Happy 12th Birthday, iTunes!

Happy 12th Birthday, iTunes!

iTunes has changed the music industry, so it’s only right that we celebrate its 12th birthday today. That’s right, the first version of iTunes was released on the 9th of January 2001, ahead of the iPod’s launch later that year. Since then we’ve had 11 editions, the latest one having been released last November.

TUAW has put together a list of the most important releases:

  • iTunes 2.0 (October 23, 2001) – iPod support, OS X support
  • iTunes 3.0 (July 17, 2002) – Smart Playlists, Audible.com audiobooks
  • iTunes 4.0 (April 28, 2003) – Arguably the most important update ever, the advent of the iTunes Store. At first it only offered music, but eventually TV shows, movies, books, and apps would be added.
  • iTunes 4.1 (October 16, 2003) – iTunes for Windows
  • iTunes 4.9 (July 28th, 2005) – Podcasts
  • iTunes 7.0 (September 12, 2006) – Click wheel iPod games
  • iTunes 7.6 (January 15, 2008) – Movie rentals
  • iTunes 10.0 (September 1, 2010) – The ill-fated Ping
  • iTunes 11.0 (November 29, 2012) – Most significant UI redesign in its history

It’s amazing to look back at how far it’s come, but iTunes 4.0 was what really changed the game. Every other update has been minor in comparison.

I’ll finish with a great Apple trivia trick question: which came first, iTunes or OS X? It was the former, which first ran on Mac OS 9.1.


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