Apple launches iTunes, revolutionizing how people consume music

Apple launches iTunes, revolutionizing how people consume music

On January 9, 2001, Apple launches iTunes, a media player that revolutionized the way people consumed digital media.

Bill Kincaid and Jeff Robbin, two former Apple employees, developed an MP3 player called SoundJam MP in the late 1990s. In 2000, Apple re-hired them and their partner, Dave Heller, to work on a similar player that would come standard with Apple computers. The first version of iTunes debuted early the next year, on the cusp of a new era in digital entertainment.

Along with the iPod, the MP3 player Apple released later in 2001, iTunes revolutionized the music industry, providing consumers with a simple, portable way of listening to a large library of music. Sleek and focused on a simplified user experience, iTunes made it easy for users to burn CDs and to manage digital music files. Apple founder Steve Jobs is credited with iTunes’ success as a music marketplace. Seeing that music was easier to access than ever, but that record labels were losing money due to internet piracy, Jobs made a deal with the five major record labels to sell their content via iTunes. The fact that it was above-board and profitable for the music industry, combined with the cultural cache of its companion product, the iPod, made iTunes an unqualified success.

The iTunes store soon became one of the internet’s premier marketplaces not only for music but also for music videos, TV shows, movies, apps and podcasts. Artists recorded exclusive singles and released albums early on iTunes, and the iTunes Music Festival was a popular annual attraction from 2007 until 2016. As the iPhone, released in 2007, overtook the iPod as Apple’s marquee product, the iTunes store remained prominent, but subscription-based streaming services like Spotify began to challenge iTunes itself. Responding to this shift, Apple launched Apple Music, which was compatible with but separate from iTunes, in 2015. On June 3, 2019, Apple announced iTunes would not be included in the latest version of its Mac operating system.

Though the age of pay-per-song downloads may have ended, there is no question that iTunes had a major impact on music. The program turned what was more or less a black market into a vital organ of the music industry, and its crisp, user-friendly format changed the way people consume digital audio and video content.

The iPod Turns 10: How It Shaped Music History

Though the Apple Store memorials have since given way to long lines for the iPhone 4S, it’s still difficult to imagine the technology company without Steve Jobs at its helm. And while much has been written about the gadgets that defined perhaps Jobs’ most productive decade, it’s tough to isolate one device for its impact above the rest. But this Sunday marks 10 years since the keynote that announced the iPod—a device that started the chain of successes in an Apple renaissance, and one that completely redefined the experience of listening to music, as well as making it.

Jobs and his team at Apple seized a moment as much as created a culture with the iPod. Though the specter of the internet and the high-speed connections that made MP3s available and largely free of charge had already reared its head by the late 1990s, the music industry itself had been slow on the uptake. It wasn’t until the year 2000 that record companies—and famously, Metallica—filed their first lawsuits against Napster, accusing the service of robbing musicians of their royalties. By that time, file sharing had become an unstoppable force, and the music industry was scrambling but importantly, it was still an unwieldy process to steal music. Mismatched file names and catalogs of thousands of songs almost negated the value of having a library larger than your record (or CD) collection.

A year later, Jobs stood onstage in front of a small audience in Cupertino, announcing a “revolutionary new product”: the iPod. The device, like many of Jobs’ later inventions, dictated consumer tastes rather than responding to them, and his vision for music listeners wasn’t immediately embraced en masse. The iPod debuted with a $399 price tag, in line with its competitors but still prohibitively expensive for its value to consumers at the time. But as Apple rolled out its marketing campaigns, and the device became inextricably linked with iTunes, introduced earlier that year, the answers presented themselves. Apple’s standard-issue white earbuds became ubiquitous, and listeners would rock out with the new devices, in many cases to the songs that got famous from their usage in iPod commercials. The iPod offered a sleek way to organize the chaos of the mercurial music taste that downloaded music allowed for though the industry still sold albums, listeners began sharing only the single songs they wanted to hear.

In many ways, the image of the music fan, completely oblivious to the bustle around them and attached at the ears to the music player in their pocket, mirrors the effect the iPod had on the industry at large. In short order, the rise of the iPod took its toll on radio and other authorities on musical taste the notion of “what’s hot” as prescribed by a radio DJ was replaced with whatever song you kept on repeat on your iPod. And because the gadget so highly personalized the listening experience, it meant that the white earbuds that separated music fans from their surroundings also exerted a force on the ones making the music especially with the iTunes Store, introduced in 2003, fans no longer had to buy entire albums to enjoy their favorite songs. The listener gained the upper hand, and less-popular artists were able to find success online and through iTunes when only years earlier their careers were at the mercy of record executives. For many acts, this meant leaning more heavily on live shows and fan loyalty to survive, and even acts that were popular before the iPod began bending to its influence U2 partnered with Apple in 2004 to launch their own special-edition iPod. Even The Beatles eventually abandoned their estate’s strong stance against selling music online as one of the last to bow to Apple’s influence in 2010.

