An iPod is a portable music player (PMP), and like all PMPs, an iPod enables you to download, store, and play digital music files using a special format called MP3. The term MP3 is an acronym that describes the organization (motion Picture Experts Group) and the digital sound encoding process (audio layer 3).
That said, an iPod is actually an MP3 player, but it is a specific brand of MP3 manufactured by Apple, Inc. What sets an iPod apart from any other MP3 player is its interfacing capabilities with other Apple products, such as the iPhone and iPad. Downloading and storing music on an iPod from other Apple devices is a cinch, and all versions of iPods have special features and capabilities not found on other MP3 players, and all versions are extremely user-friendly. There are many models of iPods to choose from; listed below are the distinguishing features of each one.
The Original iPod
The first Apple iPod, advertised as a thousand songs in your pocket, was introduced in 2001 and immediately became a worldwide sensation. The revolutionary design, user friendliness, and the song capacity of the tiny device captivated millions of consumers. The original iPod is still available today.
Second Generation iPod
In July of 2002, Apple introduced the second generation iPod. It was compatible with the Windows operating system and it could store up to 4,000 songs.
Third Generation iPod and iTunes
The year 2003 saw the introduction of the third generation of the iPod, which was slim, light, and stored up to 7,500 songs. Apple also launched the iTunes Music Store that year, offering 200,000 songs for 99¢ each—this unprecedented shift in the way iPod owners could purchase music was an instant success: more than one million iTunes songs sold the first week of the launch. Within months, users had downloaded more than ten million songs, and before the end of the year, 25 million songs had been downloaded from the iTunes Store, and Apple made the entire iTunes Music Store available to Windows users as well as Apple customers.
The iPod Mini
The iPod Mini was launched in early 2004; it can hold nearly 1,000 songs and is available in five colors. This model features a one touch click wheel. The 4th generation iPod was also introduced in 2004 and featured Blue Tooth and HD video recording as well as a 3.5 inch multi-touch display screen.
The iPod Shuffle
The iPod Shuffle was introduced in January, 2005. The shuffle version came in eight colors and featured 2GB of storage capacity. This popular version was tiny, but held hundreds of tunes and audio books, making it perfect for joggers and commuters.
The iPod Nano
This version was released mid-2005, replacing the iPod Mini. The Nano had a 16GB storage capacity and a 2.5 inch touch screen. It is still the best selling MP3 player in the world. Later in the year, the 5th generation iPod was launched with the additional capacity to play videos and display photos. Within a month, more than one million videos were downloaded from the iTunes store.
The iPod Touch
This version was introduced in late 2007 and featured a multi-touch interface and built in Wi-Fi. The four inch display screen could still be controlled with one finger and users could play music for almost 40 hours without a recharge. The newest iPod touch has a retina display and face time video calling.
The newer iPod models offer great versatility; you can take your iPod anywhere and with accessories, you can listen to your playlist on your car’s speakers or via an iPod dock in your home. The iPods today have multiple features that appeal to a broad range of interests: games, HD video, Blue Tooth, a stopwatch, and even note taking capabilities—you can even put your shopping list on your iPod. With that kind of versatility, it is no wonder hundreds of millions of iPods have been sold.
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