January 11, 2005: Steve Jobs introduces the iPod shuffle, an entry-level music player that lacks a display. The device randomly shuffles the audio files it holds, but lets users easily skip songs they don’t like.
The first iPod to use flash memory, the iPod shuffle plugs directly into a computer using USB 2.0 and comes in 512MB and 1GB configurations. Oh, and it’s smaller than a pack of gum — and weighs less than an ounce!
Editor’s note: We originally published this illustrated history of the iPod to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 22, 2011 (and updated it a decade later). We republished it on May 10, 2022, when Apple finally pulled the plug on 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.
It’s been a few years since the iPod shuffle was last updated, but there are still plenty of fans out there with fond memories of Apple’s tiniest iPod music player.
If you fall into that camp, you might want to check out the Mighty, a music player that’s basically an iPod shuffle for Spotify. The latest version, called the Mighty Vibe, brings increased battery life and an improved Bluetooth antenna. (It also boasts a refreshed companion app.)
Nick Wellings listens to music on his iPhone, preferring not to disturb any one of his 108 iPods.
He figures his collection would hold 231,000 songs, but only one has ever been touched or seen the light of day. They remain factory-sealed in their boxes.
The iPod’s status as an icon was brief but seismic, a sleek and at-times-colorful trigger of upheaval to the music industry in the middle of the century’s first decade. Soon the iPhone, which grew more powerful with each generation, relegated the iPod to junk drawers, closets and boxes, next to that cassette-tape-playing Sony Walkman.
Today, the iPod shuffle you’ve been hoping for is getting a shot at life — no thanks to Apple. Mighty Audio is launching its Kickstarter campaign for the new Mighty streaming music player, a small clip-on device that can stream Spotify wherever you go without having to use your smartphone. A portable, affordable music player with streaming capabilities? Yes please.
Today’s iPod refresh came as an odd surprise to some and maybe even a long-awaited update to others. Now that the iPod line is finally up-to-date after being dormant for a few years, you might even be considering buying one.
Regardless of how you feel, do yourself a favor: Don’t buy one.
After a short amount of time offline, the Apple Online Store is back up and running — selling a refreshed line of iPods, featuring some feature upgrades, and a nifty new gold color option.
Apple has released new iPod shuffle, nano, and touch devices, representing the first major upgrade for the product lines since way back in 2012. While the shuffle and nano both get the new gold color — alongside five other color options — the biggest upgrade is reserved for the iPod touch.
You may have written off the iPod as something Apple doesn’t care to breathe new life into by this point, but the iPod is exactly what appears to be getting an update. Alongside the release of iTunes 12.2 to support Apple Music, some users quickly discovered that images of the iPod family within the app feature new, unreleased colors.
The tagline for next week’s Apple media event is “It’s been way too long.” While that might be nothing more than a sarcastic nod to the fact that Cupertino announced the Apple Watch and iPhone 6 just last month, it could be a cryptic indication that we’ll see updates to some of the company’s neglected products.
Rumors suggest new iPads and Macs will share the stage at Apple’s October 16 event, and we’ll probably get OS X Yosemite’s release date and more talk about iOS 8 and Apple Pay, but what about the rest of the product lineup?
Here’s a look at Apple products currently languishing in update hell, along with some rumors and speculation about what the future might hold.
How many times have you had to replace an iPod because you dropped it in water? Almost all of us have suffered the agony of liquid damaged devices at least once — but this is something you never have to worry about if you buy your iPod shuffle from Underwater Audio.
iPod shuffle by Underwater Audio Category: iPod Price: $149
Every unit the company sells is protected by an invisible coating that allows you to get your iPod shuffle wet. And we’re not talking about a few splashes here; you can literally take it swimming, wear it in the shower, and forget about having to keep it covered up when you’re out jogging in the rain — and it will continue to work just as it should.
“Our waterproof iPod shuffle will go with you from land to sea and everywhere in between,” Underwater Audio says — so of course, I jumped at the chance to put those claims to the test.
Apple isn’t the only consumer electronics giant hosting a major press event tomorrow. Nokia is also gearing up to make a number of big announcements at Nokia World in Abu Dhabi, and they won’t all be new Lumia smartphones.
