iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and sold by Apple Inc. Released in 2001, iPod has several models: iPod classic which is a hard drive based player, iPod touch- which has a touchscreen, iPod Nano– which is video capable and iPod shuffle which is very compact.
When Apple started creating software for the personal digital devices- that was the moment when the idea of the iPod came up. At that time music players were either large and complicated or small and useless, so, Apple took the decision to develop a music player of their own. The Apple CEO, Steve Jobs authorized Apple’s hardware engineering chief Jon Rubinstein to create a team of engineers to develop the iPod line. In that team were included Tony Fadell, Michael Dhuey and design engineer Jonathan Ive. The team was successful and in less than a year the iPod was released – on 23 October 2001. Steve Jobs described it as a Mac-Compatible product with a 5GB hard drive.
Apple did not develop the iPod software entirely in-house, instead using PortalPlayer’s reference using 2 ARM cores. This platform had rather rudimentary software running on a commercial microkernel embedded operating system. Apple collaborated with another company, Pixo to help design and implement the user interface under the direct supervision of the Apple CEO. As time passed, Apple continued to refine the software’s look and feel. The fonts and themes of these pieces of engineering were changed a couple of times, getting better and better.
With the introduction of the iPod Classic in 2007, Apple changed again the music player’s interface by changing the font to Helvetica and in most cases, splitting the screen in half by displaying the menus on the left and album artwork, photos, or videos on the right.
In September, Apple was confronted to a lawsuit with the patent holding company Burst.com. During the lawsuit, Apple drew attention to a patent for a similar device that was developed in 1979. The one who patented the idea, Kane Kramer , referred to a plastic music box which he called IXI. However, Kramer was unable to o secure funding to renew the $ 120000 worldwide patent, so it lapsed and he never profited from his idea.
The name iPod was proposed by Vinnie Chieco, a freelance copywriter. He was called by Apple to develop a way to introduce the new music player to the public. When he saw the prototype, Chieco immediately thought of the film ” 2001-A Space Odissey ” and the phrase: “Open the pod bay door, Hal!” which refers to the white Eva Pod form the Discovery One spaceship. After researching, Apple found out that the name was already in use. Joseph N Grasso had originally listed an iPod trademark with the US Patent and Trademark Office for internet kiosks. In 2005, Grasso assigned the trademark to Apple Computer Inc.
The iPod is nowadays one of the most popular music and multimedia players, it is part of the urban culture. Being under the Apple name- which means quality, top technologies, attention to details- has given the iPod the opportunity to travel around the globe, even in the poorest areas.