Happy Birthday: The iPod Turns 10

By on October 23, 2011, 2:49 PM

A decade ago, Apple launched an MP3 player that can be partly attributed with shaping the landscape of today's mobile computing market. Along with being the best-selling portable media player and saving Apple from near irrelevance, the iPod influenced many of Cupertino's ambitious and revolutionary projects, forcing much of the industry into a perpetual state of catch-up.

Apple's iPhone birthed the smartphone as we know it and stands as the top-selling device of its kind -- likewise with the iPad and the tablet segment, despite Microsoft's early dabblings. Software-wise, the iTunes Store paved the road for digital music sales and represents the world's largest music retailer, while the App Store's sales dwarf all the competition combined -- Android included.

In fact, the iPod and related products prompted Apple to change its name from "Apple Computer, Inc." to just "Apple Inc.” Without fawning over Apple's every endeavor, we'd like to pay homage to the company's game-changing gadget on its 10th birthday. Join us as we take a brief stroll down memory lane.

Read the complete article.

So, which iPod models have you owned over the years? Share your thoughts in the comments.



User Comments: 39

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RzmmDX said:

My IPod 4G is still going strong. Except for that one time when the HDD head got stuck...

Staff
Julio Franco Julio Franco, TechSpot Editor, said:

I got very early into MP3 players, I remember Diamond was very happy to send me their latest Rio players to review and send feedback, so I had a bunch of those, all flash based.

Then came the iPod but I didn't have my own until the 4th or 5th generation, so I was quite late to the whole thing. After that I've bought a Classic, Touch 3rd Gen and a few iPhones.

My wife has always favored the smaller Nano models, so I've bought at least a couple of those for her, but for me it's always been all about having my entire music library available in a single device. I didn't really use any video playback functionality on any of the iPods until the Touch which is a more usable device for quick YouTube look ups, and that sort of thing.

bchen88c said:

Got an iPod Touch 4G way back in March. My first (and likely last) iPod, not in a negative way (it's a great device) but simply because of the advent of smartphones.

Guest said:

My 512MB Shuffle still works, but i mainly rock the Unlocked iPhone 4 32GB.

Staff
Steve Steve said:

Like Julio I have been playing with MP3 players since day one. I quite like the SanDisk Sansa range, have quite a few of them ... anything to avoid iTunes really.

TomSEA TomSEA, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Like Steve I'm a SanDisk Sansa user. A fraction of the cost as any of the iPod's and works perfectly fine.

Cueto_99 said:

I was one of those who once used a walkman, then a portable Cd player, after that a Sandisk 256mb USB/MP3 player and now my trusty 16gb iPhone4... who knows what'll come in the next ten years, but its always nice to have your music available anytime, anywhere!

RH00D RH00D said:

I owned a SanDisk Sansa MP3 player and had problems with it. One of the biggest problems was that when I put songs on the device through Windows Explorer, they would either not be recognized by the device at all or said the files were corrupted. The files were not corrupted, they played on my computer just fine. I also tried everything to fix the problem, trying alternate USB ports, resetting the device entirely, reinstalling software/drivers, reboots, different files, nothing worked.

I've owned iPods over the years also. I never actually paid retail for an iPod but I currently have a 80GB hard drive based iPod that was handed down to me, used, and it works great. I use iTunes *only* for syncing music to it. I use foobar2000 for playback on my computer.

I also owned other iPod models like the 2005 iPod shuffle. Never had issues with that until the battery eventually died.

Also, there are lots of ways to sync music to an iPod without using iTunes. One of the ways I liked best was to download a very simple .dll plug-in for foobar2000 which would add a little menu for syncing music/playlists to your iPod.

Guest said:

its unfortunate that they're not continuing the iPod touch gens anymore :(

aj_the_kidd said:

iPod was definitely a game changer but iTunes annoyed the absolute fricking sh1te out of me and still to this day, i try to avoid it as much as possible. 10 years is pretty good, bought the Sony version of the iPod many years back, no idea where that is now.

gwailo247, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

"Without fawning over Apple's every endeavor"

Wasn't the prior paragraph exactly that?

Never actually had an iPod. I already had a Diamond MP3 player when the iPod came out, and there was no way in the world I would pay that much money for it. By the time I did, I already had a smartphone, and didn't need a dedicated MP3 player anymore.

But everyone around me who was not a computer nerd eventually got one, as much for being able to store their entire music collection as anything else. Most of them though just stuck with that one, never buying later than the 2nd gen, as most of them got smart phones as well by that point and didn't see the point.

hassaan said:

I had an iPod nano and iPod touch 2nd gen

Guest said:

blah, blah , who cares !

Guest said:

The popularity of this mediocre device is beyond comprehension.

There ARE better devices out there !

*sigh*

Arris Arris said:

3rd gen and 5th(now lives in the car as I have all my music on 32gb MicroSD in my phone).

As others have said these are shiny gadgets for the masses as you can tell by all the people who use the tinny rubbish ipod headphones that come with the device. If you are really into music (I consider myself to be fairly into it as my in ear headphones cost more than my ipod) you will choose something else.

slh28 slh28, TechSpot Paladin, said:

iPod 4G and iPod nano 2G.

I can't believe after 10 years they still use the second worst piece of software ever created (after Lotus Notes) and give out the terrible earphones.

Arris Arris said:

slh28 said:

iPod 4G and iPod nano 2G.

I can't believe after 10 years they still use the second worst piece of software ever created (after Lotus Notes) and give out the terrible earphones.

In agreement with you on Lotus Notes.

Guest said:

First was a 3rd gen shuffle, Now i've got a 8gb iPhone 4. I think that the iPod needs a rapid re-design as it will very soon shrink down to just the touch, and even that may well end up being outclassed by the iPhone not too far in the future.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

slh28 said:

iPod 4G and iPod nano 2G.

