I got my first iPod in 2003. It was the second generation model; the first iPod to include a capacitive touch wheel. I bought the 10 GB model with the included inline remote control, not only because it was cheaper at $399, but because it was thinner at 0.72 inches1.
All through out high school I listened to my music collection via mini discs I mixed myself, using my CD collection and the family DVD player. Each mini disc could only hold an albums worth of music, and mastering them was a tedious process of swapping CDs and waiting for each track to playback in real time.2
It took me months to save up for my first iPod, but the reward was worth it. With over 2,000 songs in my pocket, my iPod was the first time I could listen to all of my music without changing discs. Thanks to FireWire I could transfer my whole music collection to my iPod in a matter of minutes instead of wasting hours swapping discs. Most importantly though, my iPod allowed me to make the most of the music I already owned. Transferring the handcrafted playlists I made on my Mac using iTunes, while simultaneously reintroducing me to my seldom played songs via shuffle. Thanks to my first iPod my music playing experience would never be the same.
Back in those days the smaller capacity iPods were also the thinnest. ↩