Introducing RetroPod

Over ten years already have passed since Steve Jobs introduced iPod and it’s getting harder and harder to grasp how mobile music consumption worked before that: Remember the time spent copying songs in realtime to CDs, MiniDiscs or even tapes? Remember having to make a deliberate decision about what set of songs to take with you? Strange times, huh?

The one thing that I loved most about my original iPod was its wheel based user interface. Being able to navigate through hundreds of songs this effortlessly is still today an impressive achievement of Apple’s interaction designers. So back in 2009 when it finally became possible for an app to access the music library of the iPhone I thought: “Wouldn’t it be cool to have the original iPod simulated on an iPhone?”.

After two weeks of hacking, it was done: RetroPod, a simulation of the original iPod that allows you to browse and play music from your library. I tried to stay as true to the original experience as possible and therefore RetroPod features the original menu structure, the playback interface, a working battery indicator,  a customizable backside complete with capacity label and much much more.

RetroPod - Reinventing The Wheel

However, for obvious reasons this was not something that Apple would allow on the App Store, so it remained a fun hack that I shared with some friends.

Today I want to share RetroPod with the larger public and therefore it is now available as Open Source under the GPL:

This is the first time I release something as Open Source, so I am very curious how this all works out. If you’re interested in contributing, check out the documentation on GitHub. There is much hack value in RetroPod, for example just implementing the Breakout game would be totally awesome.