In the first of a series of articles Steve Wozniak tells Macworld why he believes the iPod has been such a success story for the company he co-founded.
There are very few companies that take a lead role in more than one revolution. Apple is an exception in that it led the computer revolution with the launch of the Apple II back in 1977, and the digital music revolution with the launch of the iPod five years ago on 23 October, 2001.
In the mind of Apple II inventor Steve Wozniak: “The iPod is very much like the Apple II.” The co-founder of Apple was catching up with Macworld while touring the UK to promote his biography, iWoz.
According to Wozniak, known by many of his fans as Woz, the Apple II was exceptional because it was the first time a processor running a programming language had been combined with a terminal and a keyboard, similarly: “The iPod has also found the whole formula,” he explained.
“What the person wants is not a music player,” he said, “the person wants music to their ears. From the artist to the ear. So here’s Apple, it’s got the iTunes Store, it’s got the great iTunes programme and its got the great supportable device, the iPod, and it all works together and it flows together with almost no thinking.”
He added: “The iPod is the first music device that’s not a music device. It is a little satellite to your own computer.”
In fact, the true music device is the computer, according to Woz, ever faithful to the device he is credited with inventing. “The iPod was predated by the personal computer as the music device,” he said, “That’s really how people have come to see it: ‘The computer is my music device, the iPod is the satellite of it’. That is why the iPod has been such a success.”
Woz, ever a music fan, confirmed that he owns a 3rd generation ‘touch-wheel’ iPod.