The last-generation iPod touch is also about to sell out | Apple
So, there are multiple opinions about when the iPod era will end: some think it was 2014,appleiPodclassic was discontinued, and the “orthodox” iPod with a clickwheel (Clickwheel) no longer exists; some people believe that in 2017, the last generation of iPod nano and shuffle were discontinued, and the iPod as the “Walkman” ended.
This time, Apple itself, officially drew an end to the era of the iPod. In the official press release, Apple used a rather sentimental title: Music is endless.
The story of the iPod started with an idea Steve Jobs wanted to explore a “new territory”.
In the late 1990s, Steve Jobs, who had tossed with computers for more than 20 years, experienced peaks and valleys, left Apple and returned, wanted to “do something new”.
On October 23, 2001, Jobs stood on a small indoor stage and announced to the media and audience that Apple would enter the “music” field and release a “music player”.
As for the reason, Jobs explained it very simply, “We love music, and music is a part of everyone’s life.” After a series of explanations, he took out the machine called the iPod from his pocket and started the era of the iPod.
1st Generation iPod｜Apple
As a “Walkman,” the iPod has three “groundbreaking” features.
First, the iPod uses “hard disk storage.” The original iPod had a 5GB hard drive that could hold 1,000 songs. This capacity in 2001 can be said to be exaggerated. The iBook notebook computer, which is the same generation as the iPod, is only equipped with a 10GB hard drive.
Second, Apple designed the “Clickwheel” for the iPod. When users browse the hundreds of songs stored in the iPod, they don’t need to keep pressing a button to turn the page, but just use the finger to turn the turntable. The speed of rotation determines the speed of page turning. This interaction method originated from Apple’s experience in making notebook touchpads. At that time, it solved the problem of “finding songs” in the Daqu library very elegantly.
Third, the iPod is equipped with Apple’s FireWire high-speed interface. Through FireWire, iPod can not only achieve transfer speed 30 times faster than the USB standard at the time, but also transfer data and charge simultaneously through this one interface. It was also a very avant-garde design at the time.
It’s all about one thing: pocket your entire music library and take it anywhere in the world.
In order to achieve this, the iPod also uses a song management method that is “synchronized” with the computer. To import songs to the iPod, you must first put the songs into iTunes on your computer.
This logic made many early domestic users feel that the iPod was “difficult to use” and “troublesome”, unlike many MP3 players, just plug in the computer and drag the files into it.
But Jobs clearly had his own minds. In the United States in 2001, most consumers consumed music by buying CDs. Through iTunes, users can copy the digital music files in the CD into the computer for management. Under this premise, most users’ music libraries, including playlists, are already in iTunes. It is the most convenient to plug in an iPod and synchronize with one click.
Moreover, Jobs hated “downloading pirated music from the Internet”, as he said, the original intention of making the iPod was “love music.” Therefore, when he made a player with a “hard disk” as the storage medium, what he feared most was that users could use the convenience of the iPod to listen to pirated music.
Therefore, Apple also restricts users to only sync songs from the computer to the iPod, but not copy the songs from the iPod to the computer. Early iPods, on the packaging, will prominently inform users in Shikoku characters “Don’t steal music (Don’tstealmusic.).”
Jobs specifically emphasized at the launch of the original iPod, against piracy | WIRED
At that time, Apple actually only made money from hardware, and users could use iPods to listen to pirated copies, which would not cause any loss to Apple, but Jobs still insisted on this choice.
After its release, the iPod became an instant hit. Since then, based on the original design, Apple has launched a total of 6 generations of iPods. The last generation released in 2007 was named iPodclassic. It was equipped with a maximum of 160G hard disk and could hold 40,000 songs. It was regarded as a classic by a generation of music fans.
make iPod small
Immediately after the release of the original iPod, Apple began to explore something that seemed innocuous at the time, but had a profound impact: making the iPod small.
Since 2004, Apple has successively released the 2nd generation iPod mini, the 7th generation iPod nano, and the 4th generation iPod shuffle.
Making the iPod small isn’t a hard thing to understand: it’s a “Walkman”, and the lighter and smaller it is, the easier it is for users to carry it around. Moreover, it was also during that time that chip technology developed rapidly, and the performance of the iPod became more and more powerful, with more and more functions.
From the point of view of function, Apple will come up with a new design almost every year, such as the 5th generation nano with a rectangular screen, which is convenient for users to watch videos; 3rd generation shuffle.
3rd Generation iPod shuffle｜Apple
There were also some interesting highlights along the way. In 2005, when Jobs released the first-generation iPod nano, to show how small it was, he put it in a “small pocket” above his jeans pocket.
In the early years, this small pocket was originally used to hold pocket watches. Later pocket watches became obsolete, but this pocket was retained as a classic design, and most people did not know what it was for. So, when Jobs pulled the iPod nano out of this little pocket at the press conference, it caused laughter and applause from the audience.
Steve Jobs pulled the first iPod nano out of his jeans pocket | Apple
Looking back on this history today, you will find that even Apple, whose design has been criticized for years as “unchanged”, is constantly exploring new designs and new processes. Technology, products, and designs are all developing rapidly in frequent iterations. The iPod mini, nano and shuffle became playgrounds for Apple’s development team to practice.
