iPod of the first generation was launched in 2001, and it has experienced a decade of evolution and development. Now the iPod family consists of iPod、iPod photo、iPod classic、iPod video、iPod nano、iPod shuffle、mini iPod as well as iPod touch, each member experiencing several different stages. According to statistics, iPod account for 70% of the MP3 market, with over 100 million iPods sold across the world. The latest iPod models are iPod classic、iPod shuffle、iPod nano and iPod touch.
In 2001 October, iPod of the first generation was born, with a modest storage of 5GB, resolution of 160×128, RAM of 32MB, ROM of 32MB. Worse still, it is not compatible with Windows OS. Historically, it adopts hard drive of 1.8 inch as Memory Medium and it adopts button of mechanism scroll wheel. At that time, this iPod was sold at $399, and 125，000 were sold in the first two months. With the presence of SWF to iPod Video converter software, iPod becomes more and more popular.
Apple Company published iPod for Windows to support Windows operating system and released new version of iPod with capacity of 20GB. Both iPod Mac and iPod Windows have three different capacities, 5GB, 10GB and 20GB, which are dubbed as the second generation of iPod, and iPod therefore became product closest to PC users among all the product of Apple family.
The third generation iPod was issued in 2003 April and it is an iPod member with greatest changes. Though the new iPod was still of the same price, it boasted larger capacity and smaller size, all the iPod of third generation are compatible with both Mac and Windows. All iPods of third generation adopted mechanism button and the size was reduced to 4.1×2.4×0.62 inches.
Simultaneously, iTunes store is open and provide music exclusively for Mac users. Tough the medium hold storage of 200. 000 songs, it doesn’t give access to PC users.
On January 2004, iPod family experienced kind of “revolution”, Mini iPod was born. It cannot be categorized as the fourth generation, but an optimized version or combination with other styles. In terms of colors, iPod Mini is fascinating and stirs throbs. Adopting micro hard drive of one inch as the memory medium, iPod mini can only store 1,000 songs.
The fourth generation of iPod was born on July 2004 with two versions of different capacities. The fourth generation of iPod improves remarkably on resolution and the battery life and supports USB Charging, and it provides direct current charging at the same time. USB charging, however, takes much longer time than direct current charging. With newly-adopted control panel with touch feedback and the ONE TO GO random playing together with the improved inner circuit, the fourth generation iPod surprisingly can play for 12 hours.
U2 iPod and iPod photo were released simultaneously on October 2004. Neither of them belongs to the fifth generation, and both of them were enhanced version based on the fourth generation. Adopting micro hard drive of 60GB as memory medium for the first time, iPod photo supports photos browsing. iPod photo has a size of 4.1×2.4×0.75 inches. In order to give prominence to price difference, iPod photo of 30GB capacity was published.
The year of 2004 saw a few pieces of intermezzos in the evolution of iPod. On January 2004, HP and Apple released HP iPod, which has HP logo and was sold by HP agent. The problem is that it has no distinguished features compared with other iPod, and thus does not turn out to be a success as expected. As video websites develops, YouTube becomes popular, and FLV therefore turn out to be the major video formats online, if you want to realize enjoy YouTube video on your iPod nano, or classic, or iPod Touch, you need an FLV Converter.
On January 2005, the first generation of iPod Shuffle was released, and it is the first iPod which does not have a screen. And it had been considered as disaster of the iPod family, since it does not support lyrics displaying, photos viewing and video playing. In spite of this, iPod Shuffle remains as powerful as it was ever, and it was still hot until the second half the year of 2006. In the early time of iPod Shuffle release, many senior officials including CEOs doubt whether Shuffle can survive. They believed that Shuffle can never be a success, since it has no advantage either on features or on size,
As iPod Shuffle can transmit data to and from PC with Mac or Windows with USB port. So, iPod Shuffle can also be used as a flash memory container with large capacity. There were 512MB and 1GB versions.
On January 2005, the second mini iPod was born, and includes two types. One has capacity of 4GB and the other 6GB. The second generation of iPod Mini boasts much more appealing appearance with four different colors of sliver, pink, blue and green. With relatively low-end accessories compared to the first mini iPod, this generation of iPod is sold with a much more attracting price.
On May 2005, iPod U2 Color was born. It still does not belong to the fifth generation, but derivatives of the fourth generation and it can also be considered as the special version of U2 iPod. There are totally two types; one is with capacity of 20GB, and the other 60GB. It scurvies for a long time and can still be seen in the market, but it was rarely mentioned in light of its price.
