing the Ipod’s praises today: it’s been hailed as "The Perfect Thing" and "The Poster Child for the 21st Century."

Everyone from Queen Elizabeth to the janitor in our building has one. It’s been to space. Thousands of them have entertained our troops abroad. And they’ve changed the way we purchase and listen to music — transforming the entire music industry in the process.

Not bad for a cute little piece of plastic.