Because of formatting difficulties, this post will not contain images of the iPods. If you wish to see the iPods mentioned in this post, there is an excellent image gallery over at IGN.

Picking up where we left off in Part 2.

2008 – Apple released the 4th generation iPod Nano. The new nano went back to the thin design of the 1st and 2nd generation models, and was thinner then ever. The Nano came with a built in accelerometer that allowed the user to rotate the nano to view videos in wide screen. It contained an FM radio and came in several colors. There was both an 8 GB and a 16 GB, which cost $149 and $199 respectively.

Also released in 2008 was the a upgrade to the iPod classic. The only difference was between this iPod and the previous version was improved battery life and a change in storage capacity. Instead of two models, one with 80 GB and one with 160 GB, there was only one with 120 GB of storage space, it cost buyers $249.

Apple also released the second generation iPod Touch. The iPod contained several new improvements, including an external volume switch, built-in speakers, limited bluetooth support, and the new shake to shuffle features, which allowed users to shake the device in order to skip songs. It also had a chrome backing, something that was not in the original iPod touch. The iPod touch cost $229 for the 8 GB model, $299 for the 16 GB model, and $399 for the 32 GB model, which was a price reduction from the previous version. It originally ran the iOS (not called iOS at the time) operating system version 2.1, and was upgradeable to 4.2, albeit with limited features.

2009 – The 3rd generation iPod shuffle was a complete overhaul. The device became thinner and longer, looking like small pack of gum. It removed the buttons from the device itself, instead requiring external controls on the earphones. This caused a lot of outcry because people could no longer use their own earphones without using a converter. It also included a voice over feature, which allowed people to hear (in a nice little robotic voice) what was being played and what would be coming after. It had 4 GB of storage space and cost $79 .

Apple also released the third version (not really generation) of the iPod classic. The only real difference was the increased storage space (160 GB) and a slightly thinner body. The iPod remained at the same price of $249.

The 5th generation iPod nano added several significant features. It included a longer screen, a pedometer and a FM radio. But perhaps the biggest feature was the introduction of a video camera on the front. The camera could record H.264 format with 640×480 resolution at 30 FPS with AAC audio. It had a built in microphone, but could not take still pictures. The iPod came in several different colors and had 8 GB ($149) and 16 GB ($199) options.

The 3rd generation iPod Touch boasted an improved processor, more memory, improved voice control, and complete Bluetooth support. It came in 8 GB ($199) 32 GB ($299) and 64 ($399) GB. The 8 GB model was almost identical to the 2nd Gen 8 GB model. And did not include full support for iOS 4. The 32 and 64 GB models originally ran iOS 3.1.1. and are upgradable to the latest software (current 4.3.3) with full features.

2010 – (All iPods released in this year are the current models) The fourth generation iPod shuffle took the device back to its roots. After the unpopularity of the 3rd generation button-less model, apple replaced the button and changed the shape to be more like a square. It had about 15 hours of battery life and came in a 2 GB capacity, and had several colors available. It cost $49.

The 2010 refresh of the iPod nano was a complete new design. Apple got rid of the buttons, opting instead for a touch screen model running a stripped down version of iOS. It lost it’s video playback and video recording abilities, but gained more voice-over functionality. It had the same battery life and was much smaller then the previous model. It also added a clip, allowing joggers and the like to clip the iPod to their shirts or pants for easy access. The iPod came in several different colors and cost $149 for the 8 GB model and $179 for the 16 GB model.

The 4th Generation iPod touch added several new features, along with being slimmer and faster, it added two cameras, one front facing and one rear facing. The rear facing one is capable of taking 720p HD video, as well as 960X720 stills. The front camera was mainly for use with the new software Facetime, which aloud video chat between Apple devices. The resolution of the screen was increased, using what Apple called its “Retina Display,” with 326 PPI. It also boasted improved battery life, with up to 40 hours of audio and up to 7 hours video. It also included a 3 axis gyroscope for increased movement sensing. It came in 8 ($229) 32 ($299) and 64 ($399) GB models.

2011 – Who knows? Generally Apple releases new iPods in September, we will just have to wait and see.

This is part 3 of my series on the history of the iPod, you can read part 1 here, and part 2 here!


Categories: Internet Music, Other