The Myth of the iPod

by David Battino

Oh, this is good: Over at the O'Reilly Digital Media site, the Fat Man wonders if former Apple engineer Jim Reekes kick-started the iPod as well as the Kerbango radio. (As Apple insiders know, Jim won two patents for Macintosh audio technology and created several Mac system sounds, including the subversive "Sosumi.")

Jim Reekes

Jim Reekes plots his next audio breakthrough.

I was in the original 1997 Appliantology brainstorming group with Jim, and based on what he's predicted over the years—much of which later came to pass—I'll bet there is a lot of truth to Fat's guess. The audio appliance we cooked up nine years ago does look eerily familiar:

  • Affordable
  • Easy to use
  • Connects to and enhances home entertainment systems
  • FireWire
  • Sold in stores like Kmart
  • Download[ed] audio from the net will be sent to the audio appliance from the PC
  • TV output

Some of the features, like a built-in synthesizer, Java support, and e-commerce, haven't made it to the iPod yet, but they've certainly arrived in cell phones.

Pop over to the Fat Man's blog and let him know what you think. For more on the conference where this went down (Project Bar-B-Q, now in its 11th year), visit