Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again

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Beatles
The Beatles' clash with Apple ran for almost 30 years.
Photo: Apple Corps

March 30: Today in Apple history: Apple goes to war with The Beatles again March 30, 2006: A court case begins that once again pits Apple Computer against Apple Corps, aka The Beatles’ record label and holding company.

The lawsuit caps a long-running legal battle between the two wealthy companies. It’s the final fight in an epic legal battle over music, technology and money.

Today in Apple history: Steve Jobs wins posthumous Grammy

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Cue
Steve Jobs' death caused an outpouring of support.
Photo: Grammys

February 12: Today in Apple history February 12, 2012: Months after his untimely death, Steve Jobs is honored with a Special Merit Grammy Award in recognition of his contributions to the field of music with the iPod and iTunes Music Store.

Eddy Cue, Apple’s senior vice president of internet software and services, collects the Grammy on behalf of Jobs’ family and “everyone at Apple.”

Today in Apple history: ‘Let It Snow!’ is iTunes’ 25 millionth download

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Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download.
It's a Christmas miracle for Apple! (Or just good marketing.)
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: 'Let It Snow!' is iTunes' 25 millionth download December 15, 2003: Almost eight months after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple celebrates its 25 millionth download.

The song in question? Appropriately enough for this time of year, a Frank Sinatra cover* of the Christmas classic “Let It Snow! Let It Snow! Let It Snow!”

Today in Apple history: iTunes enters top 10 U.S. music retailers

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iTunespic
What was your first ever iTunes music download?
Photo: Apple

November 22 Today in Apple historyNovember 22, 2005: Two-and-a-half years after opening its virtual doors, the iTunes Music Store enters the list of top 10 U.S. music retailers.

While Apple still lags behind established retail giants like Wal-Mart, Best Buy, and Circuit City, as well as fellow tech company Amazon, it nonetheless represents big news for Apple — and digital music sales as a whole.

Apple demonstrates how complex it is to own digital content

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iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
iTunes 12.6 makes it easy to watch rented movies on any device.
Photo: Apple

Purchased digital content has been around since before the launch of the iTunes Store back in 2003, but things were much different then. Devices weren’t constantly connected, and streaming wasn’t the primary way to access your “purchased” (or subscription) content, and most things came in the form of physical media (VHS tapes, DVDs, CDs, or 8-Tracks). Now that things are streamed, stored in the cloud, and available across all our devices, digital content ownership is much more complicated than simply buying a movie, book, or album and having it indefinitely.

Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads

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Morcheeba's
Morcheeba's "The Antidote" was one of the first music videos available on iTunes.
Photo: Morcheeba

May 9: Today in Apple history: iTunes experiments with video downloads May 9, 2005: Apple quietly begins selling music videos in the iTunes Music Store.

The feature arrives with iTunes 4.8, initially offering bonus content for people purchasing albums through the store. It will take another several months before Apple starts selling individual music videos, along with Pixar short films and a selection of TV shows, for $1.99 a pop.

Today in Apple history: iTunes hits 1 million downloads in first week

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iTunespic
Were you a first week user of iTunes?
Photo: Apple

May 5: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store hits 1 million downloads in first week May 5, 2003: Just a week after launching the iTunes Music Store, Apple reaches an incredible milestone with more than 1 million songs sold.

Particularly notable is the fact that more than half the songs purchased are albums. This quickly dispells fears that selling tracks individually will kill the record industry’s dominant format. In addition, more than half the 200,000 songs initially available on iTunes get downloaded at least once.

It’s a roaring success for Apple’s newest venture!

Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store opens its doors

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The iTunes Music Store revolutionized the music industry.
The iTunes Music Store revolutionized the music industry.
Photo: Apple

April 28: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store launches April 28, 2003: Apple opens the iTunes Music Store, revolutionizing the music industry and digital distribution of content.

At a time when getting music online mostly means illegal downloads from pirate services like Napster, iTunes quickly proves that customers will pay for songs — provided the service is good enough.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sells its 100 millionth song

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itunes_dof
This was a massive milestone for paid music downloads at the time.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 12 July 12, 2004: Apple boasts that the iTunes Music Store has sold its 100,000,000th song, and marks the occasion with a generous gift for the lucky downloader.

The song in question is Zero 7’s “Somersault (Dangermouse remix),” purchased by Kevin Britten from Hays, Kansas. The 20-year-old receives a personal phone call from Steve Jobs congratulating him. Britten also gets a 17-inch PowerBook, a 40GB iPod and a gift certificate for a massive 10,000 (!) iTunes songs.