Happy 17th Birthday to Apple's Original iPod

17 years ago today, then Apple CEO Steve Jobs stood on stage at the Apple Town Hall in Cupertino, California and showed off the very first iPod, a palm-sized device that held an entire music library and helped bring Apple back to profitability.

As Jobs introduced the first iPod, he called it a quantum leap forward in technology and outlined its three major breakthrough features: ultra-portability, Apple's legendary ease of use, and auto-sync with iTunes.

ipod original

iPod is an MP3 music player, has CD quality music, and it plays all of the popular formats of open music. The biggest thing about iPod is that it holds a thousand songs. Now this is a quantum leap because for most people, it's their entire music library. This is huge.

How many times have you gone on the road with a CD player and said 'Oh God, I didn't bring the CD I wanted to listen to.' To have your whole music library with you at all times is a quantum leap in listening to music. The coolest thing about iPod is that your whole music library fits right in your pocket. Never before possible.

The first-generation iPod was advertised as the device that put "1,000 songs in your pocket," with the music stored on its 5GB 1.8-inch hard drive. Priced starting at $399, the first iPod lasted for 10 hours before needing to be recharged.

The commercial that was shown during the keynote event where Jobs introduced the iPod

Apple's original iPod featured a black and white LCD and Apple's first scroll wheel, a simple, intuitive mechanical scrolling interface designed to let users quickly scroll through long lists of music.

The scroll wheel led to the click wheel, which became an iconic feature of Apple's iPod lineup, included easy access buttons for playing, pausing, rewinding, and fast forwarding through music content.

ipod classic views

A later version of the iPod classic

Following the launch of the first iPod, new versions followed on a yearly basis.

Other notable updates included the iPod Photo in 2004, which had the first color display; the smaller iPod mini, which also came in 2004; the smaller and more portable iPod nano, introduced in 2005; the tiny iPod shuffle, even smaller than the nano, which came in 2005; the third-generation iPod nano "fatty" with a wider, squatter body, introduced in 2007; and the first iPod touch, also released in 2007.

ipod nano generations
Today, the iPod has been largely replaced with the iPhone, which was first introduced in 2007. Today's iPhone XS, XS Max, and XR feature music storage and Apple Music, along with messaging and calling capabilities, a full App Store, and so much more.

iphonexr

The iPhone XR comes in multiple colors, much like Apple's iPods did

Apple retired the iPod nano and the iPod shuffle in July of 2017, and has slimmed down the iPod lineup to a single iPod -- the iPod touch. Apple has not updated the iPod touch since 2015, and it's likely that at some point, the entire iPod lineup may be put to rest for good.

ipod touch 6 lineup
It's not clear when that might happen, and for now, the iPod touch remains available for sale. It can be purchased from Apple for $199 for 32GB of storage or $299 for 128GB of storage.

Unfortunately, there have been no rumors of an update, so Apple's future plans for the iPod remain up in the air.

Related Roundup: iPod touch
Buyer's Guide: iPod Touch (Don't Buy)
Related Forum: iPod touch and iPod

Top Rated Comments

Baymowe335 Avatar
36 months ago
Amazing product that started it all.

Little known fact: Tim Cook cornered the storage market that locked out competitors from competing with the fast storage found in iPod.

He was the genius behind the iPod execution.
Score: 26 Votes (Like | Disagree)
DTphonehome Avatar
36 months ago
For a laugh, it’s always fun to take a look at the infamous Thread 500: https://www.macrumors.com/2001/10/23/apples-new-thing-ipod/
Score: 21 Votes (Like | Disagree)
KazKam Avatar
36 months ago
I wish they would bring back a plain ol' music player with the 6th Gen Classic chassis and faster storage.
Indeed. Apple Music, the service, has absolutely ruined Music the app, IMO. I want the Music app back that allowed my iPhone to function as an iPod used to, without all the cloud and service cruft. They could easily achieve this through settings or making AM it's own app.
Score: 14 Votes (Like | Disagree)
WannaGoMac Avatar
36 months ago
How the contingent of forum complainers likely reviewed the ipod 17 years ago...
"No wireless. Less space than a nomad. Lame." :D:rolleyes:
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
diggy33 Avatar
36 months ago
I wish they would bring back a plain ol' music player with the 6th Gen Classic chassis and faster storage.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Glideslope Avatar
36 months ago
Still have one unopened in the basement archive. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

nothing ear 1 buds 1

Nothing 'Ear (1)' True Wireless Earbuds Launch to Take on AirPods Pro With ANC and Unusual Design for $99

