Today in Apple history: iPod gets a new Click Wheel

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The fourth-generation iPod brought key improvements like the Click Wheel, but still left some people disappointed.
The fourth-generation iPod brought key improvements, but still left some people disappointed.
Photo: National Museum of American History Smithsonian Institution/Flickr CC

July 19: Today in Apple history: Fourth-generation iPod gets Click Wheel interface July 19, 2004: The fourth-generation iPod brings neat innovations to the popular audio device, including the Click Wheel interface recently introduced on the iPod mini.

“The best digital music player just got better,” says Steve Jobs on the day the product launches. And yet some people feel disappointed.

Free web music app imitates iPod Classic click wheel

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Tanner Villarete's free music player web app simulates the classic iPod click wheel.
Tanner Villarete's free music player web app simulates the iPod Classic click wheel.
Photo: Tanner Villarete

The iPod’s iconic click wheel had a good run, launching in 2004 with the iPod mini. It joined the fourth-generation iPod’s design later that year. It even auditioned in the odd product concept over the years. Finally, in 2014, the company phased it out with the iPod Classic.

But nothing great is gone forever, as a free new web music player app shows.

Here come the new M1 iMacs [Setups]

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A pretty blue M1 iMac makes a great first impression.
A pretty blue M1 iMac makes a great first impression.
Photo: 17parkc@Reddit

It’s Christmas in May, June and July. Many people are taking delivery on the colorful new M1 iMacs. Others are jealously awaiting delivery while drooling over photographic evidence on social media of others’ recent shipments.

And computer setups everywhere are being refreshed with the dazzling new all-in-one machines (see Cult of Mac’s M1 iMac review roundup). Redditor 17parkc is just one example, sporting a brand-spanking-new blue iMac. They even posted a video showing off the upgrade.

Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for Apple’s biggest product

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Bill-Gates-60-Minutes
Unfortunately for Gates, Steve Jobs was one step ahead.
Photo: 60 Minutes

May 12: Today in Apple history: Bill Gates predicts doom for iPod, Apple's biggest product May 12, 2005: Longtime Apple frenemy Bill Gates tells a German newspaper that Apple may have hit it big with the iPod, but that its success isn’t going to last forever.

The reason? Mobile phones are going to steal the iPod’s market share. The good news for Gates is that he was right on the money. The bad news for Microsoft is that Apple cannibalized itself by making the iPhone. And Apple’s smartphone became even more successful than the iPod.

Longtime Apple evangelist keeps the faith [Setups]

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Tony Walker's setup centers on a 2020 iMac.
Tony Walker's setup centers on a 2020 iMac. Note the 2nd-gen iPod at upper left.
Photo: Tony Walker

Tony Walker has been an Apple user since 2003. As a college student in his early 20s, he did his classwork on a 12-inch PowerBook G4 and a 3rd generation iPod during downtime at his graveyard-shift job.

Things have changed a little almost two decades later.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs wins posthumous Grammy

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Cue
Steve Jobs' death caused an outpouring of support.
Photo: Grammys

February 12: Today in Apple history February 12, 2012: Months after his untimely death, Steve Jobs is honored with a Special Merit Grammy Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of music with the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, collects the Grammy on behalf of Jobs’ family and “everyone at Apple.”

Today in Apple history: iPod drives profits to new heights

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iPod
The iPod was kind of a big deal in 2005.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

January 12: Today in Apple history: iPod drives Apple profits to new heights January 12, 2005: Apple reports record earnings for the preceding three months, with holiday sales of the iPod and demand for the latest iBook giving the company a four-fold increase in profits.

Apple brags that it has sold a total of 10 million iPods, and rightly so. The massive popularity of the portable music player drives Apple to its highest earnings ever.

Today in Apple history: HP’s iPod comes out of the blue

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The Apple iPod + HP flopped, but it was still a savvy business move for Apple
Do you remember the HP-branded iPod?
Photo: Keegan/Wikipedia CC

January 8: Today in Apple history: Apple iPod + HP debuts January 8, 2004: The clumsily named Apple iPod + HP, a Hewlett-Packard-branded iPod, makes it debut at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Shown off by Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, the prototype device is colored blue, the color used for HP’s branding. By the time it arrives on the market later that year, however, the device is the same shade of white as the regular iPod. It doesn’t hang around for long.