I still remember when I bought my first walkman. It was a used Sony cassette player with built in FM/AM radio. I still remember now how people envied it and how I felt so proud to be the owner of such a device! Nowadays, the music scene has totally changed with the coming of digital technology and devices that no longer need you to lug around a backpack full of tape cassettes!!!

Today, manufacturers have saturated the market with audio, video devices that can easily fit into your pocket and store thousands of songs, albums, films and even data. I never thought it would be possible to get so much diverse information onto a single piece of technology that doesn't lose its quality and stores music as it was meant to be heard.

There have been many attempts by many companies to bring out a device to dominate this market, and rightly so, as the market is worth millions if the right product can be produced at the right price. One company that seems to have got the right mixture between functionality, design and price is Apple, originally the infamous computer manufacturer.

Known for their vision, design and functionally, Apple has launched many products in this space including mobile phones and mobile audio/video devices that come with excellent functionality and represent good value for money.

The iPOD is the main product in the audio/video space and comes in a wide range of sizes, functionality and shapes. The iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Inc.. The product line-up includes the hard drive-based iPod Classic, the touchscreen iPod Touch, the video-capable iPod Nano, and the compact iPod Shuffle.

The iPhone (Apple's baby in the mobile phone world) can function as an iPod but is generally treated as a separate product. Apple has tried to make different devices to cater for different sectors of society which is a very smart idea, from teenagers right through to business men. These devices can play audio, video and even display images in a wide range of industry formats. To illustrate the popularity of the iPod, Apple claim to have sold over 173,000,000 iPods worldwide (yes, that is 173 MILLION!!!!) which shows the popularity and success of their product.

In terms of media support, Apple has made their devices compatible with industry standards, but prefers that users use their iTunes format for use on their devices. iTunes are audio and video files available at a discount from Apple's iTunes website when compared to their CD counterparts and provide users with easy access to new content in an easy to download manner.

New iPodsThe iPod line can play several audio file formats including MP3, AAC/M4A, Protected AAC, AIFF, WAV, Audible audiobook, and Apple Lossless. The iPod Photo introduced the ability to display JPEG, BMP, GIF, TIFF, and PNG image file formats. Fifth and sixth generation iPod Classics, as well as third generation iPod Nanos, can additionally play MPEG-4 and QuickTime video formats, with restrictions on video dimensions, encoding techniques and other technical stuff.

With such market saturation and following, Apple have indeed come up with a winner which many companies are trying to leverage off of by offering applications that can be used on them, such as Amazon with its iPhone Kindle application, a mobile reading application that can be used on the iPhone to read digital books converted by Amazon.

The price and support for the iPods is excellent makes you feel part of a larger, global community which is a nice feeling as you know your investment will be protected and supported by the manufacturer for a long time to come.

God bless you Apple.and may you keep doctors away forever!!