Apple launched the iPod 21 years ago, and it changed the world

Apple launched the iPod 21 years ago, and it changed the world

Apple launched the iPod 21 years ago, and it changed the world

Apple launched the iPod 21 years ago, and it changed the world

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The iPod line didn’t survive until its 21st birthday, but the influence of this ubiquitous device shaped Apple, music, and the world.

you had one. Everyone had an iPod, some people had several, and at the time it looked as if Apple had somehow tossed a light switch. One moment, almost no one had any portable music players, and the next day they were all wearing white earbuds.

This isn’t true, of course, because the iPod took so long to climb to its highest level. However, its eventual dominance was so comprehensive that it was hard to imagine a time when there was no iPod.

It was also hard to remember that there were alternatives, but there were plenty of them. Apple’s iPod was far from being the first music player and Microsoft failed, brown zone It might not even have been her worst competitor ever.

As with any rise to power drama, though, the iPod had to watch for its friends as well as its foes. Because the iPod was destroyed by a competing device, and when the blow came from Apple’s own device Iphone Total was.

You no longer have an iPod. There’s probably one in a drawer somewhere, but in another light switch, this treasure of our time has gone from everywhere to just about anywhere except for a few powerful items that removed hard drives instead of flash media.

When Apple announced At the end of the latest iteration of the iPod, he did so with a headline that was supposed to celebrate the device, but it felt like a rejection of it. “Music Lives,” was the headline of the May 2022 ad that first admitted that the iPod was dead, then spent more time talking about Apple’s AirPods.

We are fickle

If you wanted proof of how quickly we forget things, you might be surprised to read that the death of the iPod was in May 2022. It already seems a long time ago, in part because it was in some way.

Long before the iPod touch’s final moments, it briefly switched from a physical device to the name of the Music app on the iPhone.

But the influence of the iPod continues

We’re not sure we had the iPod we got from the iPhone, but it looks like it does.

It said “starting an iPhone project happened from an iPod project” Designed by Tony FadlHe is best known for his work on Apple’s iPod. “We’re starting to see these feature phones with cameras that start adding digital music and gadget features to your phone.”

He continued, “It was clear at some point that they might be able to catch up with us with the progress we had with the iPod.” “We’ve been saying…what is the future of the iPod? And if people had two devices in their hands, which one would they pick up each time?”

An iPod can hold 1,000 songs.  Apple Music now reaches 100 million.

An iPod can hold 1,000 songs. Apple Music now reaches 100 million.

But in addition to being an inspiration to Apple, it was so successful that the profits generated from it enabled Apple to develop the iPhone.

Likewise, it is also not certain that music and the music industry would be in the position and form it is today, had it not been for the iPod. However, you doubt it, because the iPod led to iTunes, which gave birth to the iTunes Music Store, which changed the world.

It’s a smaller step from the iTunes Music Store to streaming services like Apple Music, than it was from CD and vinyl to digital downloads. In the early 2000s, Steve Jobs had to talk about record companies to make music, and now broadcasting is the thing to survive.

Looking back now, it’s hard to imagine what a brick wall represented in the record labels. Jobs succeeded only because – at the time – he could argue that Apple was too small to have any noticeable impact on their business.

Today, the idea that Apple can be considered small at all is a funny one – although sometimes Apple try it. And it will no longer depend on Windows users, as it was at the beginning of the iPod.

A glass of water in the desert

When John Rubinstein of Apple bought Toshiba’s entire stock of miniature hard drives for the device, and Tony Fadel Working on designing his hardware, the iPod was intended only for Mac computers.

At least, that was Jobs’ intention. Fadel eventually hired journalist Wall Mossberg job persuasion To open iPod for Windows users.

But at launch, it was Mac only, and The New York Times shrug. The post said the iPod was nice for Mac users, “but for the rest of the Windows world, it doesn’t make any difference.”

Of all the places where you can enjoy your iPod, you might not have expected one computer magazine. “Leave it to Apple to come up with the world’s coolest – and dare we say the best – MP3 player in the world,” said magazine review. Not just candy.

“Its utility and simplicity make it an outstanding product, even for the price,” she continued. “Our only problem: While a suitable iPod for Mac is now available, a rumored PC version will only appear in the spring, if at all.”

Probably computer magazine He was listening to Fadell about his desire to bring the iPod to Windows. But it took until July 2002 for that to happen.

From the windows until I see the door

From 2002 to 2007, the iPod ruled — and an ever-expanding empire whose sheer momentum made it seem unstoppable. The word “iPod” has become like Biro and Hoover, a brand name people use to describe an entire industry of competing products.

Apple lawyers may not have liked it, but on the other hand, there were no competing products to speak of.

Then Apple itself used the term to help sell a different device. In 2007, Steve Jobs gave a masterclass in a presentation, in which he impressed everyone with the idea of ​​\u200b\u200b”widescreen iPod with touch controls.”

It was the end of the iPod, except we didn’t know it — and Apple was still 15 years away from giving up on the device.

For a while, the iPhone could be thought of as helping the iPod. His success – also slow growing but then overwhelming – brought the world iOS and with it the iPod touch.

This was actually a widescreen iPod with touch controls, and most importantly it was cheaper because it wasn’t a phone. You can buy an iPod touch as a gateway into Apple’s ecosystem, and later move on to an iPhone.

But you will switch to iPhone. Even as Apple kept bringing out more versions of the iPod touch, the world was putting its little white devices in the drawers.

Apple's optimistic announcement about the end of the iPod

Apple’s optimistic announcement about the end of the iPod

It used to be that “iPod” was the word used for all music players. Now if you type in the word iPod, it may be automatically corrected to “iPad”.

The iPod turns 21 on October 23, 2022, and is erased from history. But she left a mark and shaped our world with her.

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