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An iPod is a portable digital media player produced by Apple Inc. It was originally introduced in October 2001.
All iPod models have been redesigned multiple times through September 2010. An iPod can be connected to a computer via Firewire or USB port. iPhones and iPads can also function as iPods, but are considered separate product lines.
Original versions of iPods had a monochrome screen (black and white) and a 5 Gb hard drive. Models have been upgraded with color displays with as large as 160 Gb hard drives, and are capable of displaying TV, videos, and movies uploaded from a PC. All iPods have 5 buttons. For a minimalist interface, later model buttons were integrated into the “click wheel.”
iPods were also originally platform dependent, that is, they could only be loaded onto an Apple computer. After July 2004, Apple’s iTunes software shipped with each unit, allowing operation on either Windows or Mac. iTunes came with great capability: load a whole CD in 10 seconds, manage thousands of songs in playlists, subscribe to podcasts and purchase songs, and play videos and movies from an online store. All iPods, except the iPod Touch (a portable media player, personal digital assistant, and Wi-Fi mobile platform), can function as high capacity storage devices for data files. Depending on the computer it is initially plugged into, a new iPod (excluding the iPod Shuffle, targeted for a lower-end market) will be formatted for Windows with FAT 32 formatting or for Mac OS 10 with HFS+ formatting.