updated 10:30 am EDT, Mon September 8, 2008
Original iPod creator?
Apple has finally given credit to a British man whose work was the inspiration behind the iPod, claims the Daily Mail. Kane Kramer, 52, is said to have created the technology that powers the digital music player nearly 30 years ago, but not received any royalties. Kramer original designed a device he called the IXI in 1979; though it would only have been capable of storing 3.5 minutes of music on a chip, Kramer was hopeful that capacity would improve over time.
Sketches outlined a credit-card sized player with a rectangular screen, and a central menu button to scroll through a selection of music tracks. Kramer acquired a worldwide patent and set up a company to further develop the concept, but after boardroom problems in 1988, he was unable to raise £60,000 needed to renew patents across 120 countries, leaving his idea public property.
Recognition of Kramer did not occur until Apple called upon him to help defend itself against Burst.com, which claimed to hold patents to technology in the iPod and deserve a cut of the profits.
Kramer is presently in negotiations with Apple for compensation relating to copyright on his drawings. To date, he has received only a consultancy fee for providing his expertise in the Burst case.
"To be honest, I was just so pleased that finally something that I had done which has been a huge success and changed the music industry was being acknowledged," says Kramer. "I was really quite emotional about it all."