Who Invented the iPod?


The iPod wasn't the first portable music player on the market, but shortly after it debuted, it eclipsed previous players. Like other major breakthroughs, many people participated in the development of the iPod. They ranged from Apple's co-founder Steve Jobs to the countless unnamed members of Apple design and engineering teams.

Moving Into Media

  • Apple began expanding from hardware to digital media in 1999. That's when Jobs realized Apple's FireWire technology could transfer digital movies to computers. He decided the next wave of iMacs would have FireWire ports, and Apple created iMovie as a movie-editing program. Internet users were already downloading songs in MP3 form, so digital music became part of the firm's media strategy. Apple bought the rights to SoundJam MP, a Mac MP3 player app. One of its creators, Jeff Robbin, led a tech team that turned SoundJam into iTunes.

Make Mine Music

  • Apple planned to make iTunes music available to MP3 players but discovered players weren't easy to work with. They downloaded music from Macs too slowly and either had bulky hard drives or small ones that held only a few songs. Jobs decided Apple should create its own player and use FireWire to transfer songs faster. Apple engineer Jon Rubinstein discovered a 1.8-inch diameter Toshiba hard drive that would work for a small MP3 player. In 2001, Rubinstein hired engineer Tony Fadell to work out the details.

Putting It Together

  • Fadell's team used a mix-and-match approach to build the iPod: Toshiba hard drive, Sony battery and a hardware blueprint purchased from startup firm PortalPlayer. Rubinstein told "Wired" magazine in 2006 that the selection of components determined the iPod's flat, rectangular shape. Phil Schiller, Apple marketing head, suggested using a scrolling wheel to scan playlists, scanning faster the faster the wheel turned. That fit with Jobs' idea that a successful player would make it simple for users to navigate content.

Launching the iPod

  • Apple began work on the iPod in early 2001 with the goal of releasing it before Christmas that year. Apple made that deadline. To market its new product -- different from anything Apple had made before -- it recruited copywriter Vinnie Chieco, who named the device. Chieco told "Wired" he thought the design resembled a lifepod or shuttlepod from a spaceship. Fortunately, Apple had already trademarked "iPod" for an unrelated, never-developed project.

Related Searches


  • Photo Credit julief514/iStock/Getty Images
Promoted By Zergnet



You May Also Like

  • Who Invented the Apple Peeler?

    Before 1864, there was no machine or mechanical aid that would allow a kitchen worker or farm wife to peel apples quickly....

  • What Year Was the iPod Invented?

    iPods have become almost as common as the cell phone. The device was unveiled to the public in October 2001, but its...

  • Who Invented the Caramel Apple?

    Who can be credited with the invention of the caramel apple? Some say it was a sales representative for the Kraft corporation...

  • Who Invented iTunes?

    Before his passing, Apple CEO Steve Jobs was the driving force behind most of Apple's big products, including the ubiquitous iTunes. Starting...

  • iPod Facts

    Apple's iPod is one of the most successful portable media devices on the market. As a result, its legend has grown as...

  • Who Invented TV?

    Many individuals contributed to the design of the components in the first television, a technology most people today take for granted. The...

  • Who Invented the Apple Computer?

    The original Apple computer was invented in 1976 by Steve Wozniak and Steve Jobs. The first Apple computer, known as the Apple...

  • Who Invented the Touch Screen?

    Touch Screens have become quite commonplace in recent years. Video game systems, tablet PCs, even the check-out at grocery stores now use...

  • Who Invented the First Tablet PC?

    According to Web Pro News, pen computing has been around since the early 1980s. However, it was not until the 2002 that...

  • Where Was the Touch Lamp Invented?

    The touch lamp was invented in Freeport, New York, by Scott M. Kunen. He patented the touch lamp twice, and the most...

  • The Best Inventions of the 21st Century

    The 21st century has already seen some amazing inventions in its first decade. Many of the best inventions have improved the Internet...

Related Searches

Check It Out

Geek Vs Geek: Robot battles, hoverboard drag race, and more

Is DIY in your DNA? Become part of our maker community.
Submit Your Work!