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iPod History

Digital players were being created in the late 1990s and early next century. While millions of people discovered the joy of mp3 each year, many had realized that it was not possible to carry around hard drive containing music. Rio and Creative created the first mp3 players and they began to realize the real capabilities of a personal digital music player. The storage capacity of the first mp3 players was 32 MB and 64 MB. Additionally, the device looked more like a Sony Walkman because of the user interface. However, Tony Fadell was the man who saw the real potential of personal digital music players.

Much of the existing mp3 players relied on expensive compact flash style storage at the time and Fadell realized that the new quarter sized hard drives having 5 GB storage could be utilized for offering an entire library of music the consumer.

With the arrival of Napster and legal processes, Fadell visualized that his new player would easily link to the internet with a media service where customers could easily and legally purchase new music and download them to the player. With this idea, he met media and electronic companies in 2000 for selling it. He contacted RealNetworks which was one of the leaders of online media. Unfortunately, RealNetworks drew back at the idea finding it difficult because the media they were selling was successful. Fadell also contacted Phillips and again was turned down.

Tony Fadell finally approached Apple and they got excited about Tony Fadell’s idea regarding a personal digital music player. Apple gave Tony Fadell the green light to start on his project in early 2001 and also gave him a team of nearly 30 people and a one year deadline to create the player.

Despite the green signal, Tony Fadell still didn’t had confidence in Apple that they would want to create and develop a player. So he decided to look for other companies that had already created a player. He found a company called PortalPlayer that had alreadt made a player but was not launched. Their player was not very up-to-date and had poor features.

Fadell and PortalPlayer put together the hardware for the new iPod in a time of 8 months while Apple the interface and the scroll wheel. This product was ready for launch in October 2001.

The original iPod was release for sale on 23rd October 2001. The second generation iPod saw a few major changes but nothing revolutionary to the already successful first generation iPod. The third generation iPod was a complete redesign of the product. It helped propel sales of the iPod into the stratosphere. With the success of the iPod in full momentum, the fourth generation iPod was released in 2004. It had additional features and the styling was refurbished with a slimmer case. The later classic iPods including the 5th generation and 6th generation mainly stayed the same with little changes in hardware and firmware.

Other range of iPods are the iPod Mini released in 2004 to wide acclaim, the iPod Nano which were smaller size iPods, 2G iPod Nano which was released in September of 2006 came in several colors, 3G iPod Nano which was redesigned to give it a more bulky look, 4G iPod Nano which was a return to its original form with slight changes, and iPod Shuffle released in September 2006.