That Was Then... Apple iPod review

In truth, the iPod - the actual, authentic, vintage iPod - died a quiet death five years ago. The iPod's Nano and Shuffle variations have since observed their death too. But whilst quantity is not a energy of Apple's iPod range, high quality is, with the rest iPod Touch proving that "there is still a place for the iPod in this market of smartphone streaming and premium hi-res PMPs," as we acknowledged in our recent five-star review. 

So, the iPod lives! And here we're on Wednesday 23rd October 2019 celebrating its 18th birthday, feeling all nostalgic because it reaches maturity. Today turns out as excellent a day as any, then, to nip again 17 years to the release of the first Apple iPod and notice if we realised how ubiquitous this new 'MP3 portable' was going to change into...

Four stars, obviously.

We loved its compact dimensions, its idiot-proof working gadget, its shiny display and, crucially, its spectacular sound. "Treble is well controlled... decent midrange... impressive clarity of bass..." have been all some of the positives.

But our review wasn't unequivocal reward. Apple's all the time been protective and treasured about its merchandise and device, and this was particularly the case when the iPod launched. It would possibly seem onerous to consider however the first iPod best labored with Apple Macs - and Apple would shun Windows PCs up until 2004.

It also used a proprietary connector - Firewire - for charging and shifting track across from your Mac. Of course, we have had 30-pin and 8-pin connectors take its position in recent years, but the corporate's portable units have at all times prompt clear of extra standard, common answers reminiscent of micro-USB.

Back in 2002 we had been additionally not up to inspired with the paltry 5GB capability. It was sufficient room for round 1000 songs, albeit highly compressed ones (160kbps). Even again then we have been fast to point out flaws in the compression procedure, noting that some tracks "sound a little clipped".

The Creative DAP Jukebox, in the marketplace on the similar time, price £10 less and was blessed wth a a lot more generous 20GB laborious drive and "stunningly open sound". And, in fact, it wasn't tied to just one form of laptop.It was slightly cumbersome (Apple was already forward of the pack within the taste stakes), but back in 2002 we felt it was the easier value proposition.

The iPod's 2-inch backlit display screen was clear and easy sufficient to read, however now it seems tiny (not to mention prehistoric) in comparison to the pretty Retina HD displays you spot on today's Apple portables.

Apple's headphones have a tendency to come back in for a little of stick, however in 2002 we felt the ones supplied with the iPod were of excellent quality and felt comfortable enough - the transportable headphone market did not explode in recognition until some years later, so the alternatives had been skinny at the ground.

iPod gross sales had been somewhat slow first of all. But the verdict taken in 2004 to make iTunes and iPod PC-friendly saw a large uptick in sales, and by 2007 Apple had shifted one hundred million examples. The title 'iPod' changed into genericised. And it lasted for years, till smartphones (specifically the iPhone) began to cannibalise iPod sales.

There's no doubting the iPod is a vintage, a game-changer, a watershed second. So we are happy to have concluded, in our authentic review, that "the iPod is a delightful, simple device that looks and sounds the business".

So, to that end, glad birthday, iPod. Long would possibly you reside in our wallet and blast song into our ears.

MORE: Best portable music players 2019: from budget to hi-res music

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