Apple’s iPod Turns Twenty: A Complete Visual History of the iPod from 2001 to 2021

From the humble iPod Shuffle to the latest iPhone, Apple has always been ahead of the game and made it its flagship. And this year marks 20 years since the release of the original iPod, we look back through the timeline from the very first release to the very latest.

On October 3, 2001, Steve Jobs hosted the first-ever party at Apple’s Infinite Loop campus in Cupertino, California. Compared to events hosted by Apple today, it was rather low key. He played the presentation to a small audience and six minutes later the screen came up with: “iPod” – and technology has changed forever.

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Apple wasn’t the original inventor of the MP3 player, but they certainly revolutionized it with the introduction of the iPod in 2001. The first iPod didn’t have fantastic storage or fancy features, but it contained 1 000 songs, which was unheard of. As technology evolved, Apple followed.

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They brought innovation to portable music devices, such as being one of the first to introduce front-facing cameras for FaceTime and App Store users, making the devices suitable for each person’s specific needs.

We walk through the iPod timeline from 2001 until today. Have you had any of these? Let us know in the comments.

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iPod Turns 20: A Visual History of Every Apple Music Device


  1. 2001: The iPod (first generation)



    The place where it all started. Apple Computer Inc. unveiled its newest portable music player to the world, the iPod MP3 Music Player on October 23, 2001 at an event in Cupertino, California. The revolutionary device could hold up to 1,000 songs in digital form, had a 5 GB hard drive and a FireWire port for synchronization.

    An updated second generation was released soon after with the s wheel.exhausted for the now classic touch wheel.


  2. 2003: The iPod (third generation)



    iPod.

    Apple’s first major iPod design change moved the touch control buttons to the top of the Click Wheel, which is widely associated with the best-selling product. Apple also launched the iTunes Music Store on April 28, 2003, an online music store that allows customers to find, purchase, and download music for 99 cents per song.


  3. 2004: The iPod Mini



    Apple iPod Mini at the Apple Computer Store in Soho.

    The smaller, sleeker iPod came in a range of colors but had less storage. This means you would have less to listen to, but you would definitely sound cool. More importantly, it was the first iPod model to introduce the Click Wheel, which would remain a staple of iPod design for the rest of the product’s history.


  4. 2004: The iPod (fourth generation)



    iPod.

    When you think of an iPod, this is probably the one. The classic white, gray click wheel. It later came out in black, followed by a later model iPod Photo with a color screen.

    In addition to its extensive music library, it could also hold up to 25,000 digital photos and display them on a color screen – all of which had never been seen before.


  5. 2005: The iPod Shuffle (first generation)



    iPod

    The original iPod Shuffle was marketed as the low cost, low budget version of the iPod. It had no screen and had a removable USB cap to download your songs with.


  6. 2005: The iPod Nano (first generation)



    The iPod Nano.

    It was small but mighty. The iPod Nano was only 0.3 inches thick, which made it incredibly thin in 2005 when it was released to the public. At first only available in black and white, they followed with a second generation model available in the colors popularized by the Mini.


  7. 2005: The iPod (fifth generation)



    iPod

    Video was first introduced, giving the new generation of iPods a larger case and screen. People could watch TV shows, music videos, and later, full movies on the iTunes Store.


  8. 2007: The iPod Touch (first generation)



    iPod

    Made available to the public just months after the release of the original iPhone, the iPod Touch offered a taste of the iPhone iOS experience for those who weren’t quite familiar with it yet. agreement with Apple’s cellular features.


  9. 2009: The iPod Nano (fifth generation)



    iPod

    The Nano has become an experiment for Apple and its products. They changed many factors including the squashed looking 3rd Gen Nano, the longer 4th Gen models and even added a video camera and speaker on the 5th Gen.


  10. 2009: The iPod Nano (sixth generation)



    Ipod nano.

    Similar to the iPod Nano with the clip. It was the first iPod Nano to include a multi-touch screen with video playback, speakers, and camera removed.


  11. 2010: The iPod Shuffle (fourth generation)



    iPod shuffle

    The fourth-generation iPod Shuffle is similar to its original screenless design. This model was smaller and was a clip-on device, meaning it could be completely hands-free. It came in a range of fun colors and more recently found a place on popular app TikTok showing teenagers wearing it as hair clips.


  12. 2012: iPod Touch (fourth and fifth generation)



    The slimmer design included a front-facing camera for the first time for FaceTime calls, as well as HD video recording and a retina display similar to the iPhone 4. It was available in black and white and pink.


  13. 2016: The iPod Touch (sixth generation)



    iPod

    The previous iPod touch changed the classic, glossy look that Apple was known for and replaced it with soft, brushed aluminum in bright colors.

    The iPod Touch (sixth generation) used similar designs but had a similar layout to the iPhone six released around the same time.

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