Today in Apple history: QuickTime brings video to the masses

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QuickTime brought multimedia to Macs -- and the masses.
QuickTime brought multimedia to Macs -- and the masses.
Photo illustration: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

December 2: Today in Apple history: QuickTime brings video to the masses December 2, 1991: Apple ships its first public version of QuickTime, bringing video to Mac users running System 7.

Containing codecs for graphics, animation and video, QuickTime confirms Apple’s status as a leading multimedia tech company. The software also starts us all off on the path to playing video on our computers. This fundamental transformation of Macs into media machines eventually leads to iTunes Movies, YouTube and more.

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 — was 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: QuickTime brings video to the Mac

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QuickTime was a breakthrough for Macs.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

July 8 July 8, 1991: The first beta version of QuickTime arrives, making it possible for people to play movies on their Macs for the first time, with no extra hardware needed.

While allowing videos to run on a computer seems par for the course in 2016, QuickTime represented an enormous leap forward in 1991 — and cemented Apple’s position as a groundbreaking computer company for creatives.