Think about this for a moment: The iPod is only eight years old. In less than a decade, Apple's portable music and media device has become an absolutely necessary part of modern life. The first iPods hit the market on this day back in 2001, with five and 10 gigabyte versions available. The first iPods were hilarious looking, especially compared to current models. They used a clunky mechanical scroll wheel and weighed about ten pounds. They were so solid you could use them for masonry. But like all technology, the iPod evolved quickly. The iPod (and by extension the iPhone) is now not only a music device but also a video player, gaming system, personal organizer, Web browser, messaging system, navigational tool and on and on. Last month, Apple introduced an iPod that has a capacity of 160 gigabytes, enough space to store over 53,000 songs. Consider that in 2000, the best option for carrying around music you liked was to burn a mix CD, which meant that you had 20 or so tunes at your disposal.
Not that it really needed it, but the iPod was also supported by a tremendous marketing campaign, and to this day, getting your song in an Apple TV spot tends to do great things for a band's business. The first batch of iPod commercials featured a track from '90s big beat enthusiasts the Propellerheads, and a number of bands have used iPod commercials as jumping off points to launch new albums (U2, Coldplay) or their entire careers (Chairlift, the Ting Tings). The first group that catapulted to superstardom care of an iPod ad was the Black Eyed Peas, whose song "Hey Mama" propelled their 2003 album Elephunk up the charts. Along the way, iPod commercials have helped give a jolt to the careers of the Caesars, the Fratellis and Chairlift and helped extend the lives of hit songs by Feist and Jack Johnson. Check out the video playlist below that takes a look back at the songs that helped make the iPod into a part of everyday life.