But Jobs’ successful plan to funnel media, and profits, through Apple’s channels of distribution has two sides. On one hand, the fragmentation that listeners embraced required fragmentation from artists along with it—to make a living, all but the most popular musicians must reach out to fans on multiple channels, both physical and digital. But the busier life that Jobs’ invention required also helped to save a struggling industry. Although 99 cents a song was a rough adjustment for record companies, it’s Jobs’ proof that a system convenient enough to organize and legitimize downloading music is one actually worth paying for. For an industry that was losing ground to computer programmers, the iPod and iTunes software required to fill it with content provided a lifeline that kept the profession profitable, albeit with Apple taking a cut. It reinterpreted our notion of how music was to be made, but it ensured that it would still be worth making.

Technically speaking, the device was also one of the first released by Apple to redefine an industry. The iPhone and iPad that came after it were revolutionary in their own right, but it was the iPod that first explored the notion of a touch-sensitive device that also doubled as a status symbol. Before it, we had a relatively unwieldy Walkman as our only option for mobile music, and it still grappled with the issue of CDs and cassettes as its form of musical storage. Apple replaced it with a sleek slab of metal and white plastic, whose luxury status quickly gave way to total ubiquity, and inspired generations of copycat products that still fail to outsell it. Successive generations refined a physical wheel and buttons into progressively minimalist control schemes, and primed the company and consumers for the engrossingly touch-sensitive experience of the iPhone.

Like many Apple products, the iPod wasn’t the first device of its kind. But like many examples of Jobs’ legacy, it was the product that did it best it was the first to show listeners that a piece of technology could be more than useful it could be cool, and eventually impossible to imagine living without. And it was the first to convince musicians that the same fans that had stolen their creative output would be the ones they should reach out to, and iTunes offered that opportunity in its most direct and personal form. Jobs and Apple defined a market where once there was none, and profited greatly from it but more importantly, they defined a future for an industry that was struggling to find its way through the challenges of the present.

See your purchase history on your computer

  1. Open the Music app or iTunes. From the menu bar at the top of the screen, choose Account, then click View My Account.
  2. On the Account Information page, scroll down to Purchase History. Next to Most Recent Purchase, click See All.
  3. Find the item. It might take a moment for your Purchase History to appear. If you want to see purchases that you made more than 90 days prior, click Last 90 Days, then select a date range.

Introducing complexity

During the initial iTunes introduction, Jobs said of the music apps that existed at the time: &ldquoThey are too complex. They are really difficult to learn and use.&rdquo iTunes was becoming a confusing amalgam of features that no longer seemed organic and felt like they were cobbled together haphazardly. Apple added such features&mdashlater retired&mdashas the Genius sidebar and the iTunes MiniStore, which didn&rsquot make it easier to find and listen to music, but tried to funnel users into the iTunes Store to get them to buy music.

The epitome of this marketing-led design was the fatal introduction, with iTunes 10, of Ping, a &ldquosocial network for music,&rdquo which prompted me to write at the time, &ldquoI&rsquom sure Apple has a plan, but so far, users seem to be greeting Ping with a big shrug. I know I have.&rdquo Ping didn&rsquot last long in October, 2010, it was replaced by the iTunes Sidebar, which, just as the Ping sidebar, was short-lived.

iTunes 10 and the short-lived Ping. This was also when Apple made the iTunes sidebar a drab, uniform gray.

In 2011, iTunes Match came into existence, yet never spread beyond the US, Canada, and Australia. And in the following year, iTunes 11 added iTunes in the Cloud, for purchased content, and also made major changes in iTunes&rsquo interface, confusing users. iTunes Radio was introduced, and the two-year life of this version of iTunes saw a lot of fixes and minor enchantments, but nothing that made the program easier to use. When iTunes 12 saw the light in October 2014, Apple again pulled the rug out from under users, changing navigation within the app and making it even harder to find one&rsquos way through a labyrinth of features.

As we now know, the next step in digital music is streaming, and iTunes 12 embraced that in 2015 with Apple Music and the iCloud Music Library, which is the bane of people with carefully curated music libraries. And there&rsquos no escaping the iTunes Store it&rsquos permanently baked into every nook and cranny of the app.

iTunes initially came into existence because of &ldquoa music revolution&rdquo guided by Steve Jobs, who, as we know, loved music. Over the years, as digital content matured, iTunes became the hub for all that content. That&rsquos not a bad thing in and of itself lots of people love to call iTunes &ldquobloated,&rdquo but I disagree. The problem now is that those who want to use iTunes for its original purpose, music, find themselves stuck in a morass of features designed to sell, sell, sell product from the iTunes Store.

In my writings about iTunes&mdashnotably my Ask the iTunes Guy column&mdashI field questions from users perplexed by the quirks of this app. I used to get questions asking how to do something more efficiently, and I was able to help people organize and manage their music creatively. Now, most of the questions I get are about trying to work around things that are broken, or how to find features that were once easily accessible. More and more users long for a simple music player that sheds much of the cruft that has built up over the years.

