The iPod was first introduced on October 23rd, 2001. Since then the iPod has revolutionized everything it's been connected with including the way we interact with and listen to music. Some might even argue the iPod was the first stepping stone into building Apple into the powerhouse that it is today. Apple's iPods are everywhere, and with 10 years of making them, there are a lot of different models: 23 to be exact! This number doesn't account for the different capacities either; there are 23 different kinds of iPods that have been made since 2001. Wow, Apple's been busy! Hit the break to find out how to indentify them all.
23 different kinds of iPods is a lot to identify all at once, so I'm going to break them down into sections. I will identify the iPods by their classifications starting with the iPod Classics, then onto the iPod Minis, iPod Nanos, iPod Shuffles, and finally the iPod Touches. If you have the iPod that you wish to identify, or sell to BuyMyTronics try to match it up the best you can with the examples below.
iPod Classic iPod Mini iPod Nano iPod Shuffle iPod Touch
iPod Classic: 6 Generations
The iPod classic is the first iPod to be released from Apple. It can be identified by its big square shape, with square screen that takes up about half of the front side, and round click wheel that takes up the other half of the front side. There are 6 generations, so let's get started with...
iPod Classic, Generation 1: The Brick
This iPod features a mechanical scrolling wheel and an open FireWire port on the top of the iPod. This iPod model has sharp edges on the front face. The iPod Original comes in 5 GB and 10 GB sizes.
iPod Classic, Generation 2: The Brick Improved
The 2nd Generation iPod Classic introduces the touch-sensitive wheel and a FireWire port with a cover. This iPod Classic has sharp edges on the front face, and comes in 10 GB and 20 GB sizes. While the G1 iPod and G2 iPod look EXACTLY the same, their discerning difference is the analog vs touch sensitive click wheel.
iPod Classic, Generation 3: No More Buttons
The 3rd Generation iPod has no physical buttons for navigation or interface interaction, and features a central row of backlight touch-sensitive buttons and also includes a dock connector port base. This is the first iPod model to feature a long rectangular port on the bottom of the iPod that is now the connector/charging port in all iPod and iPhone models. This model is also the first iPod to feature smooth edges on the front face of the iPod. The 3rd Generation iPod Classic comes in 10 GB, 15 GB, 20 GB, 30 GB, and 40 GB sizes.
iPod Classic, Generation 4: Okay, Some Buttons
The 4th Generation iPod is described as the iPod Click Wheel. Apple redesigned the wheel/button interface on the 4th Generation iPods to match the iPod Mini. Instead of buttons above the scroll wheel (like the third generation iPods) or around the scroll wheel (1st and 2nd generation iPods), Apple replaced the scroll wheel with a touch sensitive button, or "Click Wheel", replacing the four buttons with pressing the top, bottom, left, or right quadrants of the wheel. This iPod has a grey scroll wheel distinguishing it from older iPods. Additionally, the iPod 4th Generation has a black and white (monochrome) screen. The iPod Click Wheel comes in 20 GB, 40 GB and a U2 Special Edition.
iPod Classic, Generation 4.5: A Splash of Color
This is the iPod with the first Color Screen. The iPod Photo is functionally similar to the 4th Generation black and white (monochrome) screen iPods, except it has a full color screen, and can store pictures to view later. The iPod Photo comes in 20 GB, 30 GB, 40 GB and 60 GB and U2 Special Editions.
iPod Classic, Generation 5: I Can Has Video?
The 5th Generation iPod is usually described as the iPod video. This iPod has added video playback capibilities along with photo viewing capabilities, a screen size of 2.5 inches and smaller click wheel than earlier models. The headphone port is on the right, with the hold switch on the left. The iPod Video is thinner than the iPod photo or iPod G4.
iPod Classic, Generation 6: Up to Speed
Comes in 160 GB, 120 GB or 80 GB, this iPod variant was released on September 5th, 2007 and is essentially the 6th, and most current, generation of the standard iPod Classic. This model plays video, displays photos and, of course, plays music. Additionally, this iPod features a new user interface that incorporates parts of the Apple operating system. This model also has an anodized metal casing in black and silver variants, and has a longer battery life than its predecessors.
