The iPod: How Apple’s legendary portable music player came to be
Jan 12, · Released: Nov. Discontinued: July The 1st generation iPod can be identified by its scroll wheel, surrounded by four buttons (clockwise from the top: menu, forward, play/pause, backward), and its center button for selecting items. When it . Oct 23, · On October 23, , Apple Computers publicly introduced its portable music digital player the iPod. Created under project codename Dulcimer, the iPod was announced several months after the release of iTunes, a program that converted audio CDs into compressed digital audio files and allowed users to organize their digital music collection.
The destiny of Apple changed drastically 10 years ago with the release of a deceptively simple digital music player. On October 23,Apple lifted the curtain on the very first iPodwhich packed 5GB of music storage into a sleek white box no bigger than a deck of cards. The press and Apple fans alike met the iPod with severe skepticism. Pundits openly wondered what business Apple had selling consumer music gadgets.
Bythe iPod became a wildly successful product for Apple, and certain myths and legends sprung up about its creation. When historians years from now recall the legacy of Steve Jobs, they will no doubt mention the iPod in the same breath. But while Jobs had an integral role in the birth of the iPod, no one man created the device. A ysar team of Apple employees and contractors brought the iPod to life.
That year, Steve Jobs discovered the latent potential of a hear Apple-invented technology: FireWire. The serial bus standard enabled data to be transferred at alarming speeds compared to common standards of the time. Apple realized that with Yearr, Mac users could transfer videos shot with digital camcorders which already used the standard and edit them on their computers.
Apple approached creative app giant Adobe to author a simple, consumer-friendly movie editing ihvented, but Adobe declined. By the late s, digital music had become big news. Despite the legal issues, it quickly became apparent to most in the tech industry that Internet-downloaded MP3s were the future of music distribution. Around wha, Apple realized it had a large hole in its upcoming digital hub strategy when it came to music. One of these inventted, Jeff Robbin, would invenfed development of an Apple-branded digital music application.
As iMovie had how to hang prayer flags with FireWire-attached camcorders, the iTunes team naturally sought to allow users to transfer songs from iTunes to the portable MP3 players of the day.
They had trouble. Behind every successful product lies a problem in search of a solution. Portable MP3 players had been around since the mid s, but Apple found that everyone on the market offered a lackluster user experience.
Everyone at Apple agreed. Hard drive players held far more but were relatively big, heavy, and they sported difficult-to-navigate user interfaces that did not scale whhat when scrolling through thousands of songs. When moving thousands of songs, the transfer time could shoot up to several hours. Considering the poor state of the PMP market, Jobs decided that Apple should attempt to create its own MP3 player, one that played well with iTunes and could potentially attract more customers to the Mac platform.
Rubinstein began preliminary research for ideas on how to proceed. From the beginning, he had two ingredients in mind: a speedy FireWire interface to solve the transfer problem, and a particular 1. Through personal connections, Rubinstein heard about a man with the right i and experience to do the job.
He gave him a call in January Waa that day in January, Tony Fadell happened to be riding on a ski lift when his phone rang. It was Jon Rubinstein calling. He invited Fadell invnted visit Apple to discuss a potential project, but he kept quiet about its exact nature. At Philips, Fadell had seen the potential of whah audio players yeear an encounter with Audible, an Internet audiobook vendor that wanted to bring its digital audio products to the Nino.
Fadell explored the idea at Philips but found little interest in the ideas among management. After a brief stint at RealNetworks, Fadell left to form his own digital music company called Fuse Systems. Fuse developed a digital jukebox that would rip CDs to an internal hard drive, but the company had trouble raising funding in a time when venture capitalists fetishized software over hardware.
Fadell had received the call from Rubinstein just as Fuse ran out of money. Soon, Apple offered Fadell a six-week contract as a hardware consultant. During that six week period, Fadell met with almost everyone he knew in the handheld industry while keeping his true goals secret. Fadell brewed up three prototype designs for a potential Apple music player, each model crafted from what was an asherah pole core boards with rough interface graphics pasted on.
Lead fishing weights gave each mock-up the approximate weight of a final device. When his contract expired in mid How to do a backFadell presented his prototypes to Apple executives, including Steve Jobs, in an important meeting. Fadell purposely pov his two least promising mock-ups to Jobs first one of which would have used flash memory, the other with removable storage and hid the third under a what year was the i- pod invented bamboo bowl Jobs kept on the conference room table.
As Fadell how to fix a bumpy uneven lawn, Jobs liked the third mock-up best. Schiller personally thought of the idea as a solution to a troubling interface problem at the time. With a wheel, a quick flick of the finger would navigate through the list at any rate the user wanted—especially since Apple would make the scroll speed accelerate the longer you spun the wheel.
Steve Jobs liked infented ideas he saw and offered Fadell pos job at Apple inventd continue his work. After a period of uncertainty, Fadell joined Apple full-time in April
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Oct 25, · Our iPod adventure begins in October , when Apple launched its first portable music player. The first incarnation of the device that was to revolutionise the music industry had a mechanical. Oct 22, · The original iPod, announced on October 23, Flash memory-based players of the era held only about a CD’s worth of songs. Hard drive players held . Steve JobsInventor.
The iPod wasn't the first MP3 player. A number of companies had released MP3 players before Apple unveiled what came to be one of its flagship products. But the iPod was the first truly great MP3 player , and it as the one that turned the MP3 player into a must-have device for most people.
