I remember my first iPod.
I was 11, and a relatively unknown brand called Apple unveiled a rectangular music player that could digitally hold up to 1,000 songs. It was probably the first time I was genuinely excited about a piece of tech. I guess a few other people felt the same way, because it went pretty well for the company.
Neary sixteen years later, the tech giant has this week announced it’s pulling the iPod Nano and Shuffle out of its virtual stores. The devices were the company’s last two music players without the ability to run streaming service Apple Music, and hadn’t been upgraded for years. The iPod Touch survives for now, but in the words of Wired’s David Pierce, “that’s not a real iPod; it’s an iPhone-lite.”
The original iPod’s 2001 release coincided with the rise of Napster, and the result was revolutionary. “Music is a part of everyone’s life,” said Jobs on stage at the unveiling in Cupertino. “And because it’s a part of everyone’s life, it’s a very large target market all around the world. It knows no boundaries.” But the gadget cost $399 and, not for the first or last time, people were skeptical of Job’s vision.
Fast forward to October 2002, the release of iTunes 4.1 and the iPod’s compatibility with Windows 2000 and XP. Sales took off, and Apple took out ads reading “Hell Froze Over.”
In 2003, Apple released the iTunes Music Store and made the iPod 3 USB compatible, opening the device to Windows PCs. Oprah named it “one of her favorite things,” and the silhouette ads and white headphones became ubiquitous.
In January 2004, Apple unveiled the iPod Mini and a year later, in January 2005, announced the screen-less Shuffle, which plugged directly into computer through onboard USB.
In September came the iPod Nano, which Jobs famously announced by pulling it out of a watch pocket on his Levi’s.
Sales exploded, leading Apple to call the Nano the “world’s most popular digital music player.” The company sold its one billionth song in February 2006, but everyone was too busy illegally downloading music to notice.
In September, the second-generation iPod nano was unveiled alongside the second-generation Shuffle. Less than half a year later, in January 2007, Jobs announced the iPhone. The writing was on the wall for the iPod range, but the devices had changed music history.
This week may mark the end of the road for the entry-range Nano and Shuffle, but tech geeks are doing their best to ensure they’ll be remembered as any good tech gadget might hope to be – in the immortal words of a Twitter sendoff, #RIPiPod.
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HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN A GUIDE?
WHAT DO YOU LOVE ABOUT YOUR JOB?
It's the personal contact, the personal experiences. I love meeting people from all over the world... I really like getting to know everyone and feeling like I'm traveling with a group of friends.
WHAT DESTINATION IS ON YOUR TRAVEL BUCKET-LIST?
I have so many places on my list, but I would really lobe to go to Africa. I consider myself an “adventure girl” and Africa feels like the ULTIMATE adventure!
Every CULTURE TRIP Small-group adventure is led by a Local Insider just like Hanna.
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Since you are here, we would like to share our vision for the future of travel - and the direction Culture Trip is moving in.
Culture Trip launched in 2011 with a simple yet passionate mission: to inspire people to go beyond their boundaries and experience what makes a place, its people and its culture special and meaningful — and this is still in our DNA today. We are proud that, for more than a decade, millions like you have trusted our award-winning recommendations by people who deeply understand what makes certain places and communities so special.
Increasingly we believe the world needs more meaningful, real-life connections between curious travellers keen to explore the world in a more responsible way. That is why we have intensively curated a collection of premium small-group trips as an invitation to meet and connect with new, like-minded people for once-in-a-lifetime experiences in three categories: Culture Trips, Rail Trips and Private Trips. Our Trips are suitable for both solo travelers, couples and friends who want to explore the world together.
Culture Trips are deeply immersive 5 to 16 days itineraries, that combine authentic local experiences, exciting activities and 4-5* accommodation to look forward to at the end of each day. Our Rail Trips are our most planet-friendly itineraries that invite you to take the scenic route, relax whilst getting under the skin of a destination. Our Private Trips are fully tailored itineraries, curated by our Travel Experts specifically for you, your friends or your family.
We know that many of you worry about the environmental impact of travel and are looking for ways of expanding horizons in ways that do minimal harm - and may even bring benefits. We are committed to go as far as possible in curating our trips with care for the planet. That is why all of our trips are flightless in destination, fully carbon offset - and we have ambitious plans to be net zero in the very near future.