RIP iPod, you were going so smart phones could work

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Long ago, before the advent of the iPod, MP3 players were poorly designed devices with insufficient storage space. The market is ripe for change, and Steve Jobs, who returned to Apple four years agowas ready to give it to us.

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October 23, 2001 the company released its first music player with scroll wheel and 5GB and 10GB storage options. Who will ever need so much?

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And it was a unique design. In fact, it will have the same impact on music lovers as the Sony Walkman. two decades earlier. We would fall in love with it, and this device would be the first of many that led Apple to on the brink of bankruptcy to multi-trillion dollar company.

And it all started with a humble music player.

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Just yesterday, the company announced end of the road for the honored device. That it lasted so long was a testament to its popularity, but when the company released iPhone in 2007, it seemed to mark the beginning of the end of the musical gadget. Why do you need a separate thing for music when the phone can handle everything?

Regardless, it would still last for years, especially with iPod Touchwhich provided music storage and Internet access in one package – a good compromise for people who don’t need a full-fledged phone.

As my colleague Brian Heather wrote about yesterday’s last blow:

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 leave this mortal world, remaining for sale as long as there are supplies. So, if for any reason you’ve been thinking about buying, buy now or shut up forever.

I remember very well when I got my first iPod. It was 4 GB mini. I couldn’t tell you the exact year, but I remember sitting in the driveway of my kids’ piano teacher, waiting for them to finish their lesson, trying to figure out exactly how this thing worked.

iPad mini

My much loved and shabby iPad Mini. Image credits: Ron Miller

At first I was a little confused by the scroll wheel design, but once I figured it out, like so many things Apple has done over the years, I recognized the elegance of the approach. I remember the smoothness of the cool silver case in my hand, the way my thumb moved over the wheel, and the sound of music when I put the headphones in my ears.

I had 1,000 songs on hand, which seemed like more than I would ever need.

As long as the device was as cool as the other side of the pillow (as Stuart Scott spoke on ESPN), the software you used to connect to it left a lot to be desired. iTunes was as clunky as the iPod was cool. But it made it possible to buy music for 99 cents a song and build a library of your CDs at a time when people were using services like Napster share music without paying for it. This combination of hardware and software has truly been a game changer.

But not only the smartphone has made in music players like the iPod. Services like Spotify and yes, Apple Music coming later will not only give you access to 1,000 songs or 10,000 songs like the later models, they will give you access to just about any music you can imagine. We no longer needed a dedicated storage device for our music.

The iPod is a bygone gadget that seems quirky in hindsight, but for a while it captured our attention and our imagination and gave us access to portable digital music in a way that simply didn’t exist before its release. .

And so he will forever remain in our hearts, regardless of whether Apple releases them or not.

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