Adventures In Tech
RIP iPodThe now-dead iPod Classic put Apple on top of the tech world, and paved the way for bigger, brighter things. Here's our tribute to a tech icon.
The iPhone 6 is here! Hooray! But amid all of the excitement, Apple has killed off one of its greatest inventions, the humble iPod classic. Adventures in Tech pays tribute to an iconic gadget that paved the way for better. And brighter things. [MUSIC] Today, Apple rules the tech world, but we're journeying back to the early 90s, a tougher time for the company that found Steve Jobs trying to build on the success of the iMac. The boom in mp3s caught the company's attention, as did the fact that mp3 players of the era were lacking that something special. Apple began working on what would become it's most iconic gadget. But a surprising amount of what eventually made up the iPod began life outside of Apple. For instance, the object that made the iPod possible was a 1.8 inch Toshiba hard drive. Meanwhile, the famous interface was brought in from Software company Pixo, and then tweaked by Apple. The same thing happened with the iPod's companion software iTunes, which started life as a program called SoundJam MP. Even Tony Fidel who led the iPod's development was brought in by Apple, having shopped the concept of the better MP3 player around to other tech companies. You wouldn't wanna be the CEO of the past on that one. Well does this iPod business look familiar. You turned it down, sir? Certainly be better off investing in a clone army. Yes. The grand clone army. [MUSIC] It was Apple itself however that polished the iPod to a high sheen. The accelerating scroll wheel made navigation blissfully easy, while Jobs resisted any features that would add clutter, even vetoing an on-off switch. Even the look was simple with Jony Ive insisting on a pure while color scheme. That extended to the earbuds, and down to the charging cable. The first iPod was unveiled on the 23rd of October, 2001, to universal acclaim, and became an instant best seller. Or not. On the. [INAUDIBLE] Said the move was risky, that Apple was tangling with the might of Sony, or that the $399 price tag was too high. Even as audiophiles worried that the format's low bit rate signaled the death of high quality music. Slowly however the iPod forged its reputation. Windows compatibility in 2002 let PC owners get in on the fun. While the next year welcomed a futuristic, touch sensitive model. Meanwhile, the iPod's iconic silhouette ads wormed their way into the public consciousness. 19 months after going on sale, Apple sold its millionth iPod. By comparison. Comparison, iPhone 6 and 6 plus sales hit 4 million in 24 hours. But iPhone was becoming a phenomenon. In 2002, sales hit 10 million, then 42 million in 2005. Adjusting for inflation, that should have made Apple a grand total of. $2000, that, that can't be right. $2000 and then No, no, no. Point, Yeah. .1 [CROSSTALK] .3. I did the .1 but y-, I- No, you haven't. No, you're not. No. A lot of money. Apple kept the momentum up, adding the iPod Mini, the iPod Nano, and the iPod Shuffle, bringing color screens, colorful casings. Photos, video shoe sensors and limited edition iPods to eager shoppers. The iPod had a huge impact in it's own right, but what's clear now is that it's greatest service was to move the phone to bigger, brighter things. The first iPhone was a big leap forward, but thanks to the iPod, it felt like a natural next step. [MUSIC] Apple's gadget prepared the world for a mobile revolution and every smartphone, tablet, and smart watch since owes it a debt. Today, the classic has been discontinued but when we tell our grandkids about the gadgets of yesteryear this plucky product is bound to feature prominently. What do you remember about the iPod and do you think Apple's latest tech does justice to its legacy? Let me know and check back next time for another adventure in tech. [MUSIC].