Home Cd software A look back at PCMag’s first iPod review

A look back at PCMag’s first iPod review


Today, Apple Inc. is a trillion dollar company, and it was the first to achieve this valuation. It hasn’t always been that way. While this year he had a third quarter profit of $ 21.7 billion (with a B) and most of us were yawning, 20 years ago his third quarter profits were only $ 66 million. That’s a 328-fold increase!

You could say that everything has changed because of the iPod.

Yes, of course the iPhone and iPad are the real money makers now. But without the iPods of yesteryear, which accounted for up to 44% of Apple’s almost always growing profits in some years, would iOS products exist?

Remember that Apple Computer, as it was called at the time, while still having a knack for marketing, was considered quite another in the computing space it originally occupied. In a commentary by Matthew Rothenberg of Interactive week at the time (he was working at MacWeek and broke the news in 2002 that the iPad was coming), he called apple “the eternal longshot in the PC race” despite beating financial forecasts.

A week later, on October 26, 2001, Rothenberg appeared even less pink on Apple’s new toy. He compared Steve Jobs’ announcement of the first iPod to “Apple’s finely sharpened marketing sword that almost cut a few fingers off the company.” It followed a week where the web was foaming at your mouth trying to analyze what Apple might be announcing because its invitation to the event cryptically read, “Hint: It’s not a Mac.” The reaction was the kind of “theological fervor that PC competitors like Compaq Computer or Dell Computer can only dream of,” Rothenberg said. Most of Apple’s competitors can still dream today.

History has shown that the iPod has been a game-changer for Apple and the world, as experimentation with this form has helped drive the modern smartphone.

But was that original iPod any good?

Here is the full text of our first iPod review, written by former staff member Troy Dreier for the PC Magazine December 26, 2001 issue (it was uploaded on November 7, 2001).

Recommended by our editors

iPod: not just iCandy

List of prices: $ 399. Requires: Macintosh with FireWire port; Mac OS 9.2 or 10.1. Apple Computer Inc .; 408-996-1010; www.apple.com.

PCMag Original Apple iPod Review

Let Apple, maker of some of the world’s most stylish computers, create the world’s coolest MP3 player. Flash an Apple iPod ($ 399 listing) and your friends will beg you to play with it. But this beauty has more than a beautiful appearance: its usefulness and its simplicity make it a product out of the ordinary, even for the price.

Apple’s iPod is the first MP3 player with a FireWire connection, which transfers music at up to 400 Mbps. Most gamers use USB, which can only handle 12 Mbps. We transferred a music collection of 523 songs (2.31 GB) in 5 minutes flat. This is great news for Mac users, but not for PC users; IPod is Mac compatible only.

The iPod houses a 5 GB hard drive, enough storage capacity for around 1,000 songs encoded at 160 Kbps. With CDs containing an average of 14 songs, that’s about 71 CDs. There are MP3 players that contain more, but none are so portable. At 4.0 x 2.4 x 0.8 inches (HWD), the iPod is about the size of a deck of cards and weighs just 6.5 ounces.

The few controls on the iPod are arranged around a disc-shaped pad on the front and are accessible with the thumb while carrying the device. There is no Off button: In the event of a 2-minute break, the device switches off. A Hold button near the headphone jack prevents modification of parameters.

The 2 inch LCD screen is crisp and clear. On-screen menus allow you to mix or repeat songs, turn on a bright white backlight, activate a sleep timer, or adjust screen contrast. The iPod has 20 minutes of jump protection, which worked well while jogging. We would however like a belt clip or strap to be included.

The device’s lithium-polymer battery lasts for over 10 hours of use. The player fully charges in 3 hours when plugged into a Mac (which should be running, not in sleep mode) or the included external power adapter using the included FireWire cable.

IPod can also be used as an external storage device. When connected to a Mac, it can be mounted on the desktop like any other drive and store material in a separate area from the music.

The unit comes with iTunes 2, Apple’s jukebox application, which must be installed on your Mac for the player to transfer songs. This version of the software burned a 69.4MB music CD in just 11 minutes 10 seconds compared to 14 minutes 55 seconds for iTunes 1.1.2. Version 2 also creates MP3 discs and has a 10-band equalizer with 22 presets.

The high price of the Apple iPod is as popular as the range of phenomenal features. The price is at the extreme high end for an MP3 player, but it is an extremely good product and the first digital music player to incorporate FireWire. We’ll be curious to see if Apple will need to lower the price to attract more buyers, and we hope to see a Windows compatible version in the future.

This Windows compatibility didn’t take long. The second-generation iPod, released in July 2002, opened up the MP3 player of choice for Windows users through the Musicmatch Jukebox software. It kicked off a decade of updates that revolutionized the iPod itself. It went from hard drive to flash storage, drastically reducing its size until we got to the iPod nano. Screens went from black-and-white songlists to full-color videos, an evolution that eventually led to the stunning displays of the iPhone and, of course, the almost identical iPod touch to this day. Finally, iTunes came to Windows in 2003.

There was no one who couldn’t use an iPod if they wanted to spend money, and millions of people did. At least until the iPhone came in 2007. To learn more, read A Visual History of Apple’s iPod.

Watch Now: iPod 20th Anniversary: ​​A Look Back

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