The iPod Turns 20! See Every Iteration Through the Years

Scroll down memory lane to see the how everyone's favorite music player has evolved since 2001

01 of 21

1st Generation, 2001

The iPod through the years
Apple

Steve Jobs announced the debut of a new product called the iPod at an Apple press event in 2001, predicting the device would change music forever, Macworld reported.

"To have your whole CD library with you at all times is a quantum leap when it comes to music," the Apple co-founder said. "You can fit your whole music library in your pocket."

Weeks later, the original iPod — complete with a 5 GB hard drive, scroll wheel and FireWire port — hit shelves at $399, and became an instant success.

02 of 21

2nd Generation, 2002

The iPod through the years
Apple

The following summer, Apple announced the second generation of its trendy new portable music player, which would feature 10 GB and 20 GB capacities. This latest iPod also boasted a sleeker touch wheel and better software for organizing music.

03 of 21

3rd Generation, 2003

The iPod through the years
Apple

New year, new iPod. The tech giant rolled out a brand new look for its bestseller, featuring an all-touch interface. Apple also unveiled the iTunes Music Store, where users could purchase songs for download, and tweaked its tech so that Windows users could connect their iPods too.

04 of 21

iPod Minis, 2004 and 2005

The iPod through the years
Apple

Meet the Mini! The sized-down device was about as big as a business card and came in four bright colors (plus silver). Small but mighty, the first generation Mini held 4 GB and the second generation Mini held up to 6 GB. The iPod Mini paved the way for future devices with its click wheel, "which would remain a staple of the iPod design for the rest of the product's history," according to The Verge.

05 of 21

4th Generation, 2004

The iPod through the years
Apple

The original iPod kept getting bigger and better. Taking a page from the iPod Mini, the fourth version had a click wheel and could hold more music than ever at 40 GB.

Three months after the fourth generation dropped, Apple elevated it with a digital screen that could show album art in black and white. In 2005, fans delighted when the capacity for the player, known as the iPod Photo, was upgraded to color, per PC Mag. iPod Photo could also hold up to 60 GB of music.

06 of 21

Shuffle, 1st Generation, 2005

The iPod through the years
Apple

Shrinking the iPod even further, the first screenless iPod used flash memory and could be mistaken for a flash drive — or a stick of gum. The Shuffle was Apple's most affordable iPod yet, starting at $99 for 512 MB of music, per Macworld.

07 of 21

Nano, 1st Generation, 2005

The iPod through the years
Apple

Hello, Nano! The iPod Mini's successor featured a color screen for album art, and could hold up to 4 GB of music.

08 of 21

5th Generation, 2005

The iPod through the years
Apple

Stepping it up, the original iPod was perfected even further in its fifth iteration. To keep up with an increasingly digital media landscape, the latest iPod was widened to allow users to view music videos, TV shows, and later, even movies, on their devices, according to the outlet.

Raising capacity, the iPod could now hold up to 80 GB — which users would need for all those downloads!

09 of 21

Nano, 2nd Generation, 2006

The iPod through the years
Apple

Perhaps responding to fan demand for the discontinued iPod Mini, the second rollout of the Nano came in a new slew of colors and went where its predecessor had not gone before, holding up to 8 GB.

10 of 21

6th Generation, 2007

The iPod through the years
Apple

Rebranded as the "Classic," the sixth style was the largest, and last, of the original iPods, and could hold up to 120 GB of media, per Lifewire.

11 of 21

Nano, 3rd Generation, 2007

The iPod through the years
Apple

A new shorter, wider nano hit the scene, which offered a 2-in. screen and video playback and support for new iPod games, PC Mag reported.

12 of 21

Nano, 4th and 5th Generations, 2008 and 2009

The iPod through the years
Apple

The 4th generation Nano came with a few cool options, including Apple's Genius playlist creation, an accelerometer, which allowed you to turn the screen vertically and horizontally, and the option to shake the nano to play a random song. The 5th came with a larger screen, a built-in mic, speaker and FM radio.

13 of 21

Nano, 6th and 7th Generations, 2010 and 2012

The iPod through the years
Apple

The 6th (and least popular) Nano came a lot smaller than the others. It also ditched the click wheel for a touch screen. The 7th came with multi-touch display and 16 GB capacity.

14 of 21

Shuffle, 2nd Generation, 2006

The iPod through the years
Apple

The latest Shuffle shrunk down to a drastically smaller size and came with a built-in belt clip. Apple touted it as the "world's smallest MP3 player" at the time.

15 of 21

Shuffle, 3rd Generation, 2009

The iPod through the years
Apple

The next Shuffle included a voiceover feature that told you what song was playing and when the battery needed to be charged. It also had a headphone port that connected to a computer's USB port and eventually came in a variety of colors.

16 of 21

iPod Touch, 1st Generation, 2007

The iPod through the years
Apple

The iPod Touch came out the same year as the iPhone, but was created for those who only wanted access to apps without the phone functionality. You could surf the web if connected to WiFi and pocket the new gadget at $299 for the 8 GB model, according to Apple.

17 of 21

iPod Touch, 2nd Generation, 2008

The iPod through the years
Apple

The next gen Touch had a contoured design, offered the App Store and came with a volume button.

18 of 21

iPod Touch, 4th Generation, 2010

The iPod through the years
Apple

The 3rd generation came with a faster processor but the 4th made bigger strides with the addition of an iSight camera and FaceTime HD camera.

19 of 21

iPod Touch, 5th Generation, 2012

The iPod through the years
Apple

With a bigger screen and a sweet pop-out loop you could attach a strap to, the 5th gen Touch included Retina display and a faster processor for users to take better quality pictures and videos.

20 of 21

iPod Touch, 6th Generation, 2015

The iPod through the years
Apple

In 2015, Apple made the Touch lighter and added the option for fitness tracking. It was available in five colors, as well as a (PRODUCT)Red version.

21 of 21

iPod Touch, 7th Generation, 2019

Apple iPod Touch 7th Generation
Apple

While the 7th version wasn't too far off from its predecessor, it commanded a different target audience: kids.

The lightweight and most affordable iOS device (starting at just $199) was perfect for a child who wanted to play games and play music but was too young to have a phone. It also still had a headphone jack and home button with full access to everything iOS has to offer.

Updated by
Diane J. Cho

Diane J. Cho was the Features Editor of PEOPLE Digital from 2019 to 2022. She worked at the brand for nearly four years covering news, features, human interest, evergreen, holiday gift guides and more. She launched the How I Parent and What It's Really Like to Be …. digital series and has interviewed several celebrities and influential leaders within the entertainment industry. Prior to joining PEOPLE, Diane worked at Bustle, VH1 and Complex. She received her bachelor's degree in Journalism from Rutgers University and her master's degree from Columbia Journalism School.

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