iPod first generation iPod first generation

Original iPod Datasheet

On October 23, 2001, Apple unleashed a game-changing innovation that would redefine the way we experience music—the Original Apple iPod also known as “Scroll Wheel” or “1st Generation”. A portable MP3 player that marked the dawn of a new era in personal entertainment and paved the way for a technological revolution.

Apple’s introduction of the first iPod represented a quantum leap in portable music players. Designed with meticulous attention to detail, the iPod packed up to 1,000 CD-quality songs into a sleek 6.5-ounce device that could effortlessly fit into your pocket. This innovation marked a significant departure from traditional methods of music consumption, setting the stage for a paradigm shift in personal entertainment.

A key highlight of the iPod was its Auto-Sync feature, a revolutionary technology that simplified the process of managing music collections. Auto-Sync automatically downloaded all your iTunes songs and playlists onto the iPod, ensuring that your music library was always up to date. This seamless integration with iTunes made managing your digital music effortless, setting the iPod apart as a user-friendly and intuitive device.

The iPod wasn’t just a music player; it was a technological marvel. With a 5 GB hard drive, it could store up to 1,000 CD-quality songs—unheard of in its time. Despite its compact size, the iPod featured up to 20 minutes of shock protection, making it an ideal companion for active individuals engaging in activities like running or biking.

The built-in FireWire port was another game-changer, allowing users to download an entire CD into the iPod in under 10 seconds and 1,000 songs in less than 10 minutes—30 times faster than USB-based players. The iPod’s rechargeable lithium polymer battery powered up to 10 hours of continuous music and recharged automatically when connected to a Mac using the FireWire cable.

iBook G3 Late 2001 and the first iPod
Source: pcmag.com – iBook G3 Late 2001 and the first iPod

Apple’s commitment to delivering top-notch audio quality was evident in the iPod’s specifications. Supporting popular formats like MP3, MP3 VBR, AIFF, and WAV, the iPod featured a high-output 60-mW amplifier for CD-quality sound. The earbud-style headphones, equipped with neodymium magnets, ensured enhanced frequency response and high-fidelity sound.

The 160-by-128-pixel high-resolution display with a white LED backlight was a testament to Apple’s dedication to providing users with a clear and immersive visual experience. Whether in broad daylight or low-light conditions, the iPod’s display offered unmatched visibility.

Apple’s reputation for user-friendly interfaces extended to the iPod with Scroll Wheel. The unique scroll wheel design allows users to navigate their entire music collection effortlessly, with automatic acceleration for quick scrolling through extensive lists. Customizable settings, such as shuffle, repeat, startup volume, sleep timer, and multilingual menus, provided a personalized user experience.

The Auto-Sync feature of the iPod revolutionized the way users managed their music libraries. Simply connecting the iPod to a Mac with the FireWire cable initiated the automatic download of all iTunes songs and playlists. This not only simplified the process but also ensured that users had their latest music and playlists whenever they plugged in their iPod, usually in a matter of seconds.

The first-generation iPod hit the market on November 10, 2001, with a suggested retail price of $399. Available through The Apple Store, Apple’s retail stores, and Apple Authorized Resellers, the iPod came bundled with an iTunes 2 CD, earbud-style headphones, a FireWire cable, and a FireWire-based power adapter. To fully experience the magic of the iPod, users were required to have iTunes 2.

Despite its eventual discontinuation on April 28, 2003, the original iPod remains a pivotal piece of technology in the history of personal entertainment. With its sleek design, innovative features, and user-friendly interface, the iPod laid the foundation for future generations of portable music players. As we reflect on its impact 22 years later, the iPod stands as a testament to Apple’s commitment to pushing the boundaries of technology and enhancing our everyday lives.

iPod with Scroll Wheel
Source: macworld.com – iPod with Scroll Wheel

iPod with Scroll Wheel Details

IntroducedOctober 23, 2001 (5 GB)
March 21, 2002 (10 GB)
DiscontinuedJuly 17, 2002 (10 GB)
April 28, 2003 (5 GB)
Model NumberM8541
Order NumberM8513LL/A (5 GB)
M8709LL/A (10 GB)
Original Price$399 (5 GB)
$499 (10 GB)
Weight6.5 oz.
184 Grams
Dimensions4.02” H x 2.43” W x 0.78” D
10.21 cm H x 6.17 cm W x 1.98 cm D

Original iPod Tech Specs


ProcessorPortalPlayer PP5002 (Dual ARM 7TDMI)
Processor Speed90 MHz
Number of Cores1
Cache8 KB per processor


Storage5 GB (1000 Songs)
10 GB (2000 Songs)


Built-in Display2″ white LED-backlit LCD Display
Resolutions160 x 128 pixels


Audio FormatsAAC
Photo FormatsNone
Video FormatsNone


Ports1 – FireWire
1 – 3.5-mm stereo headphone jack


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Maximum OS2.1
iTunesiTunes 2.0 or later
System RequirementsMac OS 9.2 or later
Mac OS X 10.1 or later


AccessoriesEarbud headphones
AC adapter
FireWire cable
PC model includes 4-pin to 6-pin FireWire adapter


BatteryBuilt-in rechargeable Lithium-Polymer
Battery Capacity1200 mAh
Battery Life10 hours
Charge TimeUp to 3 hours
Power6-pin FireWire or Power Adapter

The First Ever iPod Introduction Video

Further Reading and References

Disclaimer: The data presented in this article is under continuous development and has been manually collected from various sources based on their availability. The author of this article may revise this dataset as additional research is conducted and reviewed. Please note that the information is provided “as is” and “as available” without express or implied warranties. The author cannot be held responsible for any omissions, inaccuracies, or errors in the published information. Any warranties relating to this information are hereby disclaimed.

Last updated: January 29, 2024