Tuesday July 27, 2021 7:57 am PDT by
Nothing, a new brand from OnePlus founder Carl Pei, has today officially launched the "Ear (1)" true wireless earbuds after months of anticipation around the company's AirPods Pro rival. The Ear (1) features an in-ear design, Active Noise Cancelation, Bluetooth 5.2, IPX4 water resistance, and a charging case with Qi-compatible wireless charging and a USB-C port. Fast pairing is supported on...
iOS 14 on iPhone feature emergency

Apple Releases iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 With Fix for Touch ID Apple Watch Bug

Monday July 26, 2021 9:48 am PDT by
Apple today released iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1, minor bug fix updates that come just a week after the release of iOS 14.7, software that introduced new Apple Card features and support for the MagSafe Battery Pack. The iOS and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates can be downloaded for free and the software is available on all eligible devices over-the-air in the Settings app. To access the new software, go to...
iPad mini pro feature 2

iPad Mini 6 to Feature 8.3-Inch Display With No Home Button and Narrower Bezels

Monday July 26, 2021 12:26 pm PDT by
The sixth-generation iPad mini that's in the works will have an 8.3-inch display, according to display analyst Ross Young. That will be larger than the current 7.9-inch display, with the larger size due to the removal of the Home button and a narrower bezel design. Rumors about the iPad mini 6 have been picking up in recent weeks ahead of its prospective launch this fall. Apple analyst...
iphone 12 pro gold

Report: iPhone 14 Pro Models to Feature Tough Titanium Alloy Chassis

Monday July 26, 2021 1:12 am PDT by
Next year's "iPhone 14" series is expected to feature high-end models with a new titanium alloy chassis design, claims a new investors report by JP Morgan Chase. According to the report, the use of titanium alloy will be one of the biggest changes to the case design in the 2022 iPhone series, and Foxconn will be the exclusive manufacturer of the titanium frames for the high-end models....
iOS 15 General Feature Purple

Everything New in iOS 15 Beta 4: Safari Tweaks, MagSafe Battery Pack Support, Notification Updates and More

Tuesday July 27, 2021 11:47 am PDT by
Apple today released the fourth betas of iOS 15 and iPadOS 15, introducing additional refinements to the new features that are coming in the software updates. In these betas, Apple has introduced changes for Safari, Notifications, Focus mode, and more. Safari Updates Apple is continuing to refine the design of Safari on the iPhone, and in iOS 15, there are tweaks to improve usability. ...
apple mac business page

Apple Shares 11 Reasons Why Business Users Should Choose Macs

Monday July 26, 2021 11:35 am PDT by
Apple today updated its Apple at Work website with a new section dedicated to the Mac, which offers up 11 reasons why "Mac means business." On the webpage, Apple highlights the M1 chip as the number one reason why business users should choose a Mac, offering up an M1 overview [PDF] that explains the benefits of the M1 chip. The information isn't new, but it does provide a look at all of...
imac with accessories

Larger Redesigned High-End iMac Rumored to Launch Next Year

Monday July 26, 2021 3:45 am PDT by
Apple's larger redesigned iMac will arrive sometime in 2022 rather than later this year, according to the leaker known as "Dylandkt." On Twitter, Dylandkt claimed that Apple's "high end iMac" is not expected to release in the fourth quarter of 2021 alongside Apple's "M1X Macs" – a reference to Apple's redesigned MacBook Pro models – because "Apple simply does not want their devices to...
General iOS 14

iOS 14.7.1 and macOS Big Sur 11.5.1 Patch Security Vulnerability That May Have Been Actively Exploited

Monday July 26, 2021 11:55 am PDT by
Apple today released unexpected iOS 14.7.1 and iPadOS 14.7.1 updates to the public, and according to a newly released support document, the software addresses a serious security vulnerability that may have been exploited in the wild. Apple says that an application may have been able to execute arbitrary code with kernel privileges due to a memory corruption issue. "Apple is aware of a report ...
apple bitcoin hack

Is Apple Really Buying Bitcoin?

Monday July 26, 2021 3:07 am PDT by
A large number of websites and posts on social media are stoking rumors that Apple has purchased $2.5 billion worth of bitcoin in the company's first move into cryptocurrency, but is there any validity to the claims? Many people are citing the fact that Apple was looking for a Business Development Manager with experience in alternative payments, including cryptocurrency, earlier this year as ...
new m1 chip

Tim Cook on Apple Deciding to Manufacture Components: 'We Ask Ourselves If We Can Do Something Better'

Tuesday July 27, 2021 3:04 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call for the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CEO Tim Cook was asked how Apple decides what components to purchase and what components to develop, and Cook said that Apple asks if it can be done better. We ask ourselves if we can do something better. If we can deliver a better product. If we can buy something in the market and it's great...