Apple&rsquos press release for iTunes 1.0 said:

&ldquoiTunes is miles ahead of every other jukebox application, and we hope its dramatically simpler user interface will bring even more people into the digital music revolution.&rdquo

8. The first Mac is unveiled.

The first Apple Macintosh computer. (Photo: Apple)

Say farewell to typing in commands. The next line of Apple computers was arguably among the most important, introducing key concepts still in use today including a graphical user interface, where users interact with the computer through a selection of on-screen icons.


Apple Music allows users to stream over 75 million songs to their device on demand. The service offers curated playlists by music experts and recommendations tailored to a users music preference. [2] The service provides three live 24-hour radio stations: Apple Music 1, led by DJ Zane Lowe, Apple Music Hits, and Apple Music Country, which broadcast in over 100 countries. [3] The Apple Music Radio service is free for all users, even without an Apple Music subscription. Apple Music subscribers can create a profile to share their music with friends and follow other users to view the music they're listening to on a regular basis. [4] Apple Music's use of iCloud, which matches a users' songs to those found on the service, allows users to combine their iTunes music library with their Apple Music library and listen to their music all in one place. Additionally, the service is heavily integrated into Apple's own in-house services such as their personal voice assistant Siri as well as their audio and video streaming protocol AirPlay. As of late 2019, users also have the ability to access the full version of Apple Music through an Apple-designed web player in beta.

Apple Music's interface consists of five tabs: "Library", "For You", "Browse", "Radio", and "Search". The "Library" tab shows the user's music collection, with options to view songs by "Playlists", "Artists", "Albums", "Songs", or "Downloaded Music". Below these options, the tab also shows music recently added to the user's library. The "For You" tab recommends music for the user based on their music tastes. Human expert selections supplement the algorithmic curation, while users are able to "Like" and "Dislike" songs to further improve music suggestions. "Browse" shows new album releases from artists, playlists curated by the Apple Music team, upcoming album releases, as well as different categories including "Genres", "Moods", "Top Charts", and "Music Videos". The "Radio" tab incorporates Apple Music Radio and other radio stations which play genre-specific or artist-related music, depending on the user's preference. Unlike traditional radio services, the radio feature in Apple Music allows users to skip songs, view previously played songs on the station, as well as view songs playing next. The "Search" tab features a search box where users can search for artists, albums, Apple Music users, or songs by name or by lyrics. [5] Below the search box, a list of recent user searches and overall trending searches on the service are shown.

When a song is playing, a "Now Playing" bar appears above the bottom navigation bar. When viewed, the Now Playing section allows users to add a song to their library, download it to their device, and like or dislike the song to improve suggestions on the "For You" tab. Other functions of the "Now Playing" section include the ability to control what music plays next and put songs on shuffle or repeat. Additionally, users can view live lyrics of the song they are listening to through the now playing card, which displays the song's lyrics live in sync with the time while it plays to the user. [6]

Each artist page includes a profile banner and a "Play" button which automatically creates a radio station based around the artist. Artist pages also include sections for their featured releases, albums, singles, top songs, and background information. Apple Music users have the ability create their own profile on the service, thus allowing them to follow other users and see what music their followers are listening to. [7]

Users also have the ability to view their most played songs, artists, and albums of the entire year through a feature called Apple Music Replay, accessible on the "For You" tab. [8]

The service is compatible with iOS devices running version 8.4 or later, [9] iPadOS devices running version 13.0 or later, Music app on macOS Catalina or later, iTunes version 12.2 or later for Windows PCs, [10] as well as Apple Watch, Apple TV, Apple CarPlay, and Apple HomePod. [9] It is also available for Android devices running version 4.3 or later, Chrome OS devices, Amazon Echo devices, and Sonos speakers. For devices without a native application, Apple Music is available on the web with a web player in beta. [11]

Preparation Edit

Before Apple Music, the company's iPod and iTunes were known for having "revolutionized digital music." [12] Former Apple CEO Steve Jobs was known to be opposed to the idea of music subscription services. [13] When Apple bought audio equipment maker Beats Electronics in 2014, Apple gained ownership of Beats' own service Beats Music, [14] and made Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers responsible for the iTunes Radio service. [15] Business Insider later reported that Apple was planning to merge the two services. Apple also hired noted New Zealand born British radio DJ Zane Lowe to serve as a music curator. [16]

After a period of rumors and anticipation, Sony Music CEO Doug Morris confirmed on June 7, 2015, that Apple had plans to announce a music streaming service, saying "It's happening tomorrow," [17] with the launch later in the month. [2] Morris emphasized several times that he prefers paid streaming as opposed to ad-supported, from a financial perspective. Furthermore, Morris said he expects the service to be the "tipping point" to accelerate the growth of streaming, along with arguing that Apple has "$178 billion dollars in the bank. And they have 800 million credit cards in iTunes." as opposed to Spotify, which "never really advertised because it’s never been profitable". Morris further argued that "Apple will promote this like crazy and I think that will have a halo effect on the streaming business. A rising tide will lift all boats. It's the beginning of an amazing moment for our industry." [17]

