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Apr 12, 2001
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One day ahead of the 20th anniversary of Steve Jobs unveiling the original iPod on October 23, 2001, Apple's former senior vice president of the iPod team Tony Fadell has reflected on his role in creating the device in an interview with CNET's Roger Cheng.

2001-ipod.jpg

Fadell said that Apple was on a mission to launch the iPod before Christmas 2001. Impressively, he said that he "really got started" with developing the device in May 2001, just five months before it was introduced by Jobs. "It was nonstop, seven days a week," he said.

When Jobs unveiled the iPod at a small press event at its former Infinite Loop headquarters, the device was not fully finished, according to Fadell. Nevertheless, he said Jobs handed out this early version of the device to the media in attendance, along with a collection of 20 CDs containing the music that had been pre-loaded onto the device.

Fadell added that by 2005, Apple was starting to look into the cell phone market. As he has shared in previous interviews over the years, Fadell said his team toyed with prototypes of a full-screen iPod with a virtual click wheel, adding that the Mac team had separately designed a "massive capacitive touchscreen the size of a pingpong table." Apple ultimately launched the iPhone with a multi-touch display in 2007.

The full interview is a worthwhile read over at CNET for those interested in the days leading up to the original iPod's launch two decades ago.

Article Link: Tony Fadell Reflects on Creating the iPod Ahead of Device's 20th Anniversary
 

FightTheFuture

macrumors 68000
Oct 19, 2003
1,689
2,436
that town east of ann arbor
Loved my first Gen iPod. Along with a cassette adapter I retired the radio in my car. I remember my coworkers joking that it looked like a garage door opener instead of what an MP3 player supposed to look like - those creative labs CD Walkman looking things. iPod went on to become the most successful consumer electronic of all time, until… you know.

Fadell left Apple to co-found Nest labs for those wondering.
 

surfsofa

macrumors member
Feb 20, 2004
45
16
Bay Area
I was one of the early adopters and still have my 1st gen. The disk died a long time ago, so if anyone knows of a working contemporary replacement solution, please share. 🙏
 

tonywalker23

macrumors 6502
Dec 21, 2003
290
372
SC
I say it again, I would love something just like this--same form and size an all. Just change the port to USB-C, the HD to a huge SSD, add Bluetooth for Airpods, and wifi for syncing with iTunes.

I'd give up my four classic iPods (two that function and two that are dead) for it in a heartbeat.
 

emulator

macrumors 6502a
I say it again, I would love something just like this--same form and size an all. Just change the port to USB-C, the HD to a huge SSD, add Bluetooth for Airpods, and wifi for syncing with iTunes.

I'd give up my four classic iPods (two that function and two that are dead) for it in a heartbeat.
Very much a missed opportunity not to release something like that as a limited anniversary edition. Just for the fun factor, a nice collector's item.

But the Tim Apple era won't be remembered for fun at all.
 

w5jck

macrumors 6502a
Nov 9, 2013
733
992
The device that saved Apple from total oblivion. There were plenty of companies churning out MP3 players in the years preceding the iPod, but they mostly focused on cheap, no frills devices. Apple decided to go for elegance and usability. Yep, they actually had form and function. Function, that thing Apple seems to have forgotten about these days, oh how I miss function. And after the era of Napster, people could have an MP3 player without worrying if the RIAA would come after them for unauthorized MP3s. Plus Apple made it easy to organize your music, rather than my generation's old concept of a "mixed tape" which was all we could create back in the dark ages. I still remember keeping a small suitcase like storage container in my car with 100 cassette tapes in it. Bulky, awkward, and the tapes didn't last long before they wore out. CDs lasted longer, but were still bulky and awkward to use. The iPod took an existing idea of MP3 players and made it easy to use in an elegant form factor.
 

DaveN

macrumors 6502a
May 1, 2010
698
378
When I see stories like this it reminds me that I was lucky enough to buy Apple stock months before the introduction of the iPod. Still have it. I bought it because I installed NextStep on my computer and thought the operating system had great potential vs the Classic Mac OS. Things didn't work out as I thought they would but they worked out pretty well anyway.
 

827538

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2013
2,110
2,493
The iPod Mini was my first Apple device and had me hooked ever since. It was so cool being able to listen to my music wherever I wanted.
 

827538

macrumors 68020
Jul 3, 2013
2,110
2,493
The device that saved Apple from total oblivion. There were plenty of companies churning out MP3 players in the years preceding the iPod, but they mostly focused on cheap, no frills devices. Apple decided to go for elegance and usability. Yep, they actually had form and function. Function, that thing Apple seems to have forgotten about these days, oh how I miss function. And after the era of Napster, people could have an MP3 player without worrying if the RIAA would come after them for unauthorized MP3s. Plus Apple made it easy to organize your music, rather than my generation's old concept of a "mixed tape" which was all we could create back in the dark ages. I still remember keeping a small suitcase like storage container in my car with 100 cassette tapes in it. Bulky, awkward, and the tapes didn't last long before they wore out. CDs lasted longer, but were still bulky and awkward to use. The iPod took an existing idea of MP3 players and made it easy to use in an elegant form factor.
I'd say my iPhone 13 Pro, Apple Watch S6, and soon to arrive gen 3 AirPods and 14" MacBook Pro all offer huge amounts of functionality. I'd go as far as to say the iPhone is as close to perfect a phone as you could ever want.
 
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