Happy 5th birthday to the iPod.
I was kind of slow to get on the bandwagon, mostly because it was (and still is, although not as much) so damned expensive to join the iPod club.
But like a lot of people, once I got the thing, I was hooked. It's a cliche to say it but I'll say it anyway: it changed the way I listen to music, both because it allows me to shuffle through thousands of songs of all genres throughout an entire century of recorded music, and because I can carry all that tunage wherever I go and have private access to the sound library, and not have to listen to the traffic/street noise/supermarket Muzak/lawn mower/sounds of nature.
Here's the best description I've read yet about the "Jack FM" format -- a hodgepodge of album oriented and hit songs from the past two, maybe three decades played up in no particular order. The stations that feature the format (Denver's Jack 105.5 FM was the first station in the U.S. to adopt the format, which was birthed in Canada) typically use taglines that state something like, "Music we like," or "Playing what we want."
A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, I wrote a rhapsodic review of Madonna.
I thought back then that she was a perfect encapsulation of American consumerism, and though that's kind of an icky concept, I thought she was special because her music was so good. She captures (or at least back then, captured) the American "zeitgeist" (sorry to use such a geek crit-term, but it's a good one) with pure pop for all people. Anyone who didn't like her music were just plain high-culture snobs or didn't have an ounce of humor and/or rhythm in their bones.