Royalty payment policy Edit

Shortly before Apple Music was released, singer-songwriter Taylor Swift wrote an open letter publicly criticizing Apple's decision to not reimburse artists during a user's three-month free trial period and announced that she would be holding back her album 1989 from the service. She said the policy was "unfair" as "Apple Music will not be paying writers, producers, or artists for those three months". [18] [19] UK independent record label Beggars Group also criticized the three-month trial period, saying it struggled "to see why rights owners and artists should bear this aspect of Apple's customer acquisition costs". [20] [21]

The day after Swift's letter, Apple's Senior Vice President of Internet Software and Services Eddy Cue announced on Twitter that Apple had changed its policy, and that Apple Music "will pay artist for streaming, even during customer's free trial period". [22] [23] [24] On Twitter, Swift wrote "After the events of this week, I've decided to put 1989 on Apple Music. And happily so". She concluded saying it was "the first time it's felt right in my gut to stream my album". [25]

Record label cartel Edit

In negotiations with record labels for the new service, Apple allegedly attempted to encourage record labels to pull their content from the free, ad-supported tiers of competing services such as Spotify and Amazon Music in order to drive adoption of Apple Music and offered an incentive to Universal Music Group to pull its content from YouTube. The U.S. Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission launched an investigation into this alleged cartel in May 2015. [26] [27]

Announcement and launch Edit

The announcement happened as the signature "one more thing. " reveal at Apple's conference. [28] Hip hop artist Drake appeared onstage at the announcement event to elaborate on how he used the Connect platform, and Apple subsequently emphasized how "unsigned artists can share their music on Connect, too", in contrast to the iTunes Store, where small, independent artists were finding it difficult to participate. [28]

Apple Music launched on June 30, 2015, in 100 countries. New users receive a three-month free trial subscription, which changes to a monthly fee after three months. A family plan allows six users to share a subscription at a reduced rate. [2] Apple originally sought to enter the market at a lower price point for the service, but the music industry rejected the plan. [12] The service debuted as an updated Music app on the iOS 8.4 update. Apple TV and Android device support was planned for a "fall" 2015 launch. [28] A previously unreleased song by Pharrell Williams, entitled "Freedom", was used in promotional material and announced as an exclusive release on the launch of the service. [ citation needed ] The "History of Sound" advert for the launch of the Apple Music service was soundtracked by the tune There Is No Light by Wildbirds & Peacedrums, from their 2009 album The Snake. [29] Upon its launch, Beats Music subscriptions and playlists were migrated to Apple Music, and the service was discontinued. [30]

In May 2016, a student membership was announced, that discounted the regular price of a subscription by 50%. The student plan was initially only available for eligible students in the United States, United Kingdom, Germany, Denmark, Ireland, Australia, and New Zealand, [31] but was expanded to an additional 25 countries in November 2016. [32]

In February 2016, Music Business Worldwide reported that, with Apple Music having launched in Turkey and Taiwan in the previous week, the service was available in 113 countries. The publication further wrote that those countries accounted for 59 regions that competing service Spotify did not. [33] In August 2016, Apple Music was launched in Israel [34] and South Korea. [35]

On April 21, 2020, Apple announced that Apple Music would be expanding to an additional 52 countries around the world bringing the total to 167 worldwide. [36]

User growth Edit

In January 2016, Fortune reported that, six months after launching, Apple Music had reached 10 million paying subscribers, having spent six months reaching the same customer base that took competing music streaming service Spotify six years. [37] This customer base increased to 11 million subscribers in February, [38] 13 million in April, [39] 15 million in June, [40] 17 million in September, [41] 20 million in December, [42] [43] 27 million in June 2017, [44] 36 million in February 2018, [45] 38 million in March 2018 (just five weeks after the previous milestone [46] ), 40 million in April 2018, [47] 50 million as of May 2018, [48] 56 million as of December 2018, [49] and 60 million as of June 2019. [50] [51]

By July 2018, Apple Music had surpassed Spotify in the number of paying users in the United States. [52]

Expansion into video Edit

In October 2015, Drake and Apple signed a deal to release the music video for “Hotline Bling” exclusively on Apple Music. [53] In December, Apple released an exclusive Taylor Swift tour documentary, called The 1989 World Tour Live, on Apple Music. [54] In February 2016, The Hollywood Reporter reported that Dr. Dre would be starring in and executive producing a "dark semi-autobiographical drama" called Vital Signs. The production was described as "Apple's first scripted television series". [55] Recode subsequently reported a few days later that the announcement of Dr. Dre's production was an effort to "extend Apple Music" in promotional ways rather than Apple actively exploring original television content. Citing Apple's deals with Drake and Swift in October and December 2015, respectively, the report referenced a Twitter user describing Apple's efforts as "content marketing". [56]

In July 2016, Apple bought Carpool Karaoke from The Late Late Show with James Corden, with Variety writing that Apple was planning to distribute the series through Apple Music. [57] Apple's adaptation of the series was originally supposed to premiere in April 2017, but was delayed without explanation. [58] [59] The series instead premiered on August 8, 2017. [60] [61]

