: This year has been pretty eventful for the iPod universe, from the introduction of the iPod shuffle to the premature death of the iPod mini. Here's a list of important things that have happened to the iPod in the past year:The iPod shuffle
: At the beginning of the year, Apple surprised some of us by introducing a really cheap, flash-based iPod. It didn't surprise the rest of us, because we had been expecting a flash-based iPod for a while. The surprise for us avid Apple-watchers came when Apple didn't put the flash memory into the iPod mini, but rather put it into what I nicknamed "The Music-Playing Tongue Depressor of Doom." The iPod shuffle was definitely not the amazingly cool product that the higher-end iPods were when they were introduced, even down to not having a screen. Now, if you like to use a Binary Clock, then you could be used to watching little LEDs move around to say stuff. But most of us would rather have a screen.The iPod nano
: After the iPod shuffle came out, most of us had thought that the chances of getting flash memory into an iPod mini were close to nil, especially after the mini's February bump to 4 and 6 gigabyte hard drives. Of course, the most of us were right, in a fashion. Rather, the iPod mini was killed off for a new flash-based iPod. The iPod nano was small – even thinner than the iPod shuffle, so stealing my title of "Music-Playing Tongue Depressor of Doom" away from the shuffle.iTunes 5 & 6
: After being on version 4 since 2003, iTunes suddenly jumped two version numbers in less than a month. Some people say it's to get iTunes in time with the year number (like the weird gap between iPhoto 2 and iPhoto 4, except with something in the gap). However, it's much more likely that Steve Jobs' personal feng shui consultant decided that the iTunes version number should coincide with the last digit of the year. It would seem as though having iTunes 4 for all of 2004 really helped it to become really, really popular. Maybe iTunes 6 will do the same in 2006.iPod video
: OMG, Apple has an iPod that can play video files! Well, I was perfectly content with importing movies frame-by-frame into my iPod photo, then scrolling through them at 30 pictures per second, with the soundtrack playing in the background. This new iPod isn't as cool as everyone says, even though it is still the best flagship iPod ever.Trend of the Yea
r: Apple really tried to capture the ninja assassin demographic this year. First the iPod shuffle, then the nano. Both are thin and small enough that each can easily be used as a lock-pick or ninja throwing star. Apparently Apple has been courting this demographic for a while, seeing how Steve Jobs always wears a black turtleneck. Hopefully, if Apple can continue this trend next year, it'll be able to eliminate its enemies, and totally take over the MP3 player market.