iPod

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iPod

(1) See also iPad, Apple's tablet computer.

(2) A family of popular digital media players from Apple. Introduced in 2001, current models comprise the shuffle, nano and touch, the latter a mobile computer like the iPhone (see iPod touch). All current iPods use solid state flash memory for storage.

Due to the iPod's prominence, the term often refers to any MP3 player, whether an Apple product or not (see digital music player). However, because iPhones and every other smartphone have music storage and playback built in, iPod sales have diminished considerably over the years.

iTunes Is the Media Manager
Apple's iTunes software for Mac and Windows, which is also widely used to play music in the computer whether people have iPods or not, is used to organize songs and videos and to preview, purchase and download content from Apple's online store. iTunes lets users rip CDs to the computer as well as burn CDs with content in their music library. It also keeps the iPod's firmware up-to-date and decodes movies and TV shows that Apple sells with copy protection. See iTunes, ripping and FairPlay.

Music Files and Formats
iPods play MP3 music, but songs downloaded from the iTunes store are in the AAC format. Although touted as having superior sound quality, a major reason for using AAC was its digital rights management (DRM). In 2009, Apple dropped the AAC copy protection.

MP3 and AAC formats are roughly 10% the size of the original CD tracks; however, users may opt to rip their CDs to the Apple Lossless format for better sound quality, despite being five times the size of MP3 and AAC files.

iPods do not support Microsoft's Windows Media Audio (WMA) format. However, numerous utilities convert WMA to MP3, and the Windows version of iTunes converts WMA to all formats that iTunes and the iPod support.

History
The combination of sound quality and unique click wheel control made the iPod one of the most successful consumer electronics (CE) products in history. In its first five years, 100 million iPods were sold along with 1.5 billion songs. See click wheel.

Originally a monochrome device for music only, color screens and support for photos and videos were added. In 2007, the iPod touch was a full-fledged handheld computer. For details of current and previous iPods, see iPod models, iPod classic, iPod touch, iPod nano and iPod shuffle.

Batteries
The rechargeable battery in the iPod is sealed and must be sent to Apple for replacement, which is free under warranty. However, non-Apple sources offer replacement batteries and instructions for opening the case. See iCloud, iPod compatible, iPod finger, iPod car adapter, car podding and pod slurping.

A/V and Image Formats
Except for the shuffle, which has no screen, iPods display major image formats, including JPEG, GIF, BMP, TIFF and PNG. The classic and touch both support MPEG-4 and H.264 video. Following are the iPod's audio formats.
iPOD AUDIO FORMATS                       classic,                       nano,  Formats              touch   shuffle

  MP3                     X       X
  MP3 VBR                 X       X
  AAC                     X       X
  HE-AAC (aacPlus)        X
  Audible                 X       X
  Audible Enhanced (AAX)  X       X

  Apple Lossless          X       X
  AIFF                    X       X
  WAV                     X       X



The iPod Line
From left to right: shuffle, nano and touch. For specifications, see iPod models. (Images courtesy of Apple Inc.)







iPoddery
By 2004, the iPod became the hottest electronic gadget on the market. This rural Vermont family delighted in showing off their "iPoddery," including the Bose table top speaker system (right) and the portable Altec Lansing unit that let our young hero carry his own iPod boom box.







A Girl's Best Friend
What did a 13-year-old crave for her birthday in 2004? An iPod Mini... in powder blue. Of course.







The Click Wheel
The iPod's original control wheel actually rotated. The subsequent click wheel design, which is exposed in this protective rubber case, is stationary and touch sensitive. The wheel is clicked, but rotated by touch; however, the iPod touch introduced an entirely new interface.
References in periodicals archive ?
Apple is reinventing the home stereo with the new iPod Hi-Fi, the first iPod accessory that adds true high-fidelity sound quality to the iPod," said Steve Jobs, Apple's CEO.
What do hearing experts think may damage the hearing of young people using iPods and other MP3 players?
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The 20GB and 60GB iPods for Mac or Windows are available immediately worldwide for a suggested retail price of $299 (US) and $399 (US) respectively.
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Designed to take your entire music and photo libraries with you wherever you go, both iPod photo models feature a stunning high-resolution color screen for displaying photos and enhancing the entire iPod music experience.
The iPod-integration will allow exercisers to sync their iPods with the equipment's LCD screen to conveniently view their playlists and enjoy video content while working out.
With most flash-memory music players users must use tiny displays and complicated controls to find their music; with iPod shuffle you just relax and it serves up new combinations of your music every time you listen.
Recover My iPOD works on all iPOD models and can recover a range of files, particularly after the notorious Reset or Restore buttons have been activated at the wrong time.
With the new iTunes Music Store, you can now buy music online and transfer it right onto your iPod for listening wherever you want.
ifrogz iPod protective cases utilize a unique three-part design and come in a truly infinite number of combinations, allowing consumers to customize the look of their iPods as much as their music and video selections are customized.