The iPod is a pocket-sized portable music-playing device produced by Apple and sold across the world.  It's the best-known family of MP3 players and comes in a variety of models.

The various iPod models

  • iPod Touch – full-function version with touchable screen controls and up to 64GB of space for music, photographs, apps and video.
  • iPod Shuffle – tiny, lightweight clip-and-go model with no screen and just 2GB of space.
  • iPod Nano – lightweight iPod with touch-screen controls and up to 16GB of space for audio files.
  • iPod Classic – with up to 160GB of hard-drive storage space, plus the familiar 'click wheel' control.

Features and benefits of an iPod

  • iPods can store several thousand songs, the exact number depending on the model.
  • Most models can now play video, store images and run 'apps'.
  • It's easy to connect to a computer and manage an iPod's music library and playlists via iTunes.
  • The iPod Touch has 'FaceTime' enabled, a video-calling facility between iPod Touches and various other Apple products such as the iPad range.
  • iPod Classic models store media on an internal hard drive, while all other models use flash memory, which means the devices can be smaller and thinner.

History of the iPod

  • The first iPod was released to the market by Apple in 2001.
  • The iTunes Store was launched in 2003, enabling users to purchase music to download and listen on their iPods.
  • Introduced in 2004, the iPod Mini used flash memory to save space.
  • The familiar click-wheel control that dominated the main iPod models for several years was also launched in 2004.
  • The iPod Nano replaced the iPod Mini in 2005.
  • 2007 saw the first of the touch-screen iPods, to match the newly introduced iPhone.

Chris Quartermaine is a Digital Unite tutor for Chester, South Wirral and north-east Wales.