Last October was the 20th anniversary of the iPod. It’s a wonderful job in the relentless, repetitive world of consumer electronics. And while it’s undeniably true that the life of a music player in a product line that includes various iPhones and iPads hasn’t been special, the beloved music player has somehow managed to hold its own.
I.e, up to this day.
Apple announced this morning that the iPod is dead. That is, as much as a particular gadget can ever be dead. Rather, it will slowly dump that morale coil, remaining for sale as long as supplies last. So, if for any reason you’ve been thinking about buying, buy now or shut up forever.
The death of the iPod was protracted. I’m hearing these “iPod was still around” messages clogging the comment section as I type this. The iconic Clickwheel that later led to the Classic was discontinued back in 2014. Meanwhile, Shuffle and Nano were destroyed three years later. Until today, the seventh-generation iPod Touch has stubbornly clung to life three years after its debut.
The first iPod made its debut on stage in the hands of Steve Jobs on October 23, 2001. “With the iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music players that let you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you are. go,” he said at the time. “Listening to music will never be the same again with the iPod.”
In the era of ubiquitous smartphones and Spotify, it’s hard to impress people how revolutionary the promise of 1,000 songs in your pocket ended up being. The whole thing was packed onto a tiny 5GB Toshiba hard drive and connected to the Mac via a FireWire cable.
Without the iPod, there is no iPhone or iPad. Last week, iPod and iPhone co-creator Tony Fadell took us through this direct link.
“[Jobs] had very clear views on things—until they became clear,” he told TechCrunch, “or it became very clear that they would not work. He really pushed us hard to get the iPod Plus Phone working. We worked weeks and weeks to figure out how to enter data using the scroll wheel. We didn’t succeed, and after the whole team was convinced that we couldn’t do it, he said: “Keep trying!” At some point, we all said, “No, that won’t work.”
When the iPhone came out six years later, it ditched the control wheel in favor of a touchscreen, though the company was still quite attached to that iconic input device thanks to the iPod Classic. 2007 also saw the debut of the iPod Touch, which was based on the iPhone’s touch screen design. In the same year, the company announced the sale of its one hundred millionth device.
Apple has taken a bittersweet opportunity to mourn the end of a device’s lifespan while releasing products that will keep that flame going.
“Music has always been part of our core at Apple, and bringing it to hundreds of millions of users in the same way that the iPod did has not only impacted the music industry—it has also changed how music is found, listened to, and distributed.” — Greg. Joswiak said in the releases. “Today, the spirit of the iPod lives on. We’ve integrated an incredible music experience across all of our products, from iPhone to Apple Watch and HomePod mini, as well as Mac, iPad and Apple TV. And Apple Music delivers industry-leading audio quality with support for spatial audio—there’s no better way to enjoy, discover, and enjoy music.”
Credit: techcrunch.com /