In January 2017, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple was exploring original video content, including its own television series and movies. [62] A few days later, Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine confirmed the reports about the move towards video, [63] and in February, he announced that Apple Music would launch its first two television-style series in 2017, with the aim to turn Apple Music into a "cultural platform". [64] In March, The Information reported that Apple had recently hired several people to help evolve its video platform, including YouTube product manager Shiva Rajaraman. [65] In April, it was announced that Apple Music would be the exclusive home to Sean Combs's documentary "Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story", which premiered June 25. [66] [67] On the same day, Bloomberg Businessweek reported that artist would make a reality show for Apple Music, in an effort to turn the service into a "one-stop shop for pop culture". [68] The reality show was later revealed to be called Planet of the Apps, and will focus on the "app economy". [69] [70] The series has cast 100 developers, [71] and premiered on June 6, 2017. [72] [73]

In June 2017, Apple hired two television executives from Sony, specifically Jamie Erlicht and Zack Van Amburg. The two have jointly held the title of "President" at Sony, and have helped develop shows including Breaking Bad and Shark Tank. The hiring was noted by the media as another significant effort by Apple to expand into original video productions. [74] [75] [76] In early December 2017, Apple hired Michelle Lee, a programming veteran, as a creative executive of Apple's original video team, [77] [78] and a few days later, also hired Philip Matthys and Jennifer Wang Grazier from Hulu and Legendary Entertainment, respectively. [79] [80]

On October 19, 2020, Apple launched Apple Music TV via Apple Music and the Apple TV app in the United States. Apple Music TV is a free, continuous 24/7 livestream focused on music videos, akin to the early days of MTV. Apple Music TV plans on having premieres of new music videos occur every Friday at 12PM ET, as well as occasional artist and themed takeovers, airings of Apple Music original documentaries and films, live events and shows, and chart countdowns. The service launched with a countdown of the 100 most streamed songs in the US of all time on Apple Music. [81]

Other developments Edit

In November 2015, Apple launched the Android version of Apple Music, touted by reporters as Apple's first "real" or "user-centric" Android app. [82] [83] The app was updated in April 2017 to match the service's iOS 10 design. [84] [85]

Apple has added personalized music playlists to the service, with the September 2016 launch of “My New Music Mix”, [86] and the June 2017 launch of "My Chill Mix". [87] [88]

On November 30, 2018, Apple added support for Apple Music on Amazon Echo speakers, after previously only being accessible on Apple's own HomePod speakers. [89]

On December 13, 2018, Apple discontinued Apple Music's "Connect" feature in favor for their redesigned approach to artist profiles and the ability for users to share their music and playlists with friends and followers introduced in iOS 11. [90]

On September 5, 2019, Apple released the first version of an Apple Music web player in beta. The web player gives users full access to their music libraries along with similar features from the Apple Music app, while it is missing key features that are expected to be added later. [11]

On November 15, 2019, Apple released a new Apple Music feature called Apple Music Replay, which is a year-end playlist showing users their favorite tracks of the entire year, a feature similar to that of Spotify's called Spotify Wrapped. [8]

On November 20, 2019, Apple announced the Apple Music catalog now hosts over 60 million songs. [91]

On November 20, 2019, Apple introduced Apple Music for Business, offering customized playlists for partnered retailers. [92]

In 2020, Apple Music sealed deals with Universal Music Group, Sony Music and Warner Music Group for further promotion and streaming allowance of songs from artists on the labels including Taylor Swift, Lizzo and Adele. [93] [94]

On May 17, 2021, Apple announced that Apple Music would begin offering lossless audio via the ALAC codec in June 2021, along with music mixed in Dolby Atmos, all at no additional cost to Apple Music subscribers. [95]

