Editor’s note: The iPod has enjoyed a good long run as one of the world’s most revolutionary music machines, but the time has come to bid adieu to the click-wheeled wonder.
Apple quietly removed the iPod Classic from its website this week, so now is the perfect time to wax nostalgic. Cult of Mac is republishing this illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011 — to mark this solemn occasion.
An Illustrated History of the iPod
The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players. The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.
Remember your first iPod? Mine was a Christmas gift and came engraved with the date for posterity. That white brick 10GB model has shuffled into obsolescence and my new 7th generation Nano is smaller than a pack of gum and so commonplace even though it was a birthday gift (thanks, Mom!) there was no engraving this time.
"I bought a Red 4Gig Nano from an eBay Pawn shop last year. It had this already engraved on the back. Seems appropriate. Named it Gomez. It goes along with a green Nano called Morticia, and 4 various Shuffles: Spyder, Kermit, Pugsley, and Wendy," says Eddie.
This is a speaker dock fit for the most holy of El Jobso's divine creations. Its gaudy decorations were handcrafted by George Dinkel, a Bavarian photographer who used golden-colored polymer clay for his creation, which houses a Dolby 2.1 sound system.
From Italian designers Enrico Bosa and Isabella Lovero, the Megaphone is one of the most magnificent iPhone accessories we've ever seen. Each Megaphone is crafted by hand out of ceramic and placed on a thin wooden frame that also plays an important role in sound amplification. The standard version costs $500, but your gold iPhone 5s demands to be paired with the $800 gold version.
Old clanging alarm clocks are practically extinct. But if your bedroom needs a nostalgic vibe, Edifier's Tick Tock Dock will recharge your iPhone while you snooze and blast you awake in the morning with its pair of 360-degree omnidirectional speakers.
Hammacher Schlemmer has been peddling eye-catching gadgets for more than a century, and the company's Futurist iPhone speaker is suitably intriguing. Not only does it pack two tweeters and a 12-watt subwoofer, the IR sensors on both sides detect hand movements that can control your music.
Philips pushed the limits of what should be considered an iPhone dock with its FWP3200D. The twin-DJing iPhone setup packs a pair of 5.25-inch subwoofers that pulse and glow while spitting out beats from the scratchable mix-stand.
Artist Christopher Locke makes his Analog Tele-Phonographer speakers from old trumpets and various machine parts. They don’t use electricity, relying instead on the instrument's brass bell to magnify the sound from an iPhone’s built-in speakers. Priced at $400, they look good and sound great.
Not happy with your dock's tiny speaker? Behringer can solve all your problems with the biggest, baddest iPhone speaker dock this side of Mount Olympus. The iNuke Boom is a 700-pound monster speaker system measuring 8 feet wide and 4 feet tall. It can crank out up to 10,000 watts of sound (and it will only set you back $30,000).
Built for for iPhone and iPad, the Gramophone isn’t the first horn-speaker dock we've seen, but it might be the most beautiful. The speakers, which run from $200 to $300 depending on size, are fashioned from wood and metal and will boost the sound output of your device by 3 times.
If Ikea ever makes an iPhone dock, it'll look like this. The Horizontal 51 soundboard is a shelf and docking station in one. It carries integrated speakers plus extra connections for TV, PCs or an MP3 player. You could even put your iMac on it, since the shelf can support up to 55 pounds.
Most of the speakers you buy will one day end up in a landfill. Not iBamboo. It's made of real bamboo to create an electricity-free amplifier that will add some power to your music without destroying the planet.
Just in case his Sound Shrine is a bit too flashy for your taste, Bavarian photographer George Dinkle also created the iReliquary - an iPhone sanctuary fit for a king. It will protect your gold iPhone 5s from the satanic forces of decay for centuries if you'll let it.
Peter Morris rejuvenated an old Atari 2600 by turning it into an iPhone speaker dock, replete with six equalizer settings, an FM radio and a 3.5mm input jack. Perfect for playing soundtracks to your favorite 8-bit dreamscapes.
The iPhone is the most powerful thing you can drive that fits in your pocket, so why not add some hot-rod flair? That’s just what the iXoost does. Hand-built by Xoost in Italy, this speaker dock grafts some gorgeous aluminum exhaust pipes onto your iPhone.
You'll get a healthy dose of grade-school nostalgia with the iRecorder. The iPhone sits inside this plastic dock and hooks up via a jack. The buttons really do work, and there’s a pull-out handle for carrying it. Power comes from three AAA batteries or a Micro-USB port.
Your iPhone’s speakers suck. No amount of magical design from Jony Ive can change the laws of physics to give those itsy-bitsy tweeters earth-shattering bass, but plenty of acoustic iPhone docks are willing to try.
We’ve seen a menagerie of speaker docks over the years, and while most stick to being practical, we love the weird creations that make you do a double-take. We’ve gathered 14 of the most incredible iPhone docks you’ll ever see in the gallery above.
Got your own favorite bizarre dock for your iDevice? Let us know in the comments below.
For the moment, the Apple doom-mongers have been silenced by another record quarter. But there’s one area where things are down, and still dropping. It’s the iPod division, and it’s the closest thing Apple has to a dead man walking.
Sales of the music player continue to plummet as more people buy iPhones than ever, and listeners move away from music downloads toward streaming services like Spotify, Pandora and iTunes Radio.
Should Apple ditch the iconic product line that first signaled Apple’s expansion beyond computers — or is there some way the business can be turned around?
When going into the App Store it’s inevitable to find clone applications everywhere based off of the late “Flappy Bird”. While many clones can feel exactly like the original experience, the new app Jumpy Jack has taken a new twist on the gameplay genre. Are you up for the challenge in this fast paced game?
Take a look at Jumpy Jack and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the multi-platform application Jumpy Jack brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”
We use our devices everyday tapping and swiping to perform the actions we need to. Effortlessly doing these things time after time, it’s only natural for us to become quite good at doing them. In the new fast-paced app Teggle you can put your gesture skills to the test. Do you think you have what it takes to get a high score?
Take a look at Teggle and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application Teggle brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”
App developers everywhere are posting their own clones of the hit app “Flappy Bird” to the App Store. While few have been able to publish their apps with many significant differences, the app developers behind the new app Flappy Fall have incorporated their own twist on the gameplay. Will you too become addicted to Flappy Fall?
Take a look at Flappy Fall and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the multi-platform application Flappy Fall brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”
While the iOS 7 software update has brought along a total design revamp, with it has also come irritating wallpaper settings. Not being able to scale your photo to the sizes you’d like and more have been just some of the newly associated issues. The new application Wallpaper Fix claims to be the perfect fix for all of your wallpaper problems. Is Wallpaper Fix the app that will help you get your wallpapers the way you want?
Take a look at Wallpaper Fix and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the iOS application Wallpaper Fix brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”
While movie streaming applications like Netflix and Hulu Plus remain popular for what they have to offer, Disney has just released their own take on the genre. Disney Movies Anywhere is Disney’s latest application, giving users the ability to access an extensive library of Disney movies on the go. With plenty of great options and features available will Disney Movies Anywhere find its way on your devices.
Take a look at Disney Movies Anywhere and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the application “Disney Movies Anywhere” brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”
Retro arcade gaming meets today’s latest hits in the application Hoppy Frog. Enjoy reminiscing the days of Frogger with the memories of Flappy Bird, as you progress your way up the high score charts. Will Hoppy Frog become your latest gaming addiction?
Take a look at Hoppy Frog and find out what you think.
This is a Cult Of Mac video review of the application “Hoppy Frog” brought to you by Joshua Smith of “TechBytes W/Jsmith.”