We’re hard pressed to say the iPod family’s fallen on particularly hard times, but being under such excruciating public scrutiny can take its toll on any dynasty; especially in a year like 2005, the family shaken to its core by so many tragic deaths. From the humble beginnings of the iPod that began the legacy so many years back, all the way up to the tragic loss of the iPod mini just yesterday, we felt it might be time to take a visit to the iPod family cemetary on this early autumn afternoon.
The first generation iPod
A homely child of more meager means than its descendants and the first born in the New World, the iPod had only 5GB of storage to its name-though unprecedented at the time, it was immediately rebuked for its price of $399. It had with it a mere monochrome 160 x 128 LCD, 32MB of RAM and 32MB ROM, but included two things then widely unheard of, a 1.8-inch hard drive, and the mechanical scroll wheel. Alas, the iPod didn’t know how to work with Windows, was FireWire-only at first, and only sold 125,000 units in its first two months. In March of 2002 the iPod went to 10GB, but passed on peacefully in July of 2002.
The second generation iPod
But a few mournful months after the passing of the 5GB iPod and the birth of the 10GB iPod, came a new 10GB iPod and the 20GB, which started at $499. Perhaps one of the least well-remembered of the iPod family, this iPod included the first non-mechanical (solid state) scroll wheel, though the center and circumference buttons remained tactile. Perhaps most groundbreaking was the official Windows support (via Musicmatch Jukebox, ironically), though the wired remote, calendar, and artist search were all significant as well. Eventually this iPod would undergo tattoos by Beck, No Doubt, Madonna, and Tony Hawk before being committed to history in April of 2003.
The third generation iPod
This was the iPod born of humbler pedigree¡ªthat grew up, provided for itself a higher education, and made its own way in the world. The third generation of the family rid itself entirely of mechanical buttons on its body, shed some of its baby fat around the waist down to 4.1 x 2.4 x 0.62-inches, and came forth at $299 for 10GB, $399 for 15GB, and $499 for 30GB. This was also the first iPod child to feature a remote connector and dock connector¡ªwhich finally enabled USB 2.0. In September the 30GB iPod was priced at $399, and a 40GB model was released for $499.
The first generation iPod mini
The iPod family album cemetery: iPod Classic, Nano, Shuffle, and Touch comparison II
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