Ah, iTunes. Whether you love it or hate it, the iTunes Store is a fundamental application to be had when it comes to discovering new music and supporting your favorite artists. Yet, despite the media player and online store becoming such an integral part of our technologically-enhanced lives, how much do you really know about it?
Here are 5 little known facts about iTunes:
Introducing the New Music Store
Once upon a time, humans had to go to the mall or independent music store to pick up an 8-bit track, cassette, or CD-ROM. Though CDs are still popular, and vinyl is making a comeback, how did MP3s and AACs come into play? These formats didn’t just magically appear one day! Apple’s media player, iTunes, arrived on January 10th, 2001 at the Macworld Expo in San Francisco. Two years later, on April 28th, 2003, the iTunes Store appeared as part of the program. Since then, iTunes has revolutionized the music industry, and has sold well over 10 billion songs.
iTunes Used to Have DRM
Do you remember iTunes Plus tracks and only being able to burn purchased audio two times to a disc? Up until 2009, the iTunes Store was selling music that was encumbered by digital rights management (DRM) restrictions. It was a movement that forever changed the face of purchasing music online and how people interact with the iTunes store. DRM-free tracks meant that every piece of audio on the store, not just iTunes Plus tracks, would be encoded at 256kbps and that you could play your files on as many devices and computers you wanted.
Could you imagine what life would be like if that restriction still existed?
No Beatles Until 2010
There are a number of artists who refuse to put their tracks into the iTunes store. For the longest time, you couldn’t even find music by The Beatles due to legal conflicts between Apple Inc. and Apple Records. However, since November 2010, Beatles music has been available—and it is now extremely popular.
Record Breaking Sales
Thanks to the induction of iTunes, Apple has achieved a great many things, such as:
- Selling 70 million songs through the iTunes store during its first year;
- Breaking the 1 billion song download mark in 2006;
- Becoming the most popular site in the world for downloading movies in 2007,
- By 2011, 15 billion apps had been downloaded through the iTunes Store.
The Tune Has Changed
Everyone who has stuck with Apple since the days of the colored iMac will tell you how much iTunes has changed. In the beginning, iTunes was created by Steve Jobs, a man who is known to have loved music and wanted to begin a “music revolution.” Now, with Jobs’ unfortunate passing, iTunes has shifted gears away from the intended purpose of supplementing music to become a whirlpool of advertisements for merchandise available in the iTunes store.
While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it makes those of us with a sense of nostalgia remember the press release for iTunes 1.0 that stated, “iTunes is miles ahead of every other jukebox application, and we hope it is dramatically simpler user interface will bring even more people into the digital music revolution.”