© Reproduced with the kind permission of Bowers & Wilkins

Apple’s handheld answer to music on the move

‘Big and clunky’. That’s how Apple once described existing digital music players. So, their CEO Steve Jobs, decided to do it differently – and the iPod was invented in 2001.

No longer would people have to carry around cumbersome cassette tapes or CDs. Apple created a whole new digital category that could put entire music collections in someone’s pocket. Windows support also meant that transferring a downloaded CD from a Mac or PC onto the iPod took only minutes – and music files automatically synced when it was connected to the computer.

Along with the iPod being small and slim, the simple-to-use interface did away with buttons. As Apple’s rapidly expanding iTunes store boosted the iPod’s appeal, newer versions, such as the iPod Touch, were developed. These can download music directly from the cloud – opening up an entire ecosystem of digital music for the world to enjoy, on-the-go.

The forerunner of the tape recorder
Abel + Imray handled a patent for Valdemar Poulsen in 1899. This was for a recording machine that stored two minutes of audio on 5-inch steel disks.