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I think it’s a stretch to say this is how the iPod was invented, regardless – it’s very cool to see this sketch from 30 years ago…

Here’s the article from Dailymail…“Apple admit Briton DID invent iPod, but he’s still not getting any money…” via CrunchGear.

Apple has finally admitted that a British man who left school at 15 is the inventor behind the iPod.

Kane Kramer, 52, came up with the technology that drives the digital music player nearly 30 years ago but has still not seen a penny from his invention.

And the father of three is so hard up he had to sell his home last year and move his family to rented accommodation.

Now documents filed by Apple in a court case show the US firm acknowledges him as the father of the iPod… Two years ago, Mr Kramer told this newspaper how he had invented the device in 1979 – when he was just 23.

His invention, called the IXI, stored only 3.5 minutes of music on to a chip – but Mr Kramer rightly believed its capacity would improve.

Phillip Torrone

Editor at large – Make magazine. Creative director – Adafruit Industries, contributing editor – Popular Science. Previously: Founded – Hack-a-Day, how-to editor – Engadget, Director of product development – Fallon Worldwide, Technology Director – Braincraft.


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Comments

  1. The Oracle says:

    The article has no details. I’d call it a hoax.

    In 1979 there were no chips with the type of capacity needed to store 3.5 minutes of audio, even with horribly down-sampled quality. Full-height 5.25″ hard drives of the era were running 5-10 megabytes (not gigabytes), so even with modern compression algorithms you couldn’t store more than 10-20 minutes of down-sampled music on an entire HD.

    Add to that the fact that computers of the era didn’t have the power to do the iDCT’s or iFFT’s in real time to decode music (my 486 in the early 90′s could only do it if I down-sampled it and used mono).

    The first sound card from creative was the C/MS in 1987. It was capable of playing 12 different squarewaves at once. The Soundblaster 1.0 came out in in 1989. 10 years after this supposed first iPod.

    What does this use for a screen? The first LCD wristwatch came out in 1970. There were no graphics LCD screens like this in 1979.

    This is a small iPod looking device. Take a look at any other electronics device from the 70′s. They looked big and clunky because things just weren’t that miniature yet. According to wikipedia, surface mount technology didn’t become widespread until the late 90′s.

    The first portable *CASSETTE* player patented in the US was in 1978.

    So, in summary, the storage space didn’t exist. The computing power didn’t exist. The algorithms didn’t exist. The display didn’t exist. The miniaturization didn’t exist. There is no possible way anything remotely like this technology existed in 1979.

    This article is fake. 100% certain. For so many reasons.

  2. The Oracle says:

    Are you sure that’s related? It talks about prior art from 1987. The Make post is from 1979. The doc you link seems to be about faster-than-realtime audio and video processing and not the portable player concept mentioned here.

    Also any patents from 1979 have long since expired in the US.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The Kramer Patent in the above post was filed in 1982, the AT&T patent was filed in 1987.

    The make post says that Kramer said it was invented in 1979, not that the patent was filed in 1979. It does not say when the patent was filed. The company Kramer formed to “develop the idea” disbanded in 1988 (according to the article).

    I don’t know what Kramer invented, but I don’t think it was a hoax that he patented some sort of device and that Apple used that patent as evidence of prior art.