Series Edit

Feature films Edit

Film U.S. release date Directors(s) Screenwriter(s) Producer(s) Studio(s)
The 1989 World Tour Live [109] December 20, 2015 Jonas Åkerlund Violaine Etienne Scott Horan, Taylor Swift Apple Music, Dirty Hit
Beats 1 Presents: The 1975 [110] February 25, 2016 Matty Healy, Zane Lowe Apple Music, Beats 1, Dirty Hit
Please Forgive Me [111] September 26, 2016 Anthony Mandler Anthony Mandler, Larry Jackson Larry Jackson, Kim Bradshaw Apple Music, Dirty Hit
Skepta: Live from London [112] December 3, 2016 Joseph Adenuga Apple Music, Boy Better Know
808 December 9, 2016 Alexander Dunn Alexander Dunn, Luke Bainbridge Alexander Dunn, Arthur Baker, Craig Kallman, Alex Noyer Apple Music, Atlantic Films, You Know Films
Skepta: Greatness Only [113] December 19, 2016 Matt Walker, Tom Knight Joseph Adenuga Joseph Adenuga, Julie Adenuga Apple Music, Boy Better Know
Process [114] March 31, 2017 Kahlil Joseph Onye Anyanwu, Rik Green Apple Music, Pulse Films, Young Turks
Harry Styles: Behind the Album [115] May 15, 2017 Harry Styles, Paul Dugdale Apple Music, Erskine Records
Ti Amo Speciale [116] June 7, 2017 Warren Fu Jona Ward, Warren Fu Christian Mazzalai, Deck d'Arcy, Laurent Brancowitz, Thomas Mars Apple Music, Partizan Entertainment
Can't Stop, Won't Stop: A Bad Boy Story [117] June 25, 2017 Daniel Kaufman Andre Harrell, Heather Parry, Sean Combs Apple Music, Live Nation Productions
HAIM: Behind the Album [118] July 14, 2017 Paul Dugdale Apple Music, Pulse Films
Kygo: Stole the Show [119] July 26, 2017 Matt Mitchener Devin Chanda, Kyrre Gørvell-Dahll Apple Music, Ultra Enterprises
Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives October 3, 2017 [120] Chris Perkel [121] Blake Everhart, David Diliberto, David Schulhof, Deborah Zipser, Mary Lisio, Michael Bernstein, Ridley Scott, Samantha Kerzner, Susan Ricketts [122] Apple Music, IM Global, Scott Free Productions
To be released
The Cash Money Story: Before Anythang [123] Late 2017 Clifton Bell [124] Bryan Williams, Ronald Williams Bryan Williams, Jimmy Iovine, Larry Jackson, Ronald Williams, The Ghettonerd Company [125] Apple Music, Cash Money Films
The Story of Sosa: The Movie [126] December 2017 [127] TBA Keith Cozart, Larry Jackson Apple Music

Apple Music received mixed reviews at launch. Among the criticism, reviewers wrote that the user interface was "not intuitive", [128] and an "embarrassing and confusing mess". [129] They also wrote about battery life problems. [130] However, the service was praised for its smart functions. Christina Warren of Mashable noted the emphasis on human curation in Apple Music, pointing out the various human-curated radio stations and the accuracy of the curated playlists recommended to users in the "For Me" section. The author concluded saying "[The] For Me section alone has made me excited about music for the first time in a long time." [131] Sam Machkovech of Ars Technica wrote that Apple's emphasis on unsigned artist participation in the Connect feature could be an effort to restore the company's former reputation as a "tastemaker" in the mid-2000s. [28]

Apple Music's major redesign in iOS 10 received more positive reviews. Caitlin McGarry of Macworld praised Apple for having "cleaned up the clutter, reconsidered the navigation tools, put your library front and center, and added algorithmically created playlists to rival Spotify's." She noted bigger fonts, large amounts of white space, and she welcomed changes to various functionalities, concluding with the statement that "Apple Music’s redesign is a huge improvement over its previous incarnation, and a clear sign that Apple is listening to its customers". [132] However, another Macworld editor, Oscar Raymundo, criticized the new design, writing that "Apple Music in iOS 10 is not as elegant or intuitive as Apple promised. The music service added more needless options, key actions like repeat got buried, and the For You section leaves a lot to be desired". [133] Jordan Novet of VentureBeat wrote positively about the changes, stating "Apple has improved the overall design, as well as the experience". [134]

In December 2017, singer-songwriter Neil Young released a new archive as part of his Neil Young Archives project and criticized Apple for the audio quality offered by its Apple Music streaming service, stating: "Apple Music controls the audio quality that is served to the masses and chooses to not make high quality available, reducing audio quality to between 5 percent and 20 percent of the master I made in the studio in all cases. So, the people hear 5 percent to 20 percent of what I created. . Apple not offering a top-quality tier has led labels to stop making quality products available to the masses". [135] Young's claim, however, did not stand up to technical scrutiny, with Apple delivering an industry-standard high-quality bitrate of 256kbit/s AAC, slightly edging out Spotify in quality, which uses a 320kbit/s Ogg Vorbis bitrate. [136]

ICloud matching technology controversy Edit

The implementation of iCloud Music Library caused significant issues for users. There were reports about music libraries being impacted by issues such as tracks moved to other albums, album art not matching the music, duplicate artists [137] and songs, missing tracks, and synchronization problems. [138] [139] Mashable wrote that "Apple has not yet publicly acknowledged the problem or responded to our request for comment". [138]

iCloud Music Library has also been reported to delete music from users' local storage, [140] though this has been disputed by other publications as caused by user error or another application. [141] Additionally, the feature was reported to have replaced uploaded content with a version locked with digital rights management. [140] In July 2016, Apple switched the matching technology to incorporate features identical to iTunes Match, specifically the use of "audio fingerprints" to scan sound data. The new technology also removed DRM from downloaded matched songs. [142] [143]

