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The Story of the iPod

MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
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Wired pieces together the history of how the iPod came to be.

After licensing SoundJam, which was developed into iTunes, Wired reports that Apple started looking into gadget opportunities, but found that digital cameras and camcorders were pretty well designed and sold well in the marketplace. Music players at the time were a different story.

After Jon Rubinstein was shown prototype of a new 1.8" Toshiba hard drive, the pieces started to come together. As is well known, Apple looked to Pixo for the basic software, but it was Phil Schiller who suggested the use of a scroll wheel interface. Schiller also suggested that menus should scroll faster the longer the wheel is turned, a stroke of genius that distinguishes the iPod from the agony of competing players.
The article details the contributions of other groups in Apple as well as the origin of the name, which was originally intended to be used for an internet kiosk. The iPod was introduced October 23, 2001, almost 5 years ago, and while initial reactions were mixed, its acceptance and sales growth have been remarkable.

Article Link: The Story of the iPod
 

Jovian9

macrumors 68000
Feb 19, 2003
1,957
101
Planet Zebes
Ahh yes. I remember when these were first introduced. I had alot of "tech lust" to say the least. It took me awhile to finally get one (my wife bought it as a gift) but it has been well worth it.
I no longer have 2 or 3 huge books of cd's that I carry around from car to home to other car.
I used to listen to lots and lots of music, but I didn't listen to music as much as I do now and with as much variety.
Thanks for the iPod Apple!
 

UberMac

macrumors 6502
Jan 5, 2005
332
0
England
I still love reading those comments after the launch of the iPod...look where it is now! Interesting that Phil came up with one of the best ideas - I always think of marketeers as people who sell, not think :p :eek:

Uber
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,863
1,184
The Netherlands
Nice to know Schiller was of significant importance as to why the iPod is so great.
I must admit I don't see Schiller as "one of those visionaires". But the scrollwheel coming form him is encouraging!
 

Chimera

macrumors 6502
Oct 29, 2004
256
0
Surrey, England
Already read this through iLounge and it is very interesting, however it seems that every anniversary of the iPod we get a new summary of its creation with each being slightly different.

i.e. Haven't we been told before that Fadell meant to have come to Apple with the idea and some sort of preliminary mockup?
 

Xeem

macrumors 6502a
Feb 2, 2005
906
13
Minnesota
I love the link to the iPod's initial "mixed" reaction thread on these forums. It wasn't really mixed, so much as it was bashing and predictions of failure. Hilarious.
 

~Shard~

macrumors P6
Jun 4, 2003
18,377
44
1123.6536.5321
Yep, it's a great little story! I got into the whole iPod universe long before the masses, and currently my 3G is still meeting my needs. Sometimes people look at it and ask what kind of iPod it is since they assume the iPod always looked like how it currently does. :p ;)

And this also brings back great memories of the infamous Thread 500. Ah, good times... :cool:
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,060
3,282
Sod off
Yeah, that original Macrumors iPod thread is a good example of why we don't make millions of dollars designing new products...some staggeringly wrong predictions there. Imagine wanting another Newton over the iPod. :eek:
 

MacsRgr8

macrumors 604
Sep 8, 2002
7,863
1,184
The Netherlands
Xeem said:
I love the link to the iPod's initial "mixed" reaction thread on these forums. It wasn't really mixed, so much as it was bashing and predictions of failure. Hilarious.

Gotta love the rating too!!
 

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CTYankee

macrumors 6502
Jul 18, 2002
413
7
those comments back in 2001 crack me up!

Whats really interesting is how people were crying for a PDA...look at the PDA market now. Palm and HP. Handspring, gone. Sony, gone. The Smartphone is the new PDA. Seems Apple nailed the market. A high quality portable music device, not another PDA that will fade away in 5 years. So now that smartphones are the future of PDA's, Apple plans to release one (maybe). Doing this they seem to have avoided the PDA bubble bursting, and get into a more stable market with the credibility of the iPod and the new momentum of the Mac market.
 

JONNYCHO

macrumors newbie
Oct 1, 2006
8
0
I had one of the first mp3 players a while back (forgot the name) but it really sucked, it only held about 8 songs and it was still the size of a ipod mini. Apple then blew that away about a year later with the original ipod. Oh yeah and the old mp3 player was $150 :(
 

york2600

macrumors regular
Jul 24, 2002
247
227
Portland, OR
SoundJam

I had forgotten all about SoundJam. I used in with my Rio500 (total crap). I remember being really mad when Apple nabbed it since I had paid for it. In the long run it was totally worth it though. SoundJam would never have become a 1/10th of what iTunes is now.
 

Zadillo

macrumors 68000
Jan 29, 2005
1,538
39
Baltimore, MD
Lord Blackadder said:
Yeah, that original Macrumors iPod thread is a good example of why we don't make millions of dollars designing new products...some staggeringly wrong predictions there. Imagine wanting another Newton over the iPod. :eek:

Indeed. And seriously, I was and am a huge a Newton fan, and I would have probably loved to see Apple release an updated newton (or even a new PDA using some of the Newton technology), but I have to be realistic and realize that the demand for PDA's just isn't that strong... at best Apple would be facing an uphill battle in a world of Symbian, Palm OS and Windows Mobile devices, not to mention the smartphone world taking over PDA's.

Imagine where Apple would be if they'd released a new PDA instead of the iPod.
 

Marx55

macrumors 68000
Jan 1, 2005
1,753
575
SoundJam had an ESSENTIAL feature that is MISSING on iTunes on the Mac: RESUME playback. This is useful to listen long playlists from head to tail.
 

mambodancer

macrumors 6502
Apr 12, 2004
411
4
Denver
iPod birthday?

Hmmm, makes me wonder if the 5th anniversary of the iPod wouldn't be a great day to introduce the next generation iPod?

BTW my 1st gen iPod is still going strong:)
 

Lord Blackadder

macrumors G5
May 7, 2004
14,060
3,282
Sod off
Zadillo said:
Imagine where Apple would be if they'd released a new PDA instead of the iPod.

When the Newton MessagePad 2000 came out, I wanted one BAD. I still think they are way cool. But Apple was right to dump the Newtons and go with the iPod.
 

Chris Bangle

macrumors 6502a
Apr 3, 2006
577
0
UK
mambodancer said:
Hmmm, makes me wonder if the 5th anniversary of the iPod wouldn't be a great day to introduce the next generation iPod?

BTW my 1st gen iPod is still going strong:)


It would be logical to... 5 years, 6 generations, 30 years of computing experience....
 
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