The iPod is a brand of portable media players designed and marketed by Apple Computer. Devices in the iPod family provide a simple user interface designed around a central scroll wheel (with the exception of the iPod shuffle). The standard iPod model stores media on a built-in hard drive, while the smaller iPod shuffle and iPod nano use flash memory. Like most digital audio players, an iPod can serve as an external data storage device when connected to a computer.
Discontinued versions of the iPod include two generations of the popular iPod mini and four generations of the full-sized iPod, all of which had monochrome screens except for the 4th generation iPod with color screen (previously sold as iPod photo before it replaced the monochrome iPod in the main line). As of June 2006, the lineup consists of the 5th generation iPod, which has video playback capabilities; the iPod nano, which has a color screen; and the iPod shuffle; all three models were released in 2005. The iPod is currently the world's best-selling digital audio player. The bundled software used for uploading music, photos, and videos to the iPod is called iTunes. A music jukebox application, iTunes stores a comprehensive library of the user's music on their computer, and can play, burn, and rip music from a CD. The most recent incarnations of iPod and iTunes have video playing and organization features.
The iPod's mainstream use and popularity worldwide in the MP3 player market has led to iPod becoming one of the world's most popular brands of MP3 player. Apple's proprietary actions regarding iPods and iTunes, however, have led to criticism as well as legal battles.
1st Generation - 5GB/10GB - monochromatic screen - scroll wheel (buttons surrounding)
2nd Generation - 10GB/20GB - monochromatic screen - touch wheel (buttons surrounding)
3rd Generation (dock connector)- 10GB/15GB/20GB/30GB/40GB - monochromatic screen - touch wheel (buttons above)
4th Generation (regular) - 20GB/40GB - monochromatic screen - click wheel
4th Generation (photo) - 40GB/60GB - 16 bit color screen - click wheel
5th Generation (video) - 30GB/60GB - 16 bti color TFT screen - click wheel
The iPod has brought MP3 players and digital music in to the mainstream