Album exclusives controversy Edit

In August 2016, Frank Ocean released Blonde exclusively on Apple Music. The decision was made by Ocean independently, without Def Jam Recordings, his former label, being a part of the deal. The exclusive deal reportedly "ignited a music streaming war". [144] The move followed in the footsteps of other artists, including Adele, Coldplay, Future, Drake, Beyoncé, Rihanna, and Kanye West, who released albums on exclusive terms with music streaming competitors of leading service Spotify. Jonathan Prince, Spotify's head of communications, told The Verge that "We’re not really in the business of paying for exclusives, because we think they're bad for artists and they're bad for fans. Artists want as many fans as possible to hear their music, and fans want to be able to hear whatever they're excited about or interested in — exclusives get in the way of that for both sides. Of course, we understand that short promotional exclusives are common and we don't have an absolute policy against them, but we definitely think the best practice for everybody is wide release". [145] Ocean's independent move to Apple Music exclusivity caused "a major fight in the music industry", [146] and Universal Music Group reportedly banned the practice of exclusive releases for its signed artists. [147] Soon after, several major record labels followed Universal, marking a significant change in the industry. [148] According to unnamed label executives, Spotify had also introduced a new policy that said that the service would not give the same level of promotion once an album arrives on Spotify after other services, including not being prominently featured in playlists. [149] Rolling Stone wrote in October 2016 that "if you wanted to keep up with new albums by Beyoncé, Drake, Frank Ocean, and Kanye West, among many others, you would have had to subscribe to not one but two streaming services", adding, "But over the past few months, a backlash has developed against this new reality". [150] Lady Gaga told Apple Music's Beats 1 radio, "I told my label that if they signed those contracts with Apple Music and Tidal, I'd leak all my own new music". [150]

In May 2017, Apple Music executive Jimmy Iovine told Music Business Worldwide, "We tried it. We'll still do some stuff with the occasional artist. The labels don't seem to like it and ultimately it's their content." [151] [152]

The iTunes influence, part one: How Apple changed the face of the music marketplace

On April 28th, the iTunes Store basked in a milestone 10th birthday. Two years before its 2003 launch (as the iTunes Music Store), Apple introduced the iTunes client as a desktop music management program and implemented it as the device manager for the first iPod later in 2001. In those two years, Apple laid the groundwork for what can reasonably be called the iTunes era of music.

Apple did not invent digital music, even though for many iTunes embodies 21st century music buying. However, during the past 10 years, it has become the US' top music retailer, with customers currently downloading 15,000 songs per minute from the app's library of 26 million songs, according to an Apple spokesperson. Since its launch, it has evolved into the hub of a powerhouse media / tech ecosystem that turned Apple into the world's most valuable company in 2012.

As a symbolic milestone, the iTunes anniversary encourages reflection on the past, a survey of the present and predictions of the future. Digital music continues to evolve, for businesses, consumers and musicians.

Setting the Stage for iTunes

My brain melted around the edges and I saw the promised land shimmering on the horizon. Music had arrived online, and it sounded pretty damn good.

But it was the MP3 file format that got the ball rolling directly toward the disruptions of the late 1990s. Like an evolutionary leap, MP3 crawled out of the water onto land (well, the web) in 1995, and served as the best marker for the start of the digital music era, which spawned iTunes. The MP3 specification compressed fat audio files to a fractional size. Crushing them down made file transfers feasible in the low-bandwidth early web, but also reduced audio fidelity. (That was an easy trade for most people.) Over time, severely compressed song files became less necessary as the internet's pipes grew bigger, but MP3 has remained in wide use at higher bit rates that conserve more sound quality.

The MP3 spec was ready for prime time in 1992, but the technology was marketed to enterprise and remained mostly unnoticed and unused on the internet. It was the introduction of desktop MP3 players a few years later that closed the functional circle of music compression and sparked new uses. Software players like AMP and Winamp were powerful catalysts of early MP3 adoption and song-trading when users had something they could do with an MP3 track (play it), the files started flying.

Sharing and the Sheriff

When Apple entered the field in 2001 with the iTunes program and the first iPod, digital music was a frontier being settled by adventurous pioneers fleeing analog tyrannies of tape, one-hit albums and high prices. From the industry perspective, the new landscape was populated by disreputable rogues intent on stealing music in digitally enabled ways peer-to-peer (P2P) file-sharing was rampant.

Sharing is a natural human impulse, and sharing music happened for years before MP3 in the form of home-recorded tapes. However, small MP3 files, combined with DSL and cable bandwidth being pushed into homes, led to exuberant song-sharing via email and web sites. The hunt was on for other people's tunes. In January 1999, "MP3" became the pre-Google internet's top search term, overtaking "sex." There was some primal music love going on.

P2P file-sharing made finding music a lot easier by forming a central music-specific search engine that connected directly to the songs. With the advent of Napster, the demand for MP3 music was met by a spectacularly efficient supply. The web app was created by Shawn Fanning, who dropped out of college to complete the project.

"It was something that came to me as a result of seeing sort of an unmet need and the passion people had for being able to find all this music, particularly a lot of the obscure stuff which wouldn't be something you go to a record store and purchase," Fanning said in a 2009 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle. "So if felt like a problem worth solving."

Fanning unleashed his site in mid-1999, and it became the fastest-growing product or service in the internet's history to that point. "I try not to think about it," Fanning said in an MTV interview. "It's a bit overwhelming 20 million people have adopted it and love it."

