The beginning of the end has come to the iPod range, long life to the Click Wheel

To all of us who love music to such an extent that it is capable of bringing feelings to the surface. To all of us who can sit quietly in a park, on a beach or walking around while listening to music from our iPod and carry it in our hands so we can find what we want to listen to at every moment, the day before yesterday we had some bad news .

The worst thing is that we received this news in the worst possible way, we saw him leave the scene through the back door , as if he was nobody, as if he had not meant what he meant for Apple and the change of direction he represented in its history. Yes, sales were what they were and things were getting worse, but he deserved a better farewell.

The beginning of the end has come to the iPod range, long life to the Click Wheel
The beginning of the end has come to the iPod range, long life to the Click Wheel

And that’s what we want to do at Apple, to say goodbye to him as he deserves, remembering what it meant for many of us to have thousands of songs in our pockets and be able to take them with us anywhere. To be able to listen to a song in the middle of nowhere because you hadn’t forgotten your cassette or CD at home.

The iPod 1, the first generation

When Steve Jobs was talking to us on stage about how he was going to show us a device that allowed us to have thousands of songs on it and that he carried in his pocket. It was a very big hit, from that playfulness with surprises that Steve Jobs liked so much .

Apple needed a revolutionary device, a device that would put money in the coffers . A device that would draw attention to the Mac system and make people think… “If the iPod works so well… What will the Mac be like?” This was called the halo effect and the iPod was the first to have it.

The characteristics of this first generation were:

  • Capacities of 5 and 10 GB. First the 5GB version came out and soon after the 10GB version.
  • Mechanical Click Wheel. The Click Wheel was not tactile like the version we know now.
  • Operating system required OS 9 or MAC OS X 10.1
  • FireWire connection.
  • 10 hours of autonomy.
  • Launched October 22, 2001.

The second generation iPod, Windows users are invited to the party

This is the first model that brings us the Clic Wheel Touch . And it is also the first model that allows Windows users to synchronize music without using a Mac. To do this they had to install an application “commissioned” by Apple called Music Match.

It is here that the famous Halo effect with the iPod begins to take shape, which would be more noticeable in the following generations and with the new versions of iTunes. It was released a little less than a year later and brought necessary improvements.

  • As I was saying, the Clic Wheel Touch, an interface that I still love today.
  • Capacity increase, 10GB and 20GB. Let’s remember here the hard disk that the iPod needed and that not many were able to manufacture.
  • It still has FireWire exclusively, but it comes with a cover to protect it from dust.
  • Windows support via Music Match.
  • 10 hours autonomy.
  • Minimum required operating system MAC OS X 10.1, Windows 2000
  • Launch July 17, 2002

Third generation arrives, with redesign and iTunes for Windows

This was the first iPod I could get my hands on from a friend and I literally freaked out. Until then I had only been able to see devices like the Creative Jukebox that were the same size as a portable CD player and I was very surprised at how much capacity it had and how fluid the Clic Wheel was.

I could also see how badly iTunes worked on Windows compared to Mac OS X and to this day I don’t know if it was because Apple’s engineers didn’t know how to program for Windows or Steve Jobs didn’t want it to work as well as it did on Mac OS X (let’s not be foolish).

This iPod stopped carrying the playback and menu control buttons around the Click Wheel to line up just below the screen. Its technical features were:

  • Capacities of 10, 15, 20, 30 and 40 GB
  • FireWire and USB.
  • New playback and menu buttons.
  • iTunes 4.1 for Windows.
  • Dock connector.
  • 8-hour autonomy.
  • Minimum required operating system MAC OS X 10.1, Windows 2000.
  • Launched April 28, 2003.

Fourth generation, color and photos arrive

This fourth generation, brought a new design to the device and the ability to display color photos on its screen , since until now that screen had been monochrome.

First we saw an iPod with a monochrome screen and the new Clic Wheel and then we saw the iPod with a color screen and the possibility to view photos . The first generation iPod mini, the iPod’s little brother, had already been released (January 2004).

This iPod inherited the Clic Wheel from the iPod mini , so we no longer had the buttons in a row just below the screen but they were in the four cardinal points of the wheel and we could operate them by pressing the wheel.

We also had a redesign of the “hold” button to prevent the buttons from being pressed accidentally while we were carrying the iPod in our pockets. Its features were:

  • 20 and 40 GB capacity. The Color and Photo version presented 30,40 and 60 GB capacity.
  • USB and FireWire.
  • Color screen and image display (in Color and Photo versions)
  • Minimum required operating system MAC OS X 10.2, Windows 2000.
  • Autonomies of 12 hours (monochrome version) 15 hours (colour version) and 5 hours playing photos.
  • Launches 19 July 2004 (monochrome version), 26 October 2004 (photo version) and 28 June 2005 (colour version)

Fifth generation, video comes to the iPod

This fifth generation involved a much more profound redesign. The iPod was slimmed down, the screen was enlarged and video playback was allowed . It was offered in two colors, black and white.

Not only the hardware was redesigned, but its firmware was updated as well. La caída del iPod en números

  • 30, 60 and 80 GB capacity.
  • USB, FireWire only for charging.
  • Minimum required operating system MAC OS X 10.3, Windows 2000
  • Autonomy: 30 GB (Audio 14 hours, video 2 hours), 6080GB (Audio 20 hours, video 3.56 hours)
  • Two colors, black and white.
  • Launches October 12, 2005

Sixth generation, the iPod Classic

The last generation of the iPod, which had the suffix “Classic” disappeared the methacrylate and the color white. It was replaced by an anodized aluminium front and a black one. There were some firmware changes and the software included was improved.

In the following years up to now, 2014, when it has definitely stopped being sold, has only undergone some capacity modifications , going from the 120 GB that was initially offered at most, to 160 GB capacity.

  • 80 and 120 GB capacity (later expanded to 160 GB)
  • USB 2.0
  • Minimum operating system required, Mac OS X 10.4 and Windows XP.
  • Model 80 GB an autonomy of 30 hours of audio, 5 of video.
  • 120 GB model, 36 hours of audio, 6 hours of video
  • 160 GB model, 40 hours of audio, 7 hours of video

Long life to the Clic Wheel

And the day came when the iPod disappeared, the original iPod, the one that started it all . In part it makes sense, in a company there is no sentimentalism that counts. With the appearance of the iPhone first and the iPod touch later, sales of the iPod in general have been declining exponentially.

The use of a smartphone, with current capabilities, is widespread and it does not make much sense to have an iPhone and an iPod when the functionalities overlap. The person who carries an iPhone does not need to carry an iPod, remember…

Right now, with the expansion of iPhone 6 to 128GB of capacity, it is more than likely that iPod touch will suffer the same fate. So the capacity offered by the Classic for those who have an extensive library no longer makes a difference.

The iPod nano doesn’t bode well for the future either. For a little more you can have (30 euros) you can have an iPod touch. And already, with the Apple Watch, I’m afraid that the Shuffle will see its future in doubt , it won’t be something immediate, but it will come.

I’ve always wanted to buy a Classic, but the truth is my video iPod still works great, even though its battery doesn’t last as long as it used to. But I’m afraid I’ll have to look at some offers from stores that still have units in stock… Yes, I know, I’m nostalgic .

At Apple

Similar Posts