Happy Birthday iTunes!

iTunes celebrates its 12th birthday, having been initially released on January 9, 2001. On Monday Apple’s Internet browser, Safari, also celebrated its 10th birthday, having been introduced ten years ago on January 6, 2003.

iTunes’ initial version was released in 2001 and subsequent updates, the most recent of which was released in November 2012, have undoubtedly changed the face of music forever, helping to launch Apple’s iPod, and later devices. iTunes, Apple’s music management software, initially began its life in 1999 as an MP3 playback instrument named SoundJam MP. After being purchased by Apple in 2000, it was revised and renamed by developers to be released a year later, with a new, simpler interface and the ability to burn CDs. Those developers remain with Apple today.

Since its birth, iTunes has come with many updates and added supports, some of which include iPod and OS X support, the ability to create playlists and listen to audiobooks on the iPod, the release of the iTunes Store, which initially offered only music purchases but later added TV shows, movies, books, applications, and podcasts. Later updates included Windows support, the ability to rent movies, and the ill-fated Ping. The most recent update was released on November 29, 2012, and it had the most significant redesign in iTunes history.

iTunes has increasingly become an important part of our digital lives and has changed the way we listen to and download music. Steve Jobs was awarded a posthumous Special Merit Grammy shortly after his death for his significant contribution to the music industry, which began with the release of iTunes.

It’s been a long road for iTunes (and Safari), but here’s to another 10 years! Oh, and iTunes, if you could suck less, and bring real music streaming to the masses soon, that’d be great.

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