iTunes

Read Cult of Mac’s latest posts on iTunes:

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 to download movie trailers from its once enormously popular iTunes Movie Trailers website.

The move signals a major change in the way people consume digital content as the internet evolves. Downloads will continue to decline, as streaming services like YouTube and Netflix pick up steam.

Today in Apple history: Apple embraces over-the-air iOS updates

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ios 5
Over-the-air iOS updates took iTunes out of the equation (and leveled the playing field with Android).
Photo: Apple

May 4: Today in Apple history: Apple embraces over-the-air iOS updates May 4, 2011: Reports circulate that Apple is negotiating with carriers to bring over-the-air updates to iOS, beginning with iOS 5.

Such a move would free iPhone owners from using iTunes to get updates for their devices. That means no more plugging an iPhone into a computer via USB to download the latest version of iOS.

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: Apple TV makes its big-screen debut

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Apple TV did not become an instant smash hit.
Photo: Jim Merithew/Cult of Mac

March 21: Today in Apple history: Apple launches the Apple TV March 21, 2007: Apple launches the Apple TV, a gleaming white set-top box with a remote control, for bringing iTunes media to the living room.

Unfortunately, the device lacks key features needed to make it a killer entertainment system. It’s something of a missed opportunity for Apple.

Today in Apple history: iTunes tops 50 million songs downloaded

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itunes
That's worth a quick dance!
Photo: Apple

March 15: Today in Apple history: iTunes tops 50 million songs downloaded March 15, 2004: The iTunes Music Store hits a musical milestone, having sold an astonishing 50 million songs in less than a year. The achievement cements Apple’s place at the center of the rapidly changing music business — at least for the moment.

Crossing 50 million songs is a major milestone for iTunes and the emerging digital music era,” Steve Jobs says in a statement. “With over 50 million songs already downloaded and an additional 2.5 million songs being downloaded every week, it’s increasingly difficult to imagine others ever catching up with iTunes.”

Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes No. 2 music retailer in US

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iTunespic
iTunes was going from strength to strength.
Photo: Apple

February 26: Today in Apple history: iTunes becomes No. 2 music retailer in U.S. February 26, 2008: Less than five years after launching, the iTunes Music Store becomes the No. 2 music retailer in the United States, second only to Walmart.

In that relatively short period, iTunes sells more than 4 billion songs to more than 50 million customers. The rapid rise to prominence stands as a massive achievement for Apple — and for the revolutionary digital distribution model Cupertino helped pioneer.

iPhone iTunes Store app no longer includes films or TV shows

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iTunes Store redirect to Apple TV app
If you want to watch video, don't bother going to the iTunes Store app any more.
Photo: Apple/Cult of Mac

The iTunes Store application in the just-released iOS 17.2 simply redirects users to the Apple TV app for accessing previously purchased films and TV series.

The iTunes app for iPhone and iPad is now exclusively for music. For video, go directly to the Apple TV app.

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 that file-sharing service 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 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 iPhone owners with a tool for wiping all signs of Songs of Innocence from their phones.

It comes after one of the strangest PR debacles in Apple history. After putting a free copy of U2’s latest release 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 Music Store hits 10 million 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 the iTunes Music Store recently sold its 10 millionth 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.

Scan documents and share them via iMessage with this cool app

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The PDF Editor PDF Book Reader app makes document scanning and sharing easy.
The PDF Editor PDF Book Reader app makes document scanning and sharing easy.
Photo: PDF Editor PDF Book Reader

Big-time PDF applications like Adobe Acrobat are great, but for many folks, splurging on them seems like hauling a pricey, seven-course banquet to a picnic at the beach. Many people are better off spending less to get only what they need. (You wouldn’t want to get sand in the caviar.)

SPONSORED
This post is brought to you by PDF Editor PDF Book Reader.
And if a free app comes with a few great free features plus in-app purchases to get more, all the better. That’s PDF Editor PDF Book Reader in a nutshell. And one of its free features — PDF Scanner for iMessage — is especially cool.

An illustrated history of the iPod and its massive impact [Updated]

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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: We originally published this illustrated history of the iPod to celebrate the device’s 10th anniversary on Oct. 22, 2011 (and updated it a decade later). We republished it on May 10, 2022, when Apple finally pulled the plug on 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.

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.

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.

Apple must defend iTunes ‘Buy’ button in court

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Apple must defend iTunes “Buy” button in court
Is buying something in iTunes or Apple TV really buying it?
Photo: Cult of Mac

A federal judge gave the go ahead to a lawsuit that claims Apple is tricking customers with the iTunes “Buy” button. There are questions about whether what’s happening qualifies as a purchase of the movie or TV show.

Apple was hoping to have the suite completely dismissed. As it is, the company may have to make a change to the way it offers this type of content.

Steve Jobs warned Amazon founder that iTunes would kill CD sales

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Jeff Bezos
Steve Jobs told Jeff Bezos about iTunes for Windows prior to its release.
Photo: Seattle City Council/Wikipedia CC

Over a platter of sushi, Steve Jobs once bragged to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos that Apple had created the greatest Windows application ever built. The Apple co-founder then suggested, in a roundabout way, that the software could kill a major stream of revenue for Amazon.

Jobs was referring to iTunes for Windows, which Apple introduced in October 2003 (and which Jobs later referred to as the equivalent of “giving a glass of ice water to somebody in hell.”) Bezos got a look at iTunes for Windows before the rest of the world did. And he also endured a typically Jobsian dig about CDs and Amazon’s future.

Today in Apple history: iTunes rips its way onto Mac

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Rip Mix Burn
Do you remember the first iTunes slogan?
Photo: Apple

January 9 Today in Apple historyJanuary 9, 2001: Steve Jobs introduces customers to iTunes at Macworld.

In a world before the iPod or the iTunes Store, iTunes is simply described by Apple as, “the world’s best and easiest to use jukebox software that lets users create and manage their own music library on their Mac.” Even the biggest Apple fanboy can’t imagine just how significant a step this will be for Apple.