If you notice, I've just described 7 different iPods. That's because the 4th generation iPod, and iPod Photo are technically in the same generation, just different screens. There you have it! 7 different iPods spanning 6 years. It's been 4 years since Apple released a new iPod Classic, and even though they continue to sell this same model, I think that no more new ones will be coming out. But with Apple, anything is possible.
UPDATE: The latest version of the iPod Classic (7th Generation) was released on Septemper 9, 2009 and is similar in design and looks as the 6th generation version. This model is configured with 160GB of storage space and comes in the colors of black or white. 160GBs will give you up to 40,000 songs, 200 hours of video, 25,000 photos, or any combination of all three. Battery life for this unit is up to 36 hours of music playback.
iPod Mini: 2 Generations
After the iPod Classic was introduced, Apple found that while it could hold a lot of music, it wasn't very travel friendly. The public wanted something smaller, more durable, but with the same music containing quality they found with the original. Apple's answer? The iPod Mini.
The iPod Mini had a small life on the market from when it was introduced in January 2004 until it was discontinued in September of 2005, but it still had 2 generations behind it. Generation 1 and Generation 2 look nearly identitical to the naked eye, but there are a couple differences that give them away.
iPod Mini Generation 1: They all come in many different colors, but they all have the same capapcity, 4 gigabytes. If you look on the lower section of the Mini you will not see any indication of its size, this means that it's a 1st generation.
iPod Mini Generation 2: Generation 2 comes in 2 different sizes, 4gb and 6gb. On the back - with the 2nd generation - it will have the size capacity written, and what that size capacity entails (either 4 or 6 gigabytes).
There you have it! If there's writting on the back, it's a 2nd generation Mini, if there isn't, 1st gen. Now you know what to document it as when you sell your iPod Mini!
iPod Nano: 7 Generations
Overview: For a quick reference, check out the picture above. These are lined up chronologically from left to right, starting with the 1st generation and ending at the current or 6th generation. These are to scale of each other, so if you find that your's looks uncannily like one of these in this picture, then you should be fine, happy pricing! If you're still not so sure, I'll cover each of these's subtle differences and how to find the capacity of each.
iPod Nano 1st Generation: The easiest way to ID this model is by the glossy plastic front, and the shiny metal back. It will be long and skinny, with a small square screen, and small click wheel. The capacity can be found on the back side, near the bottom. This will only come in black or white.
iPod Nano 2nd Generation: This Nano has the same body style as the first generation, but instead of plastic and shiny metal, this has colored, brushed metal wrapped all the way around. Apple also introduced 5 new colors so you could buy this (and every Nano since) in a variety of rich hues. The capacity can be found on the back side, near the bottom.
iPod Nano 3rd Generation: Apple made a huge design change with the 3rd gen iPod Nano. They kept the clickwheel the same size, but expanded the width of the screen. This change, in turn, made the Nano a lot shorter, and more square like the other 2 previous models. The front is of brushed metal, and the back is shiny silver. The capacity can be found on the back side, near the bottom.
iPod Nano 4th Generation: Apple decided to go back to the previous design model as the first 2 Nanos, making it more slender than the boxy 3rd gen. This Nano has the same wide screen, but only just flipped on its side, so if you watch a movie, you'll have to turn it on its side. The screen is long, not square, and the body (when looking down from the top) looks like a very skinny oval, and is wrapped completely with brushed metal. The capacity can be found on the back side, near the bottom.
iPod Nano 5th Generation: The 4th and 5th generation Nanos look very similar, so it can tricky to tell between the two. The biggest difference is that on the 5th gen Nano, on the back, you can find a video camera! It only shoots videos, but still, a camera on something this small is pretty cool. Other differences include: a bigger screen (height-wise), and instead of a matte, brushed metal body, it's a glossy shiny metal that covers the exterior of this Nano. The capacity is not written on the back of this model, you can look it up by highlighting the "Settings" option, it will tell you at the bottom about what the capacity is.
iPod Nano 6th Generation: This is by far the most drastic design change Apple has done with the Nano line. Every other iPod Nano has a click wheel, until this one. Completely touch based, this Nano is incredibly small, and even has a built-in clip so you can clip it to your clothes! This still sports the glossy metal, but if you want to identify the capacity, you'll have to touch the "Settings" icon to find out.
iPod Nano 7th (current) Generation: Apple, once again, outdoes itself by completely redoing the iPod Nano! The popularity of the previous generation's touch screen, and the iconic home button of the iPhone have taken center stage with this new iPod Nano. This Nano comes in bright new colors, has a 2.5" screen, and a home button on the bottom. These are the best ways to identify this strikingly different iPod nano. The capacity is really easy to find since the only option they come in is 16gb!