This history has had a profound impact on Apple’s subsequent product development.
It can be said that it is precisely because Apple made the iPod that during the development process, it has accumulated a series of mobile development experience in small motherboards, mobile applications, power supply, and storage management.iPhoneLaid the foundation.
Including design and craftsmanship, it is also because Apple has made an all-in-one all-aluminum shell and metal middle frame on the iPod nano and shuffle. It has accumulated experience in CNC cutting technology, and with industry precipitation, has the aluminum one-piece body later. Mac, iPhone.
Even the Apple Watch, the earliest prototype, was based on the iPod nano6. The iPod nano6 of the year was equipped with a small square touch screen, and Apple also introduced a matching strap so that users could wear it on their hands.
The sixth-generation iPod nano is the prototype for the Apple Watch | Apple
In 2007, at that history-changing iPhone launch, Jobs took the stage and said, “Today, we’re launching three new products, an iPod, acell phone, an Internet communication device”. These three definitions taken together are the iPhone.
The iPod and the iPhone, both of which are “mobile devices”, have an incomparably close relationship that ultimately made Apple what it is today. After the iPhone was released that year, considering its relatively high price, Apple quickly launched a product that allows users to “experience the iPhone at a lower cost”: the iPod touch.
Functionally, the iPod touch is almost an iPhone that can’t make calls. Because the hardware is highly similar, there was even an “apple skin” that turned the iPod touch into an iPhone through a plug-in communication baseband + cracking system.
It was on the iPod touch that many people felt the charm of “multi-touch” and iOS for the first time, and it also became the first stop for many people to “enter the pit”.
The iPod is too similar to the iPhone, so Apple put two headphones on the promotional image, emphasizing that this is an iPod｜Apple
Fifteen years after its release, the iPod touch has indeed fulfilled its historic mission. Today, if you want to experience an iPhone at a lower cost, there are plenty of options, including the iPhone SE.
So, Apple finally for the iPod touch, but also for the iPod, draw a full stop.
The music goes on and on
The iPod era has come to an end, and many old users have expressed their nostalgia and regret on social media. But anyway, as the title of Apple’s press release says: Music never ends.
In the summer of 2015, Apple launched the Apple Music streaming service. Apple Music has a very important “iCloud Music Library” feature that provides iPod users with a section on the train to the Internet age.
Apple Music takes over the torch from the iPod｜Apple
Remember when an iPod had to be synced with iTunes’ “Music Library” to import songs? Apple Music’s “iCloud Music Library” feature can upload your iTunes music library, including all playlists, listening records, and ratings, to iCloud.
After uploading, all your Apple devices are equivalent to an iPod built-in.
You can use iPhone, Apple Watch, connect to AirPods to listen; use Mac,iPad, PC listening; in the car you can connect CarPlay or car Bluetooth to listen; at home you can listen on AppleTV, HomePod…
Since its release, Apple Music has also continued to introduce new features. Many functional updates are actually similar to the usage of the iPod in the early years.
For example, many people will miss the school days, use iPods, and share the experience of music with friends with one earphone each. On iOS14, you can use one iPhone to connect two AirPods to achieve a very similar experience; iOS15 also added SharePlay, you don’t need to be in the same place, you can also listen to the same song.
And some people will miss using the analog audio output of iPodclassic, connect a headphone amplifier, listen to Hi-Fi, lossless, and now, Apple Music is already providing lossless music up to 192KHz.
Of course, the iPod symbolized an era, a specific memory that has an indispensable place in our hearts and won’t be easily replaced by Apple Music. But anyway, if you still care about the music and are willing to listen to it, they’re all there.
Moreover, music has never been limited to Apple’s devices and services. In recent years, Apple has also opened up more system-level functions to other companies. For example, you can already use Siri to control the playback of Spotify, and you can also listen to QQ Music and NetEase Cloud on HomePod.
As Steve Jobs said in 2001, “Music is a part of everyone’s life”.
Steve Jobs shows the world the first iPod｜Apple
Looking back at the history of the birth and development of popular music, it is not difficult to find that this is an art form deeply bound with technology. Before the birth of popular music, classical music could only be performed live, and it was a rare commodity only belonging to the top aristocrats of society.
In the 1940s, due to the rise of vinyl records, music began to be copied and disseminated on a large scale, and pop music was born. After the emergence of popular music, related technologies began to enter a period of great development.
One of the key reasons why Steve Jobs wanted to make an iPod was because he liked Sony’s Walkman very much; and the legendary engineer who invented the Walkman, Dafa Shenjing, wanted to make a portable device in order to listen to his favorite opera records anytime, anywhere. tape Walkman.
From the phonograph to the Walkman, from the tape to the CD, from the iPod to the Internet service, generations of people who love music, like the “fire thief” Prometheus, use the torch called technology to deliver music.
From this point of view, the end of the iPod is not “dead”, it completes the task of delivering the fire. Now, 21 years after its birth, music is more ubiquitous and alive than ever.