Today is the iPod’s 10th anniversary

While many Apple fans are rightly still in mourning mode, there’s a momentous occasion worth celebrating today.

One of CEO Steve Jobs’s most important contributions to the world of technology – and one that arguably was the beginning of a huge tidal wave of success for Apple – turns 10 years old today.

It was at this time in 2001 that the revolutionary new portable music player launched in a 5 GB and 10 GB model. The storage capacity was unparalleled back then, leaving many to wonder if they could possibly ever have that many music files.

Of course, today, the most fervent music aficionados can fill up that kind of space in no time. And the iPod of today would make the iPod of 10 years ago look like a total relic.

However, the basic software mechanics, song organization, and playback controls that were introduced way back then are still mostly in place with today’s products.

It was the launch of the iPod that took Apple away from its core audience of niche computer enthusiasts to the mass market, giving the company an unbelievable jolt and catapulting it into levels of success that astounded everyone.

It also led to the iPhone, which shook the mobile phone industry, a very inflexible and tough industry to break into.

So as you head to work this morning, whether you plug in your iPod into your car stereo, listen to your iPhone’s MP3 collection on the train, or strap on the headphones to your iPod Touch while you bike to the office, take a moment to recognize the 10th anniversary of the music player you can’t live without.