Well that's all of the iPod Nanos that Apple has made up until now. What more could Apple do with this line? There are rumors that suggest the same as the current, but with a camera! They're all speculative, but once the real thing comes out, I'll be sure let everyone know!
iPod Shuffle: 4 Generations
Overview: Even though they come in a variety of colors, they all have the same shape and layout. The picture above is of all the Shuffles starting with the first generation, going left to right, and ending with the fourth generation. If you find that your iPod Shuffle looks strikingly similar to one of these, chances are it is. Below you'll find more on how to accurately discern their looks.
1st Generation: The first iPod Shuffle can be identified by its long shape in which the bottom has a cap that, when removed, exposes the USB dongle for plugging into your computer. Written on the USB part will be the capacity; this is the only Shuffle that has the capacity in a visible place. The rest of the Shuffles will need to be plugged into the computer in order to find out.
2nd Generation: The second gen Shuffle has been reduced considerably, and the button configuration has been moved to the right of the device. The back also sports a handy clip for clipping to your clothes while traveling.
3rd Generation: This is the most dramatically different of all the iPod Shuffles Apple has made. This one completely does away with all buttons with the exception of a slider on the top, accompanied by a headphone jack. The back still has a clip, and it's about as big as an AAA battery. It's very striking to see this Shuffle in person.
4th Generation (current): Seeing that perhaps an incredibly small, button less Shuffle may not be the best idea, they went back to the more classic button circle look. This Shuffle still has the clip on the back, but has regained its once lost 5-way navigation buttons. This looks a lot like the 2nd gen Shuffle, but the button set is in the middle this time, not the side, and has been reduced in size to look more like a square, instead of a rectangle.
UPDATE: On September 12, 2012 Apple refreshed its line of the Shuffle by offering these units in "new" colors and a smaller 2GB model. The colors for the "4.5 version" of the Shuffle are: black, silver, purple, pink, yellow, green, blue, and product red special edition.
There you have it, all of Apples' iPod Shuffles, lined up and identified! In order to find each's capacity, you'll need to plug it into iTunes. If you're looking to sell yours, you are now well equipped to find the most accurate quote for your item!
iPod Touch: 5 Generations
Overview: As of right now there's 5 generations of iPod Touches. They're pretty different looking from one another with the exception of the 2nd and 3rd generations, which will be described in detail below. In the above picture they start from left to right, 1st generation to 5th generation, and a more accurate description of each generation will be described below.
1st Generation: The first generation iPod touch has a flat back, no camera, and a small black border around the sides. None of the other iPods will have this border around the front, and the back side will let you correctly identify the capacity.
2nd and 3rd Generations: The most confusing thing about when you’re about to sell your used iPod Touch is identifying the model, considering Apple’s 2nd Generation iPod Touch and 3rd Generation iPod Touch LOOK EXACTLY THE SAME! Fear not! We can help with you identify which is which.
The easiest way to identify them is by the model number on the back, located in the area of this yellow circle:
What’s in this yellow circle is the model number for the iPod Touch (any model) and will be formatted with an “A” and then 4 numbers (Axxx). For the 2nd Generation iPod touch the model number is A1288. The 3rd Generation iPod touch’s model number is A1318. There you have it!
4th Generation: The 4th generation iPod Touch has 2 cameras and can fit 5 rows of icons on the homescreen. In order to find the capacity of the device, just enter into settings and tap "about."
5th Generation: The 5th generation of the iPod Touch is kind of like the 4th generation, but it has a longer screen. Instead of fitting 5 rows of icons, the 5th gen can fit 6! There's also a lanyard circle on the bottom left of the back side of the device which is currently a dead giveaway as to identifying if you have a 5th gen iPod Touch. To find the capacity, you will need to tap "settings," and then "about," in order to correctly identify the capacity.
If you have any problems trying to figure out what type of iPod, cell phone, or any other device you have, don't hesitate to contact us. Our customer service team is knowledgeable and is always happy to help!