Twelve years ago today on January 9, 2001, iTunes 1.0 was released to the world. Arguably it was as important as the iPod to Apple's eventual turnaround and its growth into the largest and most influential tech company on the planet.
iTunes 1.0 was released for Mac OS 9.0.4 (9.1 was recommended and 9.0 wouldn't run it) at Macworld Expo that January 9th. Successive releases made iTunes an increasingly important part of our digital lives. Here are some features introduced in major updates:
- 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
Love it or loathe it, iTunes is a necessity for anyone with an iOS device. In 12 years, it's become a household word. Here's to another dozen years, iTunes!
(People who want to see a full list of version release features should read the excellent iTunes version history Wikipedia article, where some of the info above was pulled from.)