by Philipp Steger
When Thomas Edison spoke the words "Mary had a little lamb" on his tin foil phonograph, the world had good reason to be awestruck. Finally, the basic technology required to reproduce recorded sound had arrived. Over time the technology has improved and become so ubiquitous that today hardly anyone would stand in awe of a simple voice recording. What deserves our attention, however, is the ease with which such a recording can today be distributed to any Internet user around the world at virtually no distribution cost. This has given rise to yet other technologies trying to capitalize on the opportunities inherent in this change. One of them, probably the one with the most profound impact, is embodied by the iPod, introduced by Apple in 2001.
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