What Apple maketh, Apple shall updateth. Like any other software company, Apple constantly fixes, enhances, and fine-tunes the operating systems it writes— including the iPod’s.
In general, Apple updates the iPod’s system software a few times a year, but the amount of new stuff varies in each revision. Some updates just fix bugs and improve existing functions (like battery life), while other updates add a whole new world of possibilities (like the ability to play AAC files or use calendars on your iPod).
For example, Apple’s big April 2003 rollout of the iTunes Music Store (Chapter 7) was the occasion of two big iPod software updates, one each for the old and new models:
For 2003 (and later) iPod models, Apple unveiled iPod software 2.0. Its key features were reorganized menus and the ability to customize the iPod’s main menu screen; an Alarm Clock and a redesigned Clock menu; an On-The-Go playlist for making spontaneous playlists on the iPod itself; the ability to rate songs and update Smart Playlists on the iPod; the new Parachute and Solitaire games; the new Notes program that can store and view text files on the iPod’s screen; a display of To-Do Lists from iCal; easier-to-use update and restore software; and the elimination of the “OK to Disconnect” message. (Now, when it’s OK to disconnect, you just see the main menu.)
For earlier models, Apple created iPod software version 1.3. Its feature list isn’t nearly as long, much to the disappointment of iPod fans ...