iPod 2001 still going

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I celebrated the tenth anniversary of the original iPod.

The initial iPod was released on October 23, 2001. I’m pleased to note that mine is still going strong 14 years later. It’s funny now to look back and remember that I was absolutely sure I’d never be able to fill up five gigs with just music, or as Apple put it “1000 songs in your pocket.”

I used my first iPod a lot for just listening to music, especially on the bus or working in the library, but I also used it for teaching. The fact that I could mount it as a drive via FireWire meant I could show students short film clips of plays or play audio files via the lecture hall’s sound system or workstation.

Now, I have music on my iPhone, but not so much as I used to; I’m streaming a lot more via local WiFi. Instead, that storage that might have been used for music is now being used for photos and ebooks.

I predicted that we’d be reading ebooks more; I missed entirely how much we’d be taking photos with our phone—though I used the cameras a lot on my iPhone 1 and 3, I mostly used them to take pictures of things I couldn’t see well, like street signs or small text on boxes. Now, I’m using the iPhone 5 camera more than my dedicated camera—and it’s changed the way I take pictures.

No, I’m not taking selfies, but I am taking a lot more spontaneous shotsbecause the iPhone is right there, and I’m still using the iPhone camera as a visual aid, even though new plastics have made distance and close reading glasses possible for me. But I’m sending friends and families more photos than I ever did before—and seeing more in response, too.

Harry Potter and the iBooks Author

My co-writer Michael Cohen has an interesting piece over at TidBITS on the just published “Enhanced” edition of Rowling’s Harry Potter series. They were made with the current version of iBooks Author, and are therefor exclusively available at the iBooks store.

Apple’s iBooks Author app is still free; this is the first commercial example I know of using the current version iBooks Author 2.3 ability to export standard EPUB files. Go read Michael Cohen’s full Harry Potter and the iBooks Author article for more details about “enhanced” EPUBs and iBooks Author.

What’s interesting to me, especially, is that this version of iBooks Author looks like academics could use it to create basic annotated editions or course readers, ebooks with limited enhancements, that would be fairly simple to create and still look professional.

iWork.com Finally Going to Be Mercifully Offed

Adam Engst of TidBITS has a smart piece on the demise of iWork.com, the never-out-of-beta sharing site for iWork files. Go read Apple Finally Puts iWork.com Out of Its Misery. It’s a good piece, but there’s this really smart observation at the end:

Put bluntly, Apple has never understood how to support collaboration, and technologies like iCloud and sandboxing seem to be headed in the opposite direction.

I think this is very true. iCloud does syncing, mostly, but it really needs to go beyond that. Other than the utility of storing and being able to re-download content purchased from Apple, and the usefulness of iTunes Match, Dropbox offers me more ease of use and functionality than iCloud. I can sync, backup, share and collaborate.

Apple’s March 7 New iPad Announcements

First, the big news.

Apple is taking orders right now for March 16 shipping for their third version iPad. The specs are here. The crude details:

  • Retina display with 3.1 million pixels (2048-by-1536-pixel resolution at 264 pixels per inch)
  • New rear-facing iSight camera offering 1080p HD video recording, 5 MP images, stabilization, Auto focus (tap to focus)
  • Also 2nd FaceTime camera with VGA-quality photos and video at up to 30 frames per second.
  • Voice dictation (this is NOT Siri)
  • An A5X CPU with quad-core graphics
  • Both WiFi 4G LTE versions (buy the model for either AT&T or Verizon) and WiFi only. See Glenn Fleishman’s explanation of LTE and why you should care.
  • Form factor a tiny bit larger (fractions of a millimeter larger), includes Bluetooth, battery life about the same, storage (16G, 32G, 64G) and pricing identical to the iPad 2. Black and white bodies both offered.

Apple’s shiny pictures and tasty videos are here. Smart coverage from TidBITS here, Jeff Carlson in the Seattle Times here.

Other announcements included the refreshed Apple TV, iWork updates, the $4.99 iPhoto for iOS (which is available now from the App store, and looks very very sweet, but requires iPad 2 or the new iPad), and iOS 5.1, with updates to lots of Apple’s apps, available now.

Tenth Anniversary of the Original iPod

First generation Apple iPod

First generation Apple iPodMy original 5 gig iPod, purchased in November of 2001, still boots, still charges, and still works. October 23 was the anniversary of the initial announcement regarding the then new iPod, and while mine still works pretty much as well as it did in 2001 (the battery is not what it was), I subsequently became a delighted owner of first a first generation iPhone (now, sadly, with a damaged sleep/power button) and then, an iPod Classic, and, last January, an iPhone 3gs.

But it’s been interesting to look back via this Macworld piece on The Birth of the iPod, and to look back at the pundits’ initial takes on the first iPod via a companion piece on The iPod: What They Said.

I started using my first iPod at first to store music, and then to sync data. It wasn’t long at all before it became an essential teaching tool for me, as I noted in this blog post from 2004 written in response to a piece in The Chronicle of Higher Education about the Duke iPod project.

I note for the curious, that The Chronicle is still usually hopelessly inane regarding teaching with technology, despite their recent harried push at becoming cool with respect to instructional technology.