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 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.

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.


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.

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.


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)

Top Rated Comments

(View all)
Avatar
25 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)
Avatar
25 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)
Avatar
25 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)
Avatar
25 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)
Avatar
25 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)
Avatar
25 months ago
Still have one unopened in the basement archive. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Top Stories

iOS 14 Widgets Offer iPhone Users Creative Home Screen Ideas

Sunday September 20, 2020 8:43 pm PDT by
In iOS 14, Apple introduced ‌the concept of Home Screen‌ widgets, which provide information from apps at a glance. Widgets can be pinned to the Home Screen in various spots and sizes, allowing for many different layouts. Despite the relative lack of 3rd party widgets at launch, iOS users around the...

iPhone 12 Lineup Rumored to Be Named 'iPhone 12 mini,' 'iPhone 12,' 'iPhone 12 Pro,' and 'iPhone 12 Pro Max'

Monday September 21, 2020 5:24 am PDT by
Leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared the alleged naming for the upcoming iPhone 12 lineup on Twitter. The tweet proposes that the upcoming iPhone 12 models will be titled "iPhone 12 mini," "iPhone 12," "iPhone 12 Pro," and "iPhone 12 Pro Max." The names likely correspond to the three expected sizes of iPhone 12, with the 5.4-inch model being the iPhone 12 mini, the 6.7-inch model ...

Hands-On With the New Apple Watch Series 6 and Apple Watch SE

Friday September 18, 2020 1:19 pm PDT by
Today's the official launch date for the Apple Watch Series 6 and the Apple Watch SE, both of which Apple announced on Tuesday. We picked up a couple of the new models and thought we'd give them a quick look for MacRumors readers thinking of ordering a new watch. Apple Watch Series 6 & Apple Watch SE Hands-On! When it comes to design, both the $399 Series 6 and the $279 SE look just like...

iOS 14 Picture in Picture No Longer Working With YouTube's Mobile Website in Safari [Without Premium]

Friday September 18, 2020 12:21 pm PDT by
Apple in iOS 14 added Picture in Picture to the iPhone, a feature designed to let you watch a video in a small screen on your device while you continue to do other things on the phone. When Picture in Picture was working with YouTube The YouTube app doesn't support Picture in Picture, but up until yesterday there was a functional workaround that allowed videos from YouTube.com to be watched...

When Will the iPhone 12 Launch? Here's What We Know

Wednesday September 16, 2020 6:12 am PDT by
Yesterday's "Time Flies" Apple event saw the release of the Apple Watch Series 6, Apple Watch SE, iPad 8, and iPad Air 4, but no new iPhone models. Rumors before the event strongly alleged that it would not see the unveiling of new iPhones, with many reports pointing to an October launch. The lack of new iPhone models yesterday seems to confirm that the iPhone 12 lineup will not appear...

Here's How You Can Download iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 Around the World [It's Out]

Wednesday September 16, 2020 2:36 am PDT by
Apple's official public release of iOS 14 and iPadOS 14 dropped on Wednesday, September 16, just a day after the company released the Golden Master to third-party developers. Also set to be made available to the general public for the first time are watchOS 7 and tvOS 14. Getting Started With iOS 14 Video Click image to watch iOS 14 Getting Started While that's left a lot of developers...

AirPods Studio Rumored to Come With U1 Chip, Ultra-Wideband Said to Be Vital to Future Apple Ecosystem

Sunday September 20, 2020 6:17 am PDT by
Proven leaker known as "L0vetodream" has today shared a range of information about the ultra-wideband U1 chip in Apple's upcoming AirTags item trackers and AirPods Studio headphones. The first of a series of tweets shared today simply stated that AirPods Studio will contain an ultra-wideband U1 chip. It seems likely that the U1 chip would be used in AirPods Studio to track the location of...

Kuo: Apple to Accelerate Adoption of Mini-LED Displays in iPad and Mac Notebook Lineups

Sunday September 20, 2020 10:00 pm PDT by
Increased competition among Apple's suppliers for mini-LED display chips will accelerate the company's adoption of the advanced technology in its iPad and MacBook lineups, according to a new research note from analyst Ming-Chi Kuo seen by MacRumors. Kuo says that while Epistar had been predicted to be the exclusive supplier of mini-LED chips for Apple products in 2021, Sanan Optoelectronics...

Top Stories: Apple Event Recap, Apple Watch Series 6, Redesigned iPad Air, and More

Saturday September 19, 2020 6:00 am PDT by
This week's news was obviously dominated by Apple's media event and the launch of iOS 14, but there was a lot to digest, so check out our summary below for the high-level view of the past week. With the exception of the massively redesigned iPad Air, all of the new hardware introduced this week is starting to appear on store shelves and on customers' doorsteps, while all of the new software...

Apple Updates AirPods 2 and AirPods Pro Firmware to Version 3A283

Monday September 14, 2020 11:24 am PDT by
Apple today released new 3A283 firmware updates for the second-generation AirPods and the AirPods Pro. The second-generation AirPods are being updated from the 2D15 firmware they were previously running, while the AirPods Pros are being updated from the 2D27 firmware they had installed previously. Apple does not provide details on what's included in refreshed firmware so we don't know what's ...