In 2001, a new paradigm in portable music was realized. Only compatible with Macintosh users at its release, the iPod Classic was Apple’s answer to the growing MP3 player market. It gained popularity around 2004 with the help of increased compatibility to Windows users and creative advertising. With the power to put “1,000 songs in your pocket,” the iPod Classic was a not only a technological breakthrough, but its aesthetic was reminiscent of Dieter Rams’ pocket radio, yet the interface was inspired by the telephones of Bang & Olufsen. No longer in production due to current technology, we celebrate the cultural and lifestyle impact the iPod Classic has left.
Chiat\Day was responsible for the early Silhouette ad campaigns that would bring the early iPod to popularity. The campaign was used across television, print and public posters that were distinctive of other Apple advertising campaigns. These ads portrayed energy through the choice of color and dance poses of the subjects, but distinctly showing the iPod itself. The idea that Chiat/Day was trying to convey was that consumers weren’t buying a media player, but the emotion that it brings.
As the iPod became more popular, there have been differentiations of the product, such as smaller versions like the Mini and Nano, which had the same capability in a more compact package. The iPod Shuffle is a stripped down, ultra-portable device that only retains pause/play, volume up/down and on/off functions. The latest iPod variation is the iPod Touch, which incorporates many functions as Apple’s popular iPhone, with a touch-screen, camera, microphone, etc. These technological advancements with smaller footprints of the iPod Classic have killed off the former media player giant of the world.
For over a decade, the iPod Classic had undergone a series of facelifts, compatibility across Windows and Mac, increased storage capacity and video capability, but its intended function stayed the same. From being able to carry a thousand songs, to an entire music and movie library in your pocket, the iPod Classic has reached the end of its product life cycle. But even though it is no longer in production, there are many music aficionados who will continue to use their original iPod for years to come.