I can't believe after 10 years they still use the second worst piece of software ever created (after Lotus Notes) and give out the terrible earphones.

In agreement with both! why is it Sony and creative can make at least slightly decent headphones with there portable music players but Apple can't?

Staff
Jos Jos said:

I bought a 10GB third-gen iPod back in 2003. I had tried out a few mp3 players at the time but their limitations sucked big time (limited storage, ugly interfaces, etc.), so instead I was using a MiniDisc player from Sony which I really loved.

I hadn't paid much attention to Apple's portable music player and didn't have any expectations. I remember being completely blown away by the all-touch controls and simple UI. I've owned a couple more iPods throughout the years but now I've replaced it with an iPhone. My wife has a nano that died after three years of use and a second-gen iPod touch which she inherited from me.

Burty117 Burty117, TechSpot Chancellor, said:

Jos said:

instead I was using a MiniDisc player from Sony which I really loved.

Same! I loved my MiniDisc player! the battery life was awesome! the quality of sound was also over-whelming and the player itself was made of metal and was very rugged in my eyes.

I really wish I had never got rid of mine now

mctommy said:

I've owned many players over the year. iTunes still s*ck big time even to this day.

Sensa clip - great but so limited, 1gig, AAA battery which was convenient when you were traveling and not needing a powersource to recharge.

Ipod 3rd G - that was utter crap, battery started to die to 5hrs after 6month and 3.5hrs after 1 year.

Sony mp3 player - it was big, had a cool touch interface, terrible software from sony but a decent 3rd party software. The only problem was it was just too freaking big. It's sitting somewhere... other downside, the docking was terrible.

Ipod Nano 3rd G - great player, battery time was excellent, form factor was great for snowboarding the entire day.

Blackberry Pearl (2007) - love the mail push of blackberry but the web browser was terrible.

Blackberry Curve - replaced the pearl, same as pearl...

Iphone 3G - great at the beginning, painfully slow at year 2.

Iphone 4 - the phone is what it should be, decent battery, fast processor for what I need. Yes it's restrictive compare to Android devices but the ease of use and it does what i need it to get done. I could definitely do without iTunes... but c'est la vie.

MilwaukeeMike said:

TomSEA said:

Like Steve I'm a SanDisk Sansa user. A fraction of the cost as any of the iPod's and works perfectly fine.

Same for me. Although I bought mine for the included radio. No radio always seemed like a blatent oversight for the iPod. I guess I can understand it though. Why would allow your users to listen to the radio for free when you can sell them music on iTunes?

Zecias said:

aj_the_kidd said:

iPod was definitely a game changer but iTunes annoyed the absolute fricking sh1te out of me and still to this day, i try to avoid it as much as possible. 10 years is pretty good, bought the Sony version of the iPod many years back, no idea where that is now.

yeah, itunes loves to piss me off too.

Benny26 Benny26, TechSpot Paladin, said:

Don't use an iPod...never really wanted to.

Like some other people I have a phone what does the same job already. Plus having seen what my brother has to put up with regarding iTunes, I'll take my phone any day.

mctommy said:

Benny26 said:

Don't use an iPod...never really wanted to.

Like some other people I have a phone what does the same job already. Plus having seen what my brother has to put up with regarding iTunes, I'll take my phone any day.

yes but up until 4-5 years ago, your phone didn't have the ability/capacity to play and store your mp3s.

Now I need to go dust off my Sony VAIO VGF-AP1L for old time sake.

Guest said:

It's the size of a deck of cards!!! It's the size of a deck of cards!!! WOW! And it fits in my pocket!!!

mario mario, Ex-TS Developer, said:

If I remember correctly I've owned 6 iPods: 2G iPod classic, 3G iPod classic (which was stolen), 2G iPod shuffle, the Fatty iPod Nano and 2 iPods Touch (3G and 4G).

And I maybe buying the latest nano with a wristband for jogging.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

I didn't read every post, but can someone tell me what,if anything the "ipod" stands for? Is it an acronym? TIA

Guest said:

Not only were the earphones terrible in design, they had wires! Why does Apple still use wires between the Ipod and your ears?

Guest said:

@ learninmypc

It seems that a pod is a detachable device that carries storage. Apple grabbed that concept and made it sync with their company, similar to iMac, and in the future, iPhone, iPad, and et cetera.

Guest said:

This might also help. I haven't read through it.

http://www.what-does-ipod-stand-for.com/

learninmypc learninmypc said:

I didn't read every post, but can someone tell me what,if anything the "ipod" stands for? Is it an acronym? TIA

????

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

????

Pulled from Wikipedia:

The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter, who (with others) was called by Apple to figure out how to introduce the new player to the public. After Chieco saw a prototype, he thought of the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey and the phrase "Open the pod bay door, Hal!", which refers to the white EVA Pods of the Discovery One spaceship. Chieco saw an analogy to the relationship between the spaceship and the smaller independent pods in the relationship between a personal computer and the music player.

learninmypc learninmypc said:

Pulled from Wikipedia:

Thanks. I kinda thought it might be an acronym for Individual Personal Operating Device or something like that.

Guest said:

Man the writer of this article asks for some iPod reminiscing and he gets a bunch people blasting iPod.

Staff
Matthew Matthew, TechSpot Staff, said:

Guest said:

Man the writer of this article asks for some iPod reminiscing and he gets a bunch people blasting iPod.

Welcome to the Internet. Really though, I think people have been pretty on track so far. Everyone's welcome to their opinion .

NTAPRO NTAPRO said:

I've neverhad a reason to fuss about the prices of the ipods but I read "It served as an entry-level model with only 512MB or 1GB of storage and no display. Pricing was originally set at $99-$149. "

I lol'd...

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