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.

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

Top Rated Comments

Baymowe335 Avatar
50 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
50 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
50 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
50 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
50 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
50 months ago
Still have one unopened in the basement archive. ;)
Score: 9 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Popular Stories

Apple Watch Series 7 Starlight Midnight

Standard Apple Watch Series 8 Rumored to Feature Same Design as Series 7

Friday August 5, 2022 7:46 am PDT by
The standard 41mm and 45mm models of the Apple Watch Series 8 will feature the same design as the Apple Watch Series 7, according to Twitter user @ShrimpApplePro, who was first to reveal that iPhone 14 Pro models would feature a new pill-and-hole display. Titanium will not be an option for the standard Apple Watch Series 8 models either, according to @ShrimpApplePro, but Bloomberg's Mark...
cook sept 2020 event

Gurman: Apple Preparing Pre-Recorded iPhone 14 and Apple Watch Series 8 Event

Sunday August 7, 2022 6:13 am PDT by
Apple has "started to record" its virtual September event, where it's expected to announce the upcoming iPhone 14 lineup, the Apple Watch Series 8, and a new "rugged" Apple Watch model, according to Bloomberg's Mark Gurman. Writing in his latest Power On newsletter, Gurman says the event, which is expected to take place in the early part of September, is already under production, implying...
iPhone 14 Pro Purple Front and Back MacRumors Exclusive

Five iPhone 14 Rumors You May Have Missed

Thursday August 4, 2022 6:05 am PDT by
With August upon us, the countdown is officially on. We're just weeks away from when we're expecting Apple to announce the iPhone 14 lineup. Rumors of the next iPhone start early in the year, and as a result, some details about the upcoming device sometimes get lost in the crowd. Exclusive MacRumors iPhone 14 Pro renders by graphic designer Ian Zelbo To help MacRumors readers, we've created a ...
banish safari app pop ups

New iOS App Blocks Those Annoying 'Open in App' Pop-Ups in Safari

Friday August 5, 2022 2:47 am PDT by
You've probably experienced visiting a website like Reddit or LinkedIn on your iPhone only to be greeted with an annoying, almost full-screen pop-up urging you to view the content in their app instead of on the website. It's a common practice for websites that have accompanying iOS apps to push users to open (if they already have the app installed) or download their app from the App Store to ...
top stories 7aug22

Top Stories: iPadOS 16 Delayed, iPhone 14 Pro Rumors, Studio Display Speaker Issues

Saturday August 6, 2022 6:00 am PDT by
The big Apple news this week was word that the upcoming iPadOS 16 update apparently won't be arriving alongside its counterpart update for the iPhone in September, largely due to a need to continue refining the new Stage Manager multitasking feature. Other popular stories this week included more hints about the iPhone 14 Pro's rumored always-on display, potential design leaks for the...