The Finnish firm is also expected to unveil a Windows-powered iPad competitor with a 10.1-inch 1080p display — pictured above and below — and a new music player called the “Nokia Guru” that hopes to take on the iPod shuffle.
This morning’s keynote focused on the iPhone and iOS 7, but Apple pushed out a few quiet updates this afternoon as well, including a new color option for iPods.
Apple is now selling the iPod Nano, Touch, and Shuffle in the new Space Gray color option the iPhone 5S just received. The space gray iPod Touch won’t be available at Apple Stores until the iPhone 5S and iPhone 5C arrive on September 20th, but Apple.com says you should be able to pickup the new Nano and Shuffle as soon as September 12th.
Those with older iPhones and iPods are now being contacted regarding a possible payout over faulty liquid damage indicators that caused some customers to lose out on free AppleCare repairs. Apple agreed to pay $53 million in a class action lawsuit earlier this year, and those who may be eligible for damages should be receiving an email soon.
There is an ocean of fitness trackers out there, but not many you can take into the ocean with you. There is still a large pool of sports MP3 players out there, but not many that can go swimming. We take for granted the reason for this sad set of affairs. Water may be the giver of life to this planet, but it is the supreme enemy of gadgets everywhere.
Waterproofing by Waterfi Category: Fitness Works With: Nike+ Fuelband, iPod Shuffle Price: $224.99, $139.99
That’s an annoyance even for the best of us. How many times have you been jogging, only for your MP3 player to get shorted out in the rain, or for your headphones to short out from your own sweat? And it’s doubly annoying for swimmers like me, who not only can’t take an iPod into the pool with us when we’re swimming laps, but who can’t even track our swims using fitness trackers like the Nike+ Fuelband.
That’s where WaterFi comes in. A Californian company, WaterFi specializes in taking other company’s gadgets and waterproofing them with a dual-coated, patent-pending process. WaterFi’s promise is that their process will make any gadget utterly resistent to even the most through dunking, but how well does it work in practice?
Recently re-upped at Kickstarter, the iHook Dual Edition will not only connect to your iPod Nano, making it an ideal way to mount the little square of joy, but it now allows you to connect an iPod Shuffle, too.
Apple celebrates the Chinese New Year by offering its fans in Asia one-day “Red Friday” deals, similar to the Black Friday sale it holds for customers in the United States. And the Cupertino company has today begun teasing the event via its online store with a big red advert that promises “great gifts for everyone on your list.”
Apple’s Black Friday sale is now live at Apple.com. As expected, the Cupertino company has reduced the price tags of several Macs, the iPad and iPad mini, and the iPod nano and iPod touch. A lot of its own accessories, such as iPad Smart Covers and the Magic Mouse, are also included in the sale.
The biggest shopping day of the year is fast approaching. The day after Thanksgiving in the United States is Black Friday, and it’s the best time to begin you’re holiday gift shopping — if you can face the frenzy, that is. Retailers all over the U.S. will be offering big discounts on some of this year’s hottest gifts, and the Apple store will be no exception, having given Black Friday discounts to Apple Store customers for the last few years regularly.
Next Friday the 23rd is Black Friday, and while Apple hasn’t tipped its hand as to when
If you’re looking to save cash on the latest Macs, iOS devices, and accessories, then Black Friday is an ideal time to buy them. Based on Apple’s previous Black Friday deals, here’s what you can expect to see this year.
Wondering what Apple will call its new dock connector? No, it won’t be the “9-pin connector” — this is Apple we’re talking about, the company behind the Thunderbolt port. Instead, it’s expected to be labeled “Lightning,” and the kooky names don’t stop there. The Cupertino company is also expected to unveil a new set of earphones at its iPhone 5 event today, which will reportedly be called “Earpod,” along with a new iPod touch accessory called the “Loop.”
A class action suit filed against Apple in 2005 has gotten new life after a judge’s ruling on May 2. The complaint, which has its own website, covers consumers who purchased an iPod classic, iPod shuffle, iPod touch or iPod nano model between Sept. 12, 2006 and March 31, 2009. That’s a lot of people and a big stretch of time.
Looking for that last minute Christmas gift for the hyper-obsessed Apple fan? How’d an iPod shuffle signed by Steve Jobs himself suit you? Just be warned: prepare to pay through the nose for it. Amongst philographists, a Steve Jobs autograph is considered a very rare prize indeed.