Happy 12th Birthday To iTunes!

itunes1

iTunes circa 2001

Apple released iTunes 1.0 to the world at Macworld back on January 9th, 2001. The application was based on SoundJam MP, an old piece of software Apple purchased from a development company called Casady & Greene in 2000. Apple simplified the SoundJam MP interface, added CD burning, and rebranded it as iTunes.

Fast forward 12 years, and iTunes 11 was just released with a drastically redesigned look and feel. Apple’s negotiations with the entertainment industry have turned iTunes into a digital supermarket of sorts; you can buy everything from books and movies to apps. By itself, iTunes is one of the biggest media companies in the world. The success of the iTunes Store has made Apple the top music distributor in the world, period. In 2013, Apple is rumored to introduce a Spotify-like ‘iRadio’ of sorts in iTunes for streaming.

iTunes wasn’t always the beastly monstrosity it is now. There’s more than a decade of history behind the media player everyone loves to hate. Ars Technica has a great image gallery of past iTunes versions to commemorate today’s date, and there’s a great wiki on iTunes with plenty of backstory for those interested.

Happy 12th birthday, iTunes!

Related
  • Mads Teland

    At the same date, it’s six years since the first iPhone was launched :)

  • dougscripts

    I don’t know if I would characterize SoundJam as an “an old piece of software”. Apple bought it because it was–at the time–state-of-the-art.

  • TheMacGuy

    At the same date, it’s six years since the first iPhone was launched :)

    No, its been 6 years since the iPhone was announced at WWDC by Steve Jobs, it was launched on June 29, 2007.

  • technochick

    Having had a rio and a Mac back in the day I’m pretty sure that the cd burning was in said program because there was no way to buy pre ripped tracks at that time

About the author

Alex HeathAlex Heath has been a staff writer at Cult of Mac for three years. He is also a co-host of the CultCast. He has been quoted by the likes of the BBC, KRON 4 News, and books like "ICONIC: A Photographic Tribute to Apple Innovation." If you want to pitch a story, share a tip, or just get in touch, additional contact information is available on his personal site. Twitter always works too.

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