iPod video launched just in time to save The Office

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iPod video launched just in time to save ‘The Office’
The iPod classic 5th Generation played a large role in the keeping The Office off the rubbish heap.
Photo: Cult of Mac

An accidental collaboration with Apple saved NBC sitcom The Office from cancellation during its second season.

A fifth-generation iPod took a starring role in an episode of the comedy series. Then, the unlikely cameo spurred sales of reruns of the show on iTunes. And the rest is history.

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.

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact

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Steve Jobs on the cover of NewsWeek
Steve Jobs and the iPod make the cover of NewsWeek.
Photo: NewsWeek

Editor’s note: Today marks the 20th anniversary of the iPod, the humble digital music player that reshaped Apple. To mark the occasion, Cult of Mac updated its illustrated history of the iPod — put together to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary, and originally published on Oct. 22, 2011.

An Illustrated History of the iPod

The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players.

The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

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.

It is the second time Apple is forced to pay The Beatles. It 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. Along with the 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.)

Apple breaks iTunes for Windows for anyone who doesn’t speak English

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iTunes for Windows
Avoid the latest update if your system isn't set up in English.
Screenshot: Cult of Mac

Apple rolled out a new version of iTunes for Windows on Monday alongside iOS and iPadOS 15, but it should be avoided at all costs if your system isn’t set up in English. iTunes no longer works under any other language.

The problem seems to affect the version 12.12.0.6 version of iTunes no matter where it’s downloaded from — the Microsoft Store or directly from Apple — which means it’s not currently possible for some users to sync their devices.