The iPod has awakened interest in music in a way that no other music player in history has done.

ContraCostaTimes' Chuck Barney explains how, having uploaded all his old favourites to his iPod, he found himself with room to spare and ended up opening up his ears to today's music.

In particular he found himself buying tunes from the iTunes Music Store.

He explains: "Enter iTunes, the online music shop that offers downloadable songs by the thousands. In the recent past, I often hesitated to purchase a CD by a new artist because it represented a foray into the unknown as well as a sizable hunk of change. But on iTunes, you can pluck individual songs off an album for as little as 99 cents a pop and – better yet – you can often sample songs for free.

"And into the iPod flowed songs from Green Day, OutKast, Bright Eyes, the Killers, the Pixies – all musical acts that I knew next to nothing about only a couple of months ago."