Twelve years ago yesterday, Steve Jobs and Apple introduced the first iPod using the amazing tagline: 1,000 songs in your pocket.
With those words, a simple little device changed the way we listen to music, revolutionized an entire industry, and in my opinion launched the modern mobile revolution. Many people may argue that it was the iPhone in 2007 that catapulted the mobile revolution forward, but I believe the iPhone wouldn’t have existed without the iPod.
The first iPod featured a ten hour battery, a 5 GB hard drive capable of storing 1,000 songs encoded in MP3 format, and a mechanical scroll wheel that served as it’s main interaction UI, with a center select button and 4 auxiliary buttons around the wheel.
The iPod was revolutionary in that it was the first device to put the spotlight on user experience and this to me was an important element for what would be the future of mobile computing.
The iPod wasn’t the first MP3 player in the market, there were many before it (including the popular Rio MP3 Player), but it was the first device that included a great user experience with a minimalistic design approach, and the UI controls were located precisely were they need to be. Ergonomically speaking, it was perfect and it only required one hand to use.
Fast forward 12 years later and here we are with powerful smartphones and tablets doing amazing things anytime and anywhere, in large part because the iPod opened our eyes to what was truly possible, provided we pay attention to the small details and simplify design, as well as place touch targets precisely where they need to be for an outstanding user experience.
Happy 12th Birthday iPod!
What About You?
I still have my very first iPod and still consider it a marvel of modern engineering. What do you remember thinking about the first iPod? Please share below.
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