The iPod is arguably the ultimate cultural icon for the 2000s. But its use is evolving, and it is now also a tool for some college students and budding DJs alike. At Duke University in Durham, North Carolina, they have taken it one step further: giving all first year students such a device. Some 1,600 Apple iPods were handed out free of charge. The university is paying out of its technology budget. The students can keep the digital music players, specially engraved with the university’s logo, if they can show physical ownership after one year.
But does a trend-setting gadget really belong on the college campus? “The fact that it’s pop culture doesn’t mean that’s the only use it can be put to,” says Peter Lange, provost of Duke University. In Manhattan two DJs who go by the name Andrew Andrew hold a weekly iParty open night. Attendees are given seven minutes to mix and switch between two players, and can even bring their own. Customers effectively enter an iPod democracy.
With features such as the notes, and digital audio books available, professors could distribute reading materials and lectures via iPod downloadable for archiving and studying uses.