| Cult of Mac

Today in Apple history: iTunes ditches movie trailer downloads

By

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.

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

By

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.

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

By

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

By

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 tops 50 million songs downloaded

By

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 said 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

By

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.

iPod video launched just in time to save The Office

By

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

By

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

By

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.