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.
New on the App Store, and just in time for a Christmas gift to a Beatles fan, is this rather lovely app collating 250 of John Lennon’s letters. It’s been made with affection for the great man, and provides an interesting insight into his mind.
Late last week, Apple uploaded this fantastic new ad to their official YouTube account, and it really is a beautiful piece of work: a magical mystery tour through a collection of living, breathing Beatles covers.
It’s really charming how proud Apple is of getting the Beatles on iTunes, to the extent that over a year later, Apple is still advertising the Beatles as if they are one of their own in-house products, like an iPhone or iPad.
Wenner Media has announced today that it will soon be bringing a digital edition of its Rolling Stone magazine to your iPad, but not before it’s finished with The Beatles. This week, the company is set to launch a port of The Beatles: The Ultimate Album-by-Album Guide for your tablet.
Steve Jobs was a massive fan of English rock band The Beatles, and once revealed in an interview for 60 Minutes that his business plan was inspired by the group. To honor Steve’s life and his achievements, The Flaming Lips will provide a special performance at the O Music Awards on October 31 where they will perform a cover of The Beatles‘ “Revolution”.
It seems like everyone except Steve Jobs was underwhelmed by the Beatles on iTunes announcement today.
The reaction here, on other blogs, and on Twitter was unanimous: Who cares?
Most Beatles fans have already bought the CDs and added them to iTunes. The music is 40-50 years old. Half the band is dead.
Perhaps Apple overplayed it a bit, announcing that this was a day we’d never forget. Then it turned over the homepage, iTunes and Ping to The Beatles. There’s even four TV ads. Overkill? Maybe.
But seen from Steve Jobs’ point of view it is gotta be a big deal. Symbolically, at least. This is the day iTunes triumphed over the old music industry. It marks the complete obsolecence of the old distribution system and the triumph of the new.
The Beatles catalog was one of the last trump cards held by the old music industry. Giving it up is an admission that iTunes has prevailed. Music is fully digital, and there’s no going back. The other holdouts — AC/DC, Led Zeppelin Garth Brooks (CNet has a list here) — must surely follow.
Jobs has been working on this for seven years or more. To him, it’s a massive validation. Like he says, a day that won’t be forgotten.