Historical changes had taken place on 2005 September, iPod nano was released, which is really a big surprise to iPod family, It inherits the appealing appearance and it has two versions of different capacity, one is 2GB, and the other 4GB. The size of iPod nano is 40906.9 mm and the weight is 42g, and leads the ultra slim size of MP3 player. In addition, it adopts the trademark touch control button and fabulous screen, most remarkably, iPods adopts flash memory chip with large capacity.
The fifth generation of iPod was born on October 2005. Literally, we can learn that iPod Video has the advantage of playing videos. Two versions of 30GB and 60GB are available respectively playing audio for 14 hours and video for 2 hours and play audio for 16 hours and play video 3 hours. . Utilizing TFT screen of 2.5 inches, with resolution of 320*240 as well as 260.000 colors, it does not support clear static pictures but also supports MPEG-4 AVC video. Adopting Click Wheel, iPod Video can integrate seamlessly with iTunes7. Newly increased feature of Search and Quick Scroll enable music fans find the music they need in no time with ease.
On June 2006, iPod U2 Special Version was out. This version had been considered as part of continued cooperation between U2 Band, and UMG. U2 iPod of new version was designed based on the fifth iPod Video with 30 GB capacity, which can store 7.500 songs, 25.000 photos and video files of 75 hours. U2 iPod of new version boasts black stainless outer casing and red click wheel as well as ideograph of U2 band.
On September 2006, iPod nano 2 was out. It is slimmer than iPod nano 1, and utilizes alu outer casing with five different colors including pink, blue, green, white and black for choices. There are three versions of iPod nano 2 with three different capacities of 2GB、4GB and 8GB. But the price is a little bit lower. According to Apple Spokesperson, Nano2 has the same price with double capacity.
Shuffle2 was released at the same time with nano2. In terms of size, iPod Shuffle 2 is smaller than iPod FM Remote, and it has a clip on the back, THUS it can be put anywhere you want.
On the same press conference, iPod Video 2 was also released, and it belongs to the 5.5 generation and was upgraded based on iPod Video. iPod video 2 has two version of 30GB and 80GB. The brightness of the screen was improved by 60% without shortening video playing hours. iPod video 2 can play video 6 hours and a half with a fully charged battery.
On February 2007, iPod Shuffle 2 color version was published. As the smallest and cheapest iPod, it also has different colors. And it adopts orange in the history of iPod, but the capacity remains to be 1GB. There are some SWF to iPod video converters helping you to convert Flash to iPod Video and make enjoying Flash on iPod possible.
On September 2007, iPod nano 3、iPod classic、iPod touch as well as iPod shuffle 2 with new colors were out at the same time.
iPod shuffle 2 of new version changed the color only. The size is 69.8 mm×52.3 mm×6.5mm and it weighs 49.2g.
iPod nano 3 different with previous two versions of iPod nano, and became short but remains to be thin and has the same colors with iPod Shuffle., The screen was upgraded to 2.0 inches QVGA screen. iPod nano supports music, video, ebook, podcast, pictures column browsing, game, and can play video for 5 hours and audio for 24 hours with fully charged battery. And it has two versions of 4GB and 8GB.
iPod classic changed the appearance based upon iPod video and has the same features of iPod nano 3. iPod classic adopts inner hard drive of 80GB and 160GB, QVGA screen of 2.5 inches. The size of iPod classic is 103.5×61.8×10.5mm and weighs 140g. With fully charged battery, it can play video for 5 hours and audio for 30 hours.
iPod touch is the latest generation of iPod, but its features remains the almost same to iPod classic. The distinguished feature is that it utilizes multi-touch screen of 3.5 inches with the resolution of 480×320. Supporting 802.11b/g and wireless connection sounds exciting. And it has two versions with respective capacity of 8GB and 16 GB.
iPod nano 3 pink was published on January 2008. Totally, iPod nano 3 has 6 different colors so far, including black, silver white, blue, green, pink and red.
Except for color, no changes were made in terms of software or hard ware.
So far, I have introduced most of iPod product, and I believe there must be something I neglected. It is not easy to collect all the iPod Product, and have a comprehensive knowledge of iPod, since it has so many surrounding products. And I appreciate your correction and complementation.