This Day in Tech History

On This Day . . .

1000’s of Songs in Your Pocket

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October 17, 2001: First Generation iPod Launched

“With iPod, Apple has invented a whole new category of digital music player that lets you put your entire music collection in your pocket and listen to it wherever you go,” said Steve Jobs as the first iPod is launched in 2001. “With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”

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The iPod truly ushered in the era of portable digital consumer electronics, much as the Walkman did for analog audio. In just 10 years the iPod has been so influential that the word has come to represent a portable digital music player in the same way “Hoover” dominates the vacuum cleaner market.

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1st iPod

“The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player out there but it took the shortcomings inherent in the existing products in the market and improved on them,” explains Jonathan Seff, executive editor, Macworld.

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The simplicity of the iPod’s design speaks for itself: There are no unnecessary buttons or wheels, just one single element to navigate intuitively through the product’s entire music library.

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Entertainment Weekly put it on its end-of-the-decade, “best-of” list, saying, “Yes, children, there really was a time when we roamed the earth without thousands of our favorite jams tucked comfortably into our hip pockets . . . weird.”

Jobs Introducing iPod in 2001

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