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Happy 9th birthday, iPod!

Wow. It seems like just yesterday that we were all looking at Apple's new baby for the first time. No, I'm not talking about the new MacBook Air, but the device that seems to have jump-started Apple's meteoric climb to success.

The iPod was first launched on October 23, 2001 and begat a family of highly-popular portable media players that continues to this day. The first model was a Mac-compatible device with a 5 GB hard drive and a capacity that put, in the words of Steve Jobs, "1000 songs in your pocket."

Since then, we've seen iPods as tiny as the third-generation iPod shuffle and as large as the 160 GB, sixth-generation iPod Classic. The iPod touch has become a huge success as a web-surfing, game-playing, picture-taking "iPhone without the phone."

The iPod even has some popular siblings now, the iPhone and iPad, both of which include and expand upon the media player roots of the iPod family.

The name iPod was first proposed to Apple by copywriter Vinnie Chieco, who thought of the phrase "open the pod bay door, HAL" when he saw the first all-white prototype of the original device. Chieco thought the relationship between the media player and a personal computer was similar to the small space pods in the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the large Discovery mothership.

We'd love to have you share your memories of your iPods with us. Please leave those wonderful (or not) thoughts in the comments below.

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