Happy Birthday, iPod: Apple's iconic MP3 player turns 15

In a world run by cell phones, tablets, smart watches and various other mobile devices, it's sometimes hard to remember a world without the devices we carry with us everywhere we go. Sure, we had the Walkman, CD players, even the Discman, but when the 90's came a-knockin' at our doors with handful after handful of portable media devices, there was only one that not only set the standard for the future of MP3 players, but technology as a whole.

Enter October 23, 2001.

 

 

The original iPod had a 5GB hard drive, which could hold up to 1,000 songs. It took one hour to charge, and it was 2.4" wide, 4" tall, and 3/4:" thick - the size of a deck of cards.

Reaction to the iPod was far from ecstatic. In fact, most people predicted its demise almost immediately after it had been officially announced.

"I still can't believe this! All this hype for something so ridiculous," said one person."Who cares about an MP3 player? I want something new! I want them to think differently!

"I have no use for an MP3 player. My house has a CD player. My car has a CD player. My Mac has a CD player. I don't use headphones," said another. "The iPod requires me to change my lifestyle to meet its needs."

It wasn't all negative, though.

"This is not like any other MP3 player on the market, imagine being able to store several days worth of music at once! The iPod will be great for travelers, students, heck anyone who is really into music," said someone amid the negativity.

The MP3 player market changed considerably after the immediate success of the iPod in 2001. Instead of companies attempting to create their own, unique attempt of an MP3 player, they began to chase after Apple's newly-built legacy - something even Microsoft got on board with. The Zune, their attempt at taking down Apple's device, was released in 2006, living a rocky lifespan until it was discontinued in 2012.

In just ten years time, Apple released multiple variations of the original iPod, including the iPod Color, Video, Nano, Shuffle, and the post-iPhone rebrand, the iPod Touch.

With a changing market, ironically shifted by Apple's other invention, the iPhone, Apple slowly, but surely discontinued the majority of the iPod models in April 2014. However, the current-generation models of the iPod Touch, Nano and Shuffle are still for sale through Apple.

And, in case you were wondering, it's been six years since Apple released the final version of the iPod Classic model.

From the bottom of our hearts iPod, thank you for all that you did. You changed the landscape of technology, and most importantly, you made listening to music fun again.

Happy 15th Birthday, iPod. Next thing we know, you'll be graduating high school.

Photos: The iPod's 15th birthday.

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