Like Steve Jobs said many years ago, music is a part of everyone’s life. It’s been around forever and will always be around. Apple found an opportunity in this 21 years ago when it unveiled its latest creation – the iPod.
When the iPod was announced, there was no market leader in the digital music space. In this pre-iPhone era, Apple decided to pounce, knowing it could reign supreme in this market.
The device fit in your pocket and was more cost effective than a CD player, Flash player, MP3 player, or Hard Drive. Combined, it is an MP3 music player with CD quality music that plays popular open formats of digital music. The original iPod was incredible because it held 1,000 songs – more than most people’s entire music library.
In the keynote, Jobs also emphasized the major breakthroughs of the iPod. This ultra-portable device featured a 5GB hard drive with a 1.8 inch diameter and 0.2 inches thickness; the entire device was about the size of a deck of cards, highlighting a stunning stainless steel back. Another feature we don’t think about nowadays is that the iPod had 20 minute skip protection. Hard to beat at the time.
The iPod was also the first music player that works with FireWire, which was the cable that charged the device and allowed you to transfer songs. In just 5-10 seconds, a user could download an entire CD album – you could even fill up the device by downloading 1,000 songs in under 10 minutes. With FireWire, it could fast charge up to 80% capacity in one hour and was 30x faster than any MP3 player at the time.
With up to 10 hours of continuous music playback the most advanced rechargeable battery at the time, the iPod was an instant hit.
Farewell to the digital music player
As we end this era, it’s time to reflect on how far we’ve come in two decades. What are your thoughts on Apple retiring the device? Did you own the original?
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