Steven Levy has one of the most sycophantic and interesting articles about the iPod I’ve ever read up on Wired this month. The article sheds light on a number of interesting and new-to-me aspects of the iPod’s creation, like this anecdote about power buttons:
When one of the designers said that obviously the device should have a power button to turn the unit on and off, [Steve] simply said no…From Jobs’ point of view, all that was needed was forward, back, and pause buttons, arranged around the circumference of the wheel. (After much effort, his team eventually convinced him of the necessity of a fourth button, called Menu, that would move you through the various lists of options.)
Anyway, the article goes into a fair amount of detail on how the product came about. It’s really worth reading if you have any interest in hardware innovation, Zune, or Apple.