Apple iPod turns 5: How did a little gadget have such a big impact?

“It’s hard to overstate the impact of the iPod on the computer, consumer electronics and music industries since it was introduced in 2001. The iPod, arguably, is the first ‘crossover’ product from a computer company that genuinely caught on with music and video buffs. It’s shown how a computer can be an integral part of a home entertainment system,” Tom Krazit reports for CNET News.

“So how did a little gadget have such a big impact? The combination of the hardware and the iTunes software and music store gave people an easy way to obtain digital music. It assured the music industry that legal music downloading could work, and gave rise to a seemingly endless parade of iPod accessories and add-ons. Now Apple is expanding into video, with popular television shows and movies available through iTunes for watching on a computer or a video iPod,” Krazit reports.

‘It’s so intricately tied to an ease-of-use model for acquiring and accessing content, but also being able to play it and distribute it among other devices,’ said Tim Bajarin, an analyst with Creative Strategies,” Krazit reports.

“Can any company loosen Apple’s hold on digital music now? Never say never, according to analysts, but any potential iPod killer has an uphill climb. Apple, which some estimate has a 70 percent share of the U.S. digital music player market, has been able to design strong products while also coming up with savvy marketing, quality control and ample distribution, said Shaw Wu, an analyst with American Technology Research,” Krazit reports.

Krazit reports, “To date, no other company has been able to come up with a competing model. The few players from other manufacturers like SanDisk, Creative, Sony and others competing for the rest of the music player pie have to depend on software from Microsoft or Real Networks to manage their music collections, and none of those combinations has proven as popular as the iTunes-iPod juggernaut. Sony and Microsoft are two companies that have the resources and connections to match Apple’s efforts, but they haven’t put out products that have resonated with consumers.”

Krazit reports, “Whatever Apple chooses to do, and whatever challenges it faces, the company has created, rather remarkably, its second iconic product.”

More in the full article here.

“With iPod, listening to music will never be the same again.”Apple CEO Steve Jobs, October 23, 2001


  1. If M$ has the MacBU, what is Apple’s counterpart in Cuportino? Do they have a WinMU (Windows Music Unit)?!?! Are there really people carrying Dulls around campus? I guess now that MacBooks run windows it’s not that bad, but who are these people? Where is their blog?

  2. Yeah Mike, thats what we gotta do now. Make copies somewhere convenient via selected song or playlist dropping. Either that or we have to dig through the heirarchy and access the files directly. The days of simply dropping mere media-player playlists onto FTP clients and having the actual music files be fully transferred without any additional effort .. seem to be gone. Except when it comes to iPods. heh. That’s why everybody loves it. It’s just really slick and hassle-free compared to other normal file transfer experiences.

  3. lots of people will never be tempted to go Mac. It’s simply NOT for everyone. However, the ipod works the same in both platforms… and in fact, in some ways better on Windows. Sometimes when my Mac doesn’t recognize my ipod when it gets corrupted but in Mac fashion doesn’t give me an error message… it just doesn’t work… then the Windows computer seems to fix it.

    Also, The ipod’s hidden directory can easily be unhidden on a PC. Mac OS X doesn’t easily allow you to see unhidden files.

  4. Peterson is retarded. If Apple didn’t make the iPod for Windows, it would own 5% of the market, not 70%. Many people would not have been exposed to the Apple experience, and hence their would not be the swell of switchers we are currently seeing. RETARDED, I say, retarded.

  5. Remember, Peterson had a bad experience once. (Is that a meme now?)

    Has it really been 5 years? I remember 2001, seeing how cool the iPod was, wanting one, but not being able to justify the expense. Then I got a new contracting assignment, in an office where they play this godawful Muzak all day long. Plus, I had to use a laptop and take it home, which meant either carry both the laptop and my briefcase, or no CDs for the day. I went out and bought that iPod.

    It was freedom. Before the iPod, my briefcase was filled with CDs, in the hope that I’d be in the mood to listen to at least one of them. Having my entire freaking CD collection in one device was the greatest thing I’d ever experienced.

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