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#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation


#tbt Newsweek iPod Nation

The year was 2004. It was about 2-1/2 years after the original iPod was unveiled, and it was beginning to change the world. It also put my ugly mug in the pages of Newsweek.

Newsweek, July 26, 2004

I recently came across an old photo that reminded me of this, so I thought Throwback Thursday seemed like an appropriate opportunity to document this now that 10 years have passed. Hard to believe it’s been that long already.

The July 26, 2004 cover of Newsweek featured Steve Jobs holding the 4th generation version of the iconic music player (aka the Click Wheel iPod). The article was about how the iPod became a cultural phenomena. This was a quote from him in the article:

I was on Madison, and it was, like, on every block, there was someone with White headphones and I thought, ‘Oh, my God, it’s starting to happen.’

– Steve Jobs


Inside, the opening spread for the cover story included photos of several individuals enjoying their iPods in various aspects of their lives.

This is what it looked like: 

Someone look familiar? I wasn’t working for Apple back then, but I have always been a big Apple nerd and at the time, a fairly obsessed iPod enthusiast. Newsweek got a hold of me since my sister had told one of her connections there about how I had gone through the trouble of installing an iPod into my car as the primary music player. It was the first of a few mods I made to the car while I had it. This was long before auto manufacturers starting including USB ports or offering iPod/iPhone connection kits so I had to do it all myself (although I did enlist the help of a prop maker friend to laser cut the faceplate out of ABS plastic). The process was documented on my since-retired website,, which also contained a message board for other enthusiasts to share their installs and swap tips. Anyone remember phpBB

The Newsweek/MSNBC website also featured my photo on the homepage when the article ran. The site has changed a lot since then and the article seems to have disappeared, but thanks to the Way Back Machine, the original article, by Steven Levy can still be found. Unfortunately, it only archived 2 of the 3 pages of the article.

Newsweek Homepage, July 2004

Here’s a behind-the-scenes look at the photo shoot for the article. Jeff Minton was the photographer hired by Newsweek, who I eventually also helped get hired to do some work for Yahoo! – although I had already left Yahoo! for Oakley by the time the job came through, so I didn’t actually get to work with him behind the camera.

And a few more random throwback shots of the install. I enjoyed this setup for several years before I replaced the G35 with my M3, which naturally, already has a built-in iPhone connection kit integrated with the dash. More shots of the car and install can be found at on the archived website gallery.

My G35iPod site also happened to be one of the first sites I experimented with using CSS to change skins. Surprisingly it still works ok, and ironically, I had also created an Apple skin, as tribute to the company back then. That skin should help remind you of another throwback.  Here’s what looked like back then. Who could have guessed I would end up working on that same website 10 years later.