Modern technology gives us many things.

Apple’s original iPod was unveiled 15 years ago today

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It’s 15 years since Apple CEO Steve Jobs stood up on stage at the town hall of the company’s Cupertino campus to introduce the original iPod – the first of Apple’s mobile devices that would change the consumer tech world.

At the time, when digital music was in its infancy and MP3 had entered the vocabulary, there was no dominant music player to take advantage of this convenience.

So on October 23, 2001 – at a time when the world was still reeling from the events of September 11 – Jobs fronted a low-key event to unveil a product that would go on to become a runaway hit. The iPod was born.

The idea of having 1000 songs in your pocket – for many their entire music collection – was described by Jobs at the launch as a “quantum leap in listening to music”.

But the punchline at the launch was that the device was small enough to fit in your pocket.

That first iPod had a 5GB hard drive and users could get their music on to the device with a FireWire connection.

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It also had 10-hour battery that could be charged to 80 per cent capacity in one hour – which, at that time, was quite impressive.

And as Jobs explained how ultra-portable it is, he pulled it out of his pocket – and the rest is tech history.

Here is Apple’s history of the iPod

2001

January

– iTunes digital jukebox software introduced

October 23, 2001

– Apple presents iPod, offering “1,000 songs in your pocket”

2002

July

– Apple introduces the second generation iPod, compatible with Windows and holding up to 4,000 songs

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– Number of iPods sold through 2002: 600,000

2003

April 28

– Apple launches the iTunes Music Store with 200,000 songs at 99¢ each, along with the new third-generation iPod that is thinner and lighter than two CDs and holds 7,500 songs

– iTunes sells one million songs in its first week

June

– One millionth iPod sold

September

– iTunes downloads top 10 million songs

October

– The iTunes Music Store becomes available to Windows users

December

– iTunes downloads top 25 million songs

– Number of iPods sold through 2003: two million

2004

January

– Apple introduces iPod mini, available in five colors

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March

– iTunes downloads top 50 million songs

June

– iTunes Music Store goes international, launching in the U.K., France & Germany

June

– BMW drivers get the first car audio system with iPod integration

July

– iTunes downloads top 100 million songs

October

– Apple introduces the iPod U2 Special Edition

December

– iTunes downloads top 200 million songs

– Number of iPods sold through 2004: 10 million

2005

January

– iPod shuffle introduced

The iPod Shuffle over the years
The iPod Shuffle over the years

July

– iTunes downloads top half a billion songs

August

– iTunes Music Store debuts in Japan

September

– iPod nano replaces the iPod mini and goes on to become the best-selling music player ever

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October

– iTunes expands to include TV shows and music videos

– Apple unveils the new fifth-generation iPod that plays music, photos and video

The U2 iPod
The U2 iPod

– iTunes sells one million videos in less than three weeks

– Number of iPods sold through 2005: 42 million

2006

February

– iTunes sells its one billionth song

May

– Apple and Nike introduce Nike+iPod, including an in-shoe sensor to track the wearer’s workout on their iPod nano

September

– iTunes begins selling full-length feature films

– iPod nano gets a new aluminum design available in five colors

– Apple unveils a wearable new iPod shuffle with built-in clip

October

– Apple announces the new iPod nano (PRODUCT) RED Special Edition to benefit The Global – Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria

– Number of iPods sold through 2006: 88 million

2007

January

– Apple introduces iPhone

– iTunes tops two billion songs sold, 50 million TV episodes and 1.3 million feature-length films

– iPod shuffle becomes available in five colors

April

– EMI offers its entire digital music catalog DRM-free on iTunes

– 100 millionth iPod sold

May

– iTunes U launches on the iTunes Store

July

iTunes tops three billion songs sold

September

– Apple unveils iPod touch with Multi-Touch interface and built-in Wi-Fi wireless networking

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– Number of iPods sold through 2007: 141 million

2008

January

– Apple premieres iTunes movie rentals with all major film studios

April

– iTunes Store passes Wal-Mart to become America’s #1 music retailer

May

– Movies become available for sale on iTunes the same day as their DVD release

June

– iTunes tops five billion songs sold

– Apple introduces the new iPhone 3G, twice as fast as the previous generation and featuring support for third party applications

July

– The App Store debuts as iPhone 3G goes on sale

– iPhone and iPod touch users download 10 million apps in the App Store’s first weekend

September

– App Store downloads top 100 million

– Over 90% of new cars sold in the U.S. offer iPod connectivity

October

– iTunes goes high-def with HD TV shows from ABC, CBS, FOX and NBC

– Number of iPods sold through 2008: 197 million

2009

January

– All iTunes songs offered DRM-free

March

– Movie fans can buy and rent films in HD on the iTunes Store

July

– The App Store marks its first anniversary with more than 1.5 billion apps downloaded

September

– Apple announces the iPod nano has sold more than 100 million units to date

– App Store downloads top two billion

November

– Apple announces more than 100,000 apps available on the App Store

– Number of iPods sold through 2009: 250 million

2010

January

– App Store downloads top three billion

February

– iTunes Store tops 10 billion songs sold

July

– App Store downloads top five billion

August

– iTunes U downloads top 300 million

September

– Apple introduces the new iPod touch with Retina Display, FaceTime video calling, HD video recording and Game Center

– The new iPod nano features Multi-Touch interface and a built-in clip for instant wearability

– Apple unveils the new iPod shuffle, the world’s smallest iPod

– Apple announces iPod touch is the world’s #1 portable game player

– More than 250,000 apps available on the App Store

– Number of iPods sold through September 1, 2010: 275 million

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The current iPod family