| Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: iTunes bags its first exclusive movie

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The producers of Purple Violets took a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
The producers of Purple Violets take a gamble on iTunes movie distribution.
Photo: Wild Ocean Films

November 20: Today in Apple history: iTunes movie distribution begins with Purple Violets, the first film to launch on iTunes November 20, 2007: In a milestone for iTunes movie distribution, Purple Violets becomes the first feature film to launch exclusively on Apple’s platform.

A romantic comedy directed by Edward Burns, Purple Violets stars Selma Blair, Debra Messing and Patrick Wilson. With limited offers from Hollywood’s traditional players, the filmmakers pin their hopes on iTunes distribution as an alternative way to get their movie in front of viewers.

Today in Apple history: iTunes sales hit astonishing new heights

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iTunespic
iTunes coming to Windows proved a smart move for Apple.
Photo: Apple

November 6: Today in Apple history: After porting iTunes to Windows, iTunes sales hit 1.5 million downloads in one week November 6, 2003: After porting iTunes to Windows, Apple sets a new record for digital music sales: a massive 1.5 million downloads in one week.

Bringing iTunes to PC users opens up a new, lucrative market for Apple. The record-breaking sales clock in at five times more than the 300,000 downloads Napster (remember it?) achieved in its debut week. And 1.5 million is double the 600,000 iTunes downloads per week Apple reported selling to Mac users prior to the Windows release.

Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm

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Kanye West
Artists like Kanye West helped drive music video downloads past 1 million in less than 20 days.
Photo: Rodrigo Ferrari/Flickr CC

October 31: Today in Apple history: iTunes video takes world by storm October 31, 2005: Less than three weeks after launching video downloads with iTunes 6, Apple reveals that it has already sold more than 1 million music videos.

Apple’s dive into the online digital video market — with 2,000 music videos, Pixar short films and a selection of hit TV shows for $1.99 — looks like the logical next step after selling individual songs on iTunes. Passing the 1 million download benchmark so quickly suggests the plan is a roaring success.

Today in Apple history: Apple offers ice water to Windows users in hell

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iTunes
On this day in 2003, Steve Jobs revealed his plan to bring iTunes to Windows.
Photo: Apple

October 16: Today in Apple history: iTunes Music Store comes to Windows October 16, 2003: Six months after opening the iTunes Music Store for Mac owners, Apple expands the service to cover Windows PCs as well.

Apple CEO Steve Jobs later quips that making iTunes available to Windows owners is akin to “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”

Today in Apple history: The Beatles beat Apple in court

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Beatles
Apple vs. The Beatles is one of the less likely feuds in Apple history.
Photo: Apple Corps.

October 9: Today in Apple history: The Beatles beat Apple in court October 9, 1991: A court orders Apple to pay $26.5 million to Apple Corps, The Beatles’ record label and holding company, for trademark infringement.

This marks the second time Apple is forced to pay The Beatles. And the ruling comes a decade after Apple swore it would never get into the music business.

Today in Apple history: Apple’s own code spills details about iPhone 4s

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iPhone 4s
While the iPhone 4s name and other key details leaked, Siri remained a surprise.
Photo: Apple

October 1: Today in Apple history: Leak in Apple's own code reveals existence of iPhone 4s October 1, 2011: Just days before it is to be publicly unveiled, the name of the iPhone 4s is revealed online.

The latest iTunes beta inadvertently spills the beans on the new name. The code also reveals that Apple’s new handset will come in black and white color options.

Today in Apple history: Apple battles Eminem in court

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Eminem sues Apple over digital music sales. Will the real rights holder please stand up!
Will the real rights holder please stand up!
Photo: Apple

September 24: Today in Apple history: Apple battles Eminem in court September 24, 2009: Apple lawyers head to court to defend the company against rapper Eminem’s music publisher, Eight Mile Style.

The lawsuit alleges that Apple unlawfully sold 93 of Eminem’s songs on the iTunes Music Store. This is the second time Apple finds itself on the opposite side of a courtroom from the Detroit rapper. (A previous lawsuit involved improper use of Eminem’s hit single “Lose Yourself” in an iTunes ad.)

Today in Apple history: Apple gives users a way to delete U2’s spam album

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U2
It all seemed so innocent at the time.
Photo: Apple

September 15: Today in Apple history: Apple gives users the ability to wipe U2 spam album from their iPhones September 15, 2014: Responding to its disastrous U2 album giveaway, Apple provides a tool for wiping all signs of Songs of Innocence from their iPhones.

It comes after one of the strangest PR debacles in Apple history. After putting a free copy of U2’s latest album on every iPhone owner’s handset as a special promotion, millions find themselves with an album they didn’t order in their iTunes library. Many weren’t happy about it.

Today in Apple history: iTunes Store hits 10 million music downloads

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Avril Lavigne's
Avril Lavigne's "Complicated" becomes the 10 millionth iTunes song download.
Photo: Avril Lavigne

August 8: Today in Apple history: iTunes Store hits 10 million music downloads September 8, 2003: Apple reveals that it has sold its 10 millionth iTunes song download. The tune in question? Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.”

Come to think of it, “You fall and you crawl and you break and you take what you get and you turn it into [success]” describes Apple pretty well in the late ’90s and early 2000s.

Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads

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Apple's iTunes movie trailers go dark as streaming supplants downloads.
iTunes movie trailers go dark.
Photo: Tookapic/Pexels CC

May 24: Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads May 24, 2013: Apple begins phasing out the option for users to download movie trailers from its once enormously popular trailers.apple.com website.

The move signifies a major change taking place in the way customers consume digital content. Downloads will continue to decline as streaming services like YouTube and Netflix pick up steam.