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I have just read the most entertaining account of a third-party app life-span ever.

Fine, it’s the only one I’ve ever read, but it’s incredible. Funny, engaging, meaningful, oh, my.

It’s The Audion Story.

Audion is a music player for the Mac, which is being “retired.” It was created back in the Mac OS 8 days by two guys who shared an apartment. Their timing was perfect, as MP3s were becoming a huge deal, and all the big fish were slowly lumbering to the light.

The story, which is engrossing on its own, is filled with entertaining links, like footnotes. The blog posting from Steve Gedikian is insightful and painfully accurate. The Slashdot postings right after the original iPod release are riveting. And the slowed-down Chipmunks clip is priceless! Click on all dem links. (Okay, except maybe the download ones.)

As an Apple fan, and as someone who hates it when the big guy wins by being mediocre or devious, I was genuinely moved by this account. Apple, while being cutthroat in a cutthroat business, manages to come out being a-okay in the mind of the guy who created a much-loved app that is being retired thanks to the competition from the company he worships. And he and his business partner did what they felt was right, not giving in to incredible pressures. It’s honestly very inspiring.

The Audion Story is not just a geek delight; it will also interest some of you who could care less about computers.

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