History of iPods
The geolocation, used with the iPhone, lists all the critical services around you — banks, coffee shops, bars, gas stations, hospitals, movie theaters, restaurants and so on.
Read more: http://www.time.com
The new star of Apple's iPod lineup steals more than looks from the iPhone.
It sports the same brilliant 3.5-in. (9 cm) wide-screen video display with touch controls, and built-in wi-fi lets you surf the Web, check e-mail and even buy and immediately download iTunes tracks on the fly.
Read more: http://www.time.com
Some genius figured out how to use the microphone on the iPhone as an air-flow sensor — now we've got a virtual ocarina, albeit not potato-shaped.
Hold the phone up to your lips and blow; four "holes" appear on your touch screen allowing you to play almost any scale.
Read more: http://www.time.com
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The Birth and Development of The iPod
The history of iPods is sourrounded by several myths. One of these myths is that the iPod has a father -- one man who conceived and nurtured the iconic device.
Apple's CEO, Steve Jobs, of course, is one candidate; but engineer Tony Fadell has also been named in relation to the birth or invention of the iPod, as has Jon Rubinstein, the former head of Apple's hardware division.
While they all played key roles in the development and history of iPods, the birth of the  iPod was truly a team effort.
Here's the story:
The history of iPod shows that  the iPod line came from Apple's "digital hub" category,when the company began creating software for the growing market of personal digital devices.
Digital cameras, camcorders and organizers had well-established mainstream markets, but the company found existing digital music players "big and clunky or small and useless" with user interfaces that were "unbelievably awful,".
Most were based on fairly small memory chips, either 32 or 64 MB, which stored only a few dozen songs -- not much better than a cheap portable CD player.
The  Nomad Jukebox from Singapore-based Creative  was one of the most popular players  based on a 2.5-inch hard drive from Fujitsu.
About the size of a portable CD player but twice as heavy. The Nomad Jukebox showed the promise of storing thousands of songs on a (smallish) device.
But it had some horrible flaws: It used Universal Serial Bus to transfer songs from the computer, which was painfully slow.
The interface was an engineer special (unbelievably awful) and it often sucked batteries dry in just 45 minutes.
Tony Fadell, former employee of General Magic and Phillips, envisioned a brand new MP3 player.
Unlike the bulky flash memory-based MP3 players from Rio and other companies, Fadell wanted to deliver a small hard drive-based player that was linked with a content delivery system where users could legally obtain and download music.
The first company he pitched it to was RealNetworks (in 2000), where the CEO, Rob Glaser, was already in control of a large content delivery system through Real's premium radio and television channels.
Real could not rationalize going through the trouble of releasing an accessory to their already profitable system, so they would be caught off guard when the iTunes Music Store was opened in 2003.
Fadell also approached Phillips, which also rebuffed him.
Out of desperation, Fadell turned to Apple, which years before had sworn off consumer electronics after their unsuccessful Pippin and Newton.
The executives at Apple were very enthusiastic about implementing Fadell's plan at Apple - unbeknownst to Fadell, Apple had bought the rights to SoundJam MP months before.
He was hired in early 2001 and was given a development team of around thirty people and a deadline of one year to release a successful product.
According to Jon Rubinstein who joined Apple in 1997, Steve Jobs jumped on it pretty quick and he asked him (Jon) to look into it.
The veteran Apple engineer has been responsible for most of the company's hardware in the last 10 years.
Now retired, Rubinstein had previously worked at NeXT, where he had been Steve Jobs' hardware guy before moving over to Apple.
While at Apple, Rubinstein oversaw a string of groundbreaking machines, from the first Bondi-blue iMac to water-cooled workstations -- and, of course, the iPod.
As a testament to how important both Rubinstein and the iPod were to Apple, he was put in charge of the iPod side when Apple split into separate iPod and Macintosh divisions in 2004.
Apple's team knew it's FireWire connector which  could quickly transfer songs from  the computer to player -- an entire CD in a few seconds; a huge library of MP3s in minutes could solve most of the problems plagued by the Nomad.
And thanks to the rapidly growing cell phone industry, new batteries and displays were constantly coming to market.
In February 2001, during the Macworld show in Tokyo, Rubinstein made a visit to Toshiba, Apple's supplier of hard drives, where executives showed him a tiny drive the company had just developed.
The drive was 1.8 inches in diameter -- considerably smaller than the 2.5-inch Fujitsu drive used in competing players -- but Toshiba didn't have any idea what it might be used for.
Rubinstein went back to Steve with an idea and he asked him  to " Go for it".
Fadell was put in charge of a small team of engineers and designers, who put the device together quickly.
The team also drew heavily on Apple's in-house expertise.The team took as many parts as possible off the shelf: the drive from Toshiba, a battery from Sony, some control chips from Texas Instruments.
However, Apple did not develop the iPod software entirely in-house, instead using PortalPlayer's reference platform based on 2 ARM cores.
The platform had rudimentary software running on a commercial microkernel embedded operating system. PortalPlayer had previously been working on an IBM-branded MP3 player with Bluetooth headphones.
One of the biggest problems was battery life. If the drive was kept spinning while playing songs, it quickly drained the batteries.
The solution was to load several songs into a bank of memory chips, which draw much less power.The drive could be put to sleep until it's called on to load more songs.
While other manu-facturers used a similar architecture for skip protection, the first iPod
had a 32-MB memory buffer, which batteries to stretch 10 hours instead of two or three.
Given the device's parts, the iPod's final shape was obvious. All the pieces sand-wiched naturally together into a thin box about the size of a pack of cards.
The iPod's basic software was also brought in -- from Pixo, which was working on an operating system for cell phones.
On top of Pixo's low-level system, Apple built the iPod's celebrated user interface.
The idea for the scroll wheel was suggested by Apple's head of marketing, Phil Schiller, who in an early meeting said that  the wheel was the right user interface for the product.
As the iPod came together, it garnered more and more attention from Jobs, whose insistence on excellence and high standards are stamped onto the gadget as indelibly as Apple's logo.
Jobs told the Times  "Most people make the mistake of thinking design is what it looks like,".
He said design is not just what it looks like and feels like but how it works." Jobs insisted the iPod work seamlessly with iTunes, and that many functions should be automated, especially transferring songs
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                                             You may also want to see:
                                              First Generation iPods
                                             Second Generation iPods
                                             Third Generation iPods
                                             Fourth Generation iPods
                                             Fifth Generation iPods
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History of iPods

History of iPods