The original iPod didn't have the most storage capacity or the most features, but it did have a dead-simple user interface, terrific industrial design, and the polish that define Apple products it also has an interesting story about how it got its name. Looking back to when the iPod was introduced, it's hard to remember just how different the world of computing and portable devices was.
There was no Facebook, no Twitter, no apps, no iPhone, no Netflix. The world was a very different place. As technology evolved, the iPod evolved with it, often helping to drive innovations and evolutions. This article looks back at the history of the iPod, one model at a time. Each entry features a different model from the original iPod line and shows how they changed and improved over tim.
We have separate articles tracing the history of the iPod nano, the history of the iPod touch , and the history of the iPod Shuffle. Want to know just how successful the iPod really was?
Introduced : Oct. When it was introduced, the iPod was a Mac-only product. While it was not the first MP3 player, the original iPod was both smaller and easier to use than many of its competitors. As a result, it quickly attracted accolades and strong sales.
The iTunes Store wasn't introduced until , so users had to add music to their iPods from CDs or other online sources. At the time of its introduction, Apple wasn't the powerhouse company it later became. The initial success of the iPod, and its successor products, were major factors in the company's explosive growth. Capacity 5 GB about 1, songs 10 GB about 2, songs - released in March Mechanical hard drive used for storage.
Colors White. Screen x pixels 2 inch Grayscale. Connectors FireWire. Battery Life 10 hours. Dimensions 4. Weight 6. Released : July Discontinued : April The 2nd Generation iPod debuted less than a year after the original model's great success.
The second generation model added a number of new features: Windows support, increased storage capacity, and a touch-sensitive wheel, as opposed to the mechanical wheel that the original iPod had used.
While the body of the device was largely the same as the first generation model, the front of the second generation sported rounded corners. At the time of its introduction, the iTunes Store still had not been introduced it would appear in Dimensions 4 x 2.
Requirements Mac : Mac OS 9. Released : April Discontinued : July This iPod model marked a break in design from the previous models. The third-generation iPod introduced a new body style for the device, which was thinner and had more-rounded corners. It also introduced the touch wheel, which was a touch-sensitive means of scrolling through content on the device. In addition, the 3rd gen. The iTunes Store was introduced at the same time as this model.
A Windows-compatible version of iTunes was introduced in Oct. Windows users were required to reformat the iPod for Windows before they could use it. Battery Life 8 hours. Weight 5. Released : July Discontinued : October The 4th Generation iPod was another complete redesign and included a handful of spin-off iPod products that were eventually merged into the 4th Generation iPod line. This model iPod brought the Clickwheel, which was introduced on the original iPod mini, to the main iPod line.
The center button was still used to select onscreen items. This model also featured two special editions: a 30 GB U2 edition that included the band's How to Dismantle an Atomic Bomb album pre-loaded on the iPod, engraved signatures from the band, and a coupon to purchase the band's entire catalog from iTunes Oct. Also debuting around this time was the iPod Photo, a version of the 4th generation iPod that included a color screen and the ability to display photos.
The iPod Photo line was merged into the original line in fall Supported Formats Music:. Photos iPod Photo only :. Colors White Red and Black U2 special edition. Screen Clickwheel models : x pixels; 2 inch; Grayscale iPod Photo : x pixels; 2 inch; 65, colors. Connectors Dock Connector. Battery Life Clickwheel : 12 hours iPod Photo : 15 hours. Released : January Discontinued : July Apple is known for not being interested in licensing its technology. For instance, it was one of the only major computer companies never to have licensed its hardware or software to "clone" computer makers who created compatible and competing Macs.
Well, almost; That changed briefly in the s, but as soon as Steve Jobs returned to Apple, he ended that practice. Because of this, you might expect that Apple would not have been interested in licensing the iPod or allowing anyone else to sell a version of it. Perhaps because the company had learned from its failure to license the Mac OS some observers think that Apple would have a much larger computer market share in the '80s and '90s if it had done so or perhaps because it wanted to expand possible sales, Apple licensed the iPod to Hewlett-Packard HP in On January 8, , HP announced that it would begin selling its own version of the iPod—basically, it was a standard iPod with the HP logo on it.
It sold this iPod for a while and even launched a TV advertising campaign for it. After that, no other company ever licensed the iPod or really any hardware or software from Apple. Released : Oct. The 5th Generation iPod improved on the iPod Photo by adding the ability to play videos on its 2. It came in two colors, sported a smaller Clickwheel, and had a flat face, instead of the rounded ones used on previous models.
By this point, videos were available at the iTunes Store for use with the iPod Video. Colors White Black. Screen x pixels 2. Weight 4. Released : Sept. The iPod Classic a. It was also the final iPod from the original line. When Apple discontinued the device in , smartphones including iOS-based devices like the iPhone dominated the market and made standalone MP3 players irrelevant.
It was renamed the iPod Classic to distinguish it from other new iPod models introduced at the time, including the iPod touch. The iPod Classic plays music, audiobooks, and videos, and adds the CoverFlow interface to the standard iPod line. The CoverFlow interface debuted on Apple's portable products on the iPhone in summer Curious how this final version of the iPod Classic compared to the final version of other iPod models? Check out our iPod comparison chart.
Actively scan device characteristics for identification. Use precise geolocation data. Select personalised content. Create a personalised content profile. Measure ad performance. Select basic ads. Create a personalised ads profile. Select personalised ads. Apply market research to generate audience insights. Measure content performance. Develop and improve products. List of Partners vendors. Sam Costello. Sam Costello has been writing about tech since His writing has appeared in publications such as CNN.
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