English Listening Lesson

Listening level: 2
Audio file: 1:52 min
Story length: 250 words


Here is the listening file for this lesson.



The iPod is the world’s most popular music player. But did you know it helped save Apple?

The history of the iPod begins in 2001.

Jon Rubinstein worked at Apple. He developed new products. He was in Japan looking for new technology. Near the end of the trip, and quite by accident, he saw a small hard drive. It was 4.5 cm long. The people at Toshiba said it was new, but they didn’t know what to do with it.

Jon had an idea.

Back in California, Jon told Steve Jobs he could build a new kind of music player using the small drive from Japan. Steve loved the idea and told him to finish it by October. That was a difficult challenge. They had to go from nothing to a finished product ready for sale in seven months.

Apple needed the iPod to be successful. Around this time, Apple had financial troubles. The company was not rich like it is today.

Jon and his team completed the iPod on time.

The iPod didn’t sell well at first. That was because it only worked with Apple computers. Changes were made and a new version worked with all computers. Also, Apple started a music store called iTunes which had 200,000 songs on sale for 99 cents.

These changes helped make the iPod popular. By 2015, Apple sold 275 million iPods.

The iPod saved Apple and changed the way people listened to music. It also made Apple a leader in mobile technology.

More Practice

Here’s a gap fill exercise. Download the printable worksheet (pdf file). Listen to the story and fill in the blanks.

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