About time we heard some good news – Apple’s iTunes App Turns 10


Apple’s iTunes App Turns 10

From its humble beginnings as a simple music collection organizer, ten years later iTunes has become a killer app for playing and purchasing all kinds of media?and a major money maker, with over 10 billion songs sold.

January 9, 2001, marks the beginning of iTunes’ illustrious journey, when Apple released it as a Mac OS 9 application, built on the groundwork of the earlier SoundJam, which Apple purchased the rights to. It wasn’t until 2003,with version 4, that the real money-maker became part of iTunes?the iTunes Store.

No longer restricted to music on its tenth birthday, iTunes now sells and plays movies, TV shows, and even serves up college coursework with iTunes U. As recently as this past fall, it became a social network, too, with the introduction of Ping, and after that the heretofore untouchable Beatles music catalog became available.

A year after iTunes’ launch, it moved to Mac OS X and became the conduit for Apple’s fledgling iPod music players. Each time Apple has launched a new media-capable device?iPhone, touch, iPad?the software has been updated to match the new must-have gadget, and syncing to iTunes on either a Mac or PC is how users of those devices load their latest operating system versions.

The latest version of iTunes, 10.1, added support for iOS 4.2, which enables the company’s emerging AirPlay capability that allows wireless streaming of music, video, and photos throughout the home to compatible players and to Apple TV. And it’s likely that we’ll see yet another minor version bump for tomorrow’s big expected announcement of an iPhone that works on Verizon’s CDMA network.

As each version has added more features and capabilities, though, the software has gotten more and more bulky, with the current version weighing in at nearly 150 megabytes installed. We can only hope that future versions will go on a diet while remaining full-featured.

Yes, it’s a piece of software rather than a shiny gadget, but iTunes has been instrumental in Apple’s ascendance to tech domination?perhaps not in market share, but certainly in both mindshare among technophiles and in the company’s market valuation.

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