British man invented iPod in 1979. 3.5 minute storage capacity failed to impress. Apple stole idea

Gadgets, Intellectual Property, iPhone, iPod, Mobile phones, MP3 players, Weirdness

kane-kramer-original-ipod-1979.jpgThat poor bloke there invented the concept of iPod back in 1979. He’s British, although his alarmingly American-sounding name – Kane Kramer – suggests otherwise. Kane lives in Hitchin.

Mr Kramer came up with the idea of a portable music player, called the IXI, when he was 23. However, technology wasn’t ready for this in 1979. Kramer’s player could only store 3.5 minutes of music on its memory chip and no one wanted to back it. After years of trying to get it made, Kramer eventually gave up and the patents expired in 1988. Allowing anyone to nick the idea and not pay poor Kramer a penny.

Which is precisely what Apple did.

Things went wrong for Apple, though, when tech firm Burst sued it over alleged copyright infringements contained in the iPod and iTunes systems. To help defend itself, Apple rather brazenly called up Kane out of the blue and flew him out to California to tell the judges that the portable player was his invention, and that Apple hadn’t copied Burst – it had in fact copied Kramer.

Kramer was paid a consultancy fee for saving Apple millions upon millions, but that’s all the money he’s seen from his invention.

“Apple did give me one but it broke down after eight months,” is his only opinion of the Apple device. It is a very sad story, especially as Kane’s not exactly well off these days, after having to close his furniture business last year.

Steve Jobs really ought to make amends by buying the poor man a Ferrari. The Buy Kane Kramer A Ferrari Campaign starts HERE and NOW on a Facebook group. Join now. Help Kane get the Ferrari he deserves.

(Via The Mail)

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Gary Cutlack
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  • Agreed. I am sick of Apple taking all the credit for their ‘inventions’. I had a portable Creative mp3 player 2 years before the first iPod – and even that wasn’t the first one out.

  • There were loads of music players before Apple’s iPod. Apple just did it well, and made it commerical successful.

    So Apple didn’t steal his idea..It’s not that unique an idea anyway

  • That’s dangerous thoughtcrime there, Simpson. Apple’s goons will make you toil in their silicon mines for that.

  • Why does everyone think Apple invented hard disk based MP3 players ?
    I know this article states that Kane Kramer did but before Apple brought the iPod to market Thompson had mp3 players for sale, Creative had HDD players and Archos had HDD players.
    APPLE WAS NOT THE FIRST is it really that hard to remember it wasn’t that long ago !

  • That is such a sad story. Are Apple being tight or what? I think this man deserves more than a bloody Ferrari – especially as Apple has the cheek to admit they stole the idea from him. I’m off the Facebook to join the ‘The Buy Kane Kramer A Ferrari Campaign’

    • I think the fact that his free iPod broke after eight months tells us that poor Kane is one of life’s unfortunate people. Are there any spare MP3 players knocking around the office we can send the poor man? Or would that just make it worse?

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