Apple announced earlier this week that the iPod Touch – the last scion in the iPod line – has been discontinued. The move marks the end of an era of dedicated gadgets for carrying your songs. Steve Jobs introduced the original iPod more than 20 years ago, on October 23, 2001, and in many ways, it helped start Apple’s growth into the multi-trillion dollar company it is today. Without the iPod, there is no iPhone.
That first iPod was groundbreaking — to forget “1,000 songs in your pocket” marketing — but it didn’t have to be the most important or revolutionary model. It’s a good MP3 player, nicer and easier to use than what Apple’s competitors did at the time, but it took a few years to become a true pop-culture icon.
Now, however, that the age of the iPod is over, let’s consider some of the revolutionary models – the models that we feel have truly carved out the iPod’s place in history.
iPod mini (1st generation)
The touch-sensitive Click Wheel with built-in Menu, Play/Pause, Next Track, and Previous Track buttons is one of the defining features of the iPod, but did not debut in the main iPod line. However, it is part of the first generation of the iPod mini. (The first-generation iPod had an actual rotating scroll wheel and four hardware buttons; the third-generation iPod available at the time had a touch-sensitive scroll wheel but dedicated buttons at the top.)
Announced on January 6, 2004, the iPod mini is a playful shot across the bow of the industry. Available in silver, blue, green, pink, and gold, and true pocket size, it doesn’t matter that it can hold fewer songs than the third-generation iPod.
The Click Wheel will continue to be used on the second -generation iPod mini, the fourth, fifth, and sixth -generation iPods, and the first through fifth -generation iPod nano. The only iPods that don’t use it are the Shuffle line, the iPod Touch, and the Nano-generation touch-screens.
iPod Classic (6th generation)
Until 2007, the iPod was simply called the iPod (or Apple’s iPod, without the definite article before it, which is always strange). Until the sixth generation it will get the moniker “Classic,” and that will be added retroactively to all major iPod models.
Released two months after the first iPhone, the iPod Classic is out of date even at its launch. Sure, it has a color screen and can play videos, but it’s the only device Apple announced in 2001 with a larger hard drive. Not surprisingly, this – apart from a few battery and capacity changes in 2008 and 2009 – is the last Classic iPod ever made.
For all that, it remains. The iPod Classic was sold unchanged for seven years, before it was discontinued by Apple in 2014. It took a surprisingly long time before smartphones got to the point that people never want a dedicated MP3 player.
iPod nano (6th generation)
For all its cultural impact, the iPod mini line lasted less than two years — it was officially discontinued on September 7, 2005, and replaced by the iPod nano.
While the first to fifth generation iPod nano transforms the traditional iPod experience into a variety of small and colorful designs, it is the sixth generation, released on September 1, 2010, that makes a real statement — and a mile beyond it. weather.
The sixth generation iPod nano is wild. It takes an iPod Shuffle and adds a 1.5-inch multi-touch screen, much like the smaller version found on the iPhone or iPod Touch. What possible uses are there for such an advanced touchscreen on an iPod Shuffle? Nothing, like: The only real multi-touch feature is that you can rotate the screen using a two-finger twist.
But it’s not what the sixth-generation iPod nano can (or fails to do) that makes it important, but what it means. It has a pedometer, fitness app, and is blended with Nike+. It features clock faces, including an exclusive Mickey Mouse. You can even get a third party strap and wear it on your wrist. Seems familiar? Yes, the sixth -generation iPod nano is an absolutely awesome introduction to the Apple Watch. But it also shows how hungry some people are for a good smartwatch. They were five years old.
Finally, short of the iPhone, almost no other gadget has dominated pop culture in the past two decades. Goodbye, old friend: The times we’ve shared are sure to have a nice, pocket-sized soundtrack.