Ten years ago today, on October 23rd 2001, Steve Jobs unveiled the iPod at a press event on Apple’s Cupertino campus. (Here he is doing it.) It made the news, but didn’t feel like an epoch-shifting event at the time. It was. And to celebrate the iPod’s first decade, our tech historian and oddity collector Benj Edwards has found a dozen iPod-related curiosities–ones involving dentistry, weaponry, and a whole lot more.
Tag Archives | Apple. iPod
In honor of this anniversary, I decided to look back weird accessories, strange artistic tributes, and other odd sidelights of the world’s most iconic digital music player. So put in your earbuds and zone out from civilized society — it’s time for iPod Oddities.
People have been expecting Apple to kill the iPad Classic–the last model recognizable as a direct descendant of the original 2001 iPod–for years. Now TUAW is reporting that Apple may discontinue it, along with the iPod Shuffle. If the company’s iPhone event next week also touches on iPod-related news, we might get the news then.
(My classic-style iPod and I were inseparable for eons, and I once looked down at the iPhone because of its comparatively small capacity–but it’s been a long time since I’ve so much as booted up an iPod. Do you use one?)
Thanks to everyone who entered our drawing for the new Tapper World Tour game and an iPod Touch to play it on. And congratulations to John Erickson, whose name came up when our random-number generator had done its magic.
Speaking of Tapper, I had fun last week meeting Don Bluth and his longtime artistic associate Gary Goldman, the creators of Tapper’s visuals and the animation for two iconic 1980s arcade games: Dragon’s Lair and Space Ace. (That’s Bluth and Goldman in the photo above.) I wrote about Bluth’s take on his videogame work over at Techland.
Predictions on the demise of the iPod Classic usually don’t come around until September, when Apple updates its line of media players, but the timing’s off now thanks to suspicious supply issues at major retailers.
The unfortunately-named Apple Bitch reports that Apple’s iPod Classic is out of stock Best Buy and Amazon, and the Apple Store is shipping the media players a bit slower than usual as well. CNet adds that Target and J&R are also out of stock.
It could just be a random supply glitch, but the other two possibilities are more intriguing: Either Apple is about to refresh the iPod Classic with a bigger hard drive, or it’s discontinuing the iPod Classic altogether.
I’m sorry I wasn’t at Apple’s music event today to cover it live. I had fun watching it via Apple’s live video stream from the lobby bar here at the Grand Hyatt in Berlin, though. (I give the experience a B- from a technical standpoint: Eighty percent of the time, the stream worked well, fifteen percent I got audio but the picture froze, five percent it misbehaved in other ways. Then again, I was on iffy hotel Wi-Fi, so the glitchiness might have been on my end rather than Apple’s.)
Quite a few people — including myself — thought when Steve Jobs walked off the stage saying not a thing about the now aging iPod classic that it was the end of the line for that model. That is not so: Apple PR has confirmed that the classic line will live on, keeping the same price and capacity structure as it has now, but with no yearly refresh like its counterparts.
Such a move is quite unusual for a company that typically lets none of its flagship products go more than a year without some type of redesign or rework. But it’s also telling — Apple likely thinks the days of the classic are numbered.
As it stands right now, Apple is unable to offer a high-capacity flash based iPod as flash memory prices are still too high. Remember that the iPod classic has a maximum storage capacity of 160GB at $249: the highest capacity iPod touch comes in at 64GB, but has a fairly prohibitive $399 price tag along with it.
Not a good deal for those of us with insanely big digital media collections.
It is quite possible that Apple is hedging its bets that flash will continue to drop in price allowing it to offer a comparatively sized iPod touch in the near future. Also, there is not much more that the Cupertino company could do to the design other than add multi-touch — but the touch line is the future of the iPod so why bother?
I don’t fancy myself a Apple prognosticator but I would venture an educated guess that the classic has only a few more months left. It just so happened that the market didn’t cooperate with Apple’s scheduling that it could have announced a phase out at its September music event. It is coming though, and likely very soon.
What will Apple announce at its music event? By noon or so tomorrow, we’ll know all there is to know. Let’s wrap up the period of blissful ignorance, rampant rumors, and informed speculation with our traditional Technologizer community predictions.
As usual, I surveyed you guys and asked you to give your best guesses at what the news will involve. For questions in which you could choose only one answer, whatever answer got a plurality of responses counts as the prediction. For questions that let you choose multiple answers, any answer that more than fifty percent of you chose counts as a prediction. (I’ll note the percentage that chose each answer).
Earlier today, Jared wondered what the chances are that Apple will retire the iPod Classic at the music event it’s holding next week and replace it with 128GB iPod Touch. Jared explains why it’s unlikely that Apple will be able to introduce a 128GB Touch next week. That would presumably argue for the continuing viability of the Classic, which packs a 160GB hard drive.
But wait. I try to avoid making Apple predictions, but the company could make an end-run around the limitations of flash storage. Here’s how.
Business Insider’s Dan Frommer is the latest journalist to question the iPod Classic’s future, ahead of Apple’s September 1 music event. The usual arguments apply — without Wi-Fi, apps or a touch screen, the classic iPod is looking pretty stale — but his prediction hinges on whether Apple will introduce a 128 GB iPod Touch this year. After all, the current iPod Classic’s hard drive holds 160 GB of media, and retiring it doesn’t make sense unless another device can take the high-capacity throne with flash storage.
I’m with Frommer’s logic all the way, but I doubt that 128 GB flash drives will even be ready in time for the next iPod Touch.