File-sharing is reputed to be a young person's passion -- indeed, in 2012 about half of P2P downloaders were surveyed (pdf) to be 25 or younger. But in my observation during Napster's dramatic climb, the app cut impressively across age groups. I knew parents who were more into it than their college-age kids.

The combination of MP3 and Napster liquefied music into a mercurial stream of bits, slippery and seemingly uncontainable, and a struggle was on to determine how freely it could flow. In 1997, five years before the iTunes store and two years before Napster, Michael Robertson founded, an early flagship of the MP3 era. It was one of the first pay-per-download and pay-per-stream platforms for musicians, and was vigorously endorsed by Alanis Morissette and others. developed a cloud-storage component called Beam-It that verified a user's ownership of a CD, and uploaded its tracks to an online music locker. Cloud listening is standard business modeling for the world's biggest media-tech companies today, but in 2000, it was an instant lawsuit. lost the courtroom battle to Universal Music Group and was eventually acquired by Vivendi Universal, UMG's parent company.

"We debuted Beam-It in 1999," Robertson told me. "It is fascinating to me that it took more than a decade for the industry to embrace the concept behind Beam-It. If you have the physical disc you get the digital counterpart. I feel vindicated, but part of me is saddened. For more than a decade it was technically feasible, and would have given tremendous value to consumers, yet the industry didn't embrace it."

Robertson also gives a rueful nod to Apple for its reputation as the industry's sheriff, saving music from unlawful file-sharing.

"At the same time [as], Napster came along," he said. "It had a profound impact on the industry. Many people lump them together -- 'Oh yeah, you were doing copyright infringement . and then Apple came along!'"

Labels vs. Everyone

1999 was as tumultuous in music technology as 1969 was in music sociology. It was rebellion against The Man -- who in this case was the institutional power center of major labels and their chief US lobbying group, the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA). The RIAA engaged in front-line, hand-to-throat combat with consumers, while labels found themselves tangled in disputes with their progressive artists.

In a span of 12 months, from February 1999 through January 2000, the music industry pitched these battles (among others):

  • SDMI: The Secure Digital Music Initiative sought to roll back 15 years of CD and MP3 technology by developing a new, copy-resistant file format using digital rights management (DRM). The venture was backed by the recording industry in partnership with Microsoft and IBM. It didn't result in a marketable product, but DRM played an important role in launching the iTunes store, and in the iTunes experience for several years.
  • Rogue Artist: Tom Petty released "Free Girl Now" on, where it was downloaded 150,000 times before Petty's label, Warner Music, removed the song.
  • Diamond Rio: The first popular MP3 player, the Rio, was released in August, only because the RIAA, which had tried to sue it into non-existence, dropped its legal action. The litigation was an early example of how the industry regarded the MP3 file format -- a neutral technology spec -- as an illegal enabler of copyright theft.
  • RIAA vs. Napster: Seven months after Napster launched, the RIAA filed suit against the service. The case alone was a notable benchmark, and also included a requested damage penalty of $100,000 per song downloaded via the platform. That dazzling plea set a precedent of eye-popping and arguably unjustified damage claims that would mark RIAA lawsuits in coming years.

The years following 1999 were eventful, too. Metallica sued Napster, at the same time that Limp Bizkit embarked on a Napster-sponsored tour. The company lost its legal challenges, and shut down in the summer of 2001, ending two tectonic years of operation. (Napster's assets underwent a series of acquisitions, most recently by Rhapsody in 2011.) In the meantime, other file-sharing platforms emerged, including Morpheus, Grokster, Gnutella and KaZaA. Three of the major labels (Warner Music, Bertelsmann and EMI) launched a music subscription service called MusicNet, which was predictably ignored. The other two majors (Universal Music Group and Sony Music) started a competing service called Pressplay it was likewise disdained.

In April 2003, mere days before the iTunes Music Store opened, the RIAA brought the downloading fight to the streets, suing four college students for building local file-sharing search engines on campus intranets. The programs enabled campus students to find and share MP3 songs, leading the RIAA to call them "local area Napster networks." (Napster's plug had been pulled two years previously, but its name was still invoked as a proxy for sharing music.) The defendants settled their cases for amounts ranging from $12,000 to $17,500, in one case wiping out a student's savings from three years of work during college.

The RIAA endured some criticism for its heavy-handedness in the student ploy, but was just getting started. In what was a controversial PR campaign as much as a scare tactic, the RIAA sued more than 35,000 individuals from all walks of life between 2003 and 2008. The targets were identified by IP numbers in file-sharing apps, then traced to actual people through their internet service providers. The RIAA's method of contact, accusation and settlement became so routine that targets were encouraged to pay a settlement fee by credit card on a special web page. It was like an expensive toll to use P2P, if you were one of the unlucky few who stumbled into a toll lane.

After 2008, the RIAA discontinued the lawsuits against individuals. The five-year campaign was widely viewed as ineffective at slowing P2P use, which had become complicated by the addition of movie, TV and software downloading. The RIAA handed off the policing role to ISPs, but it took four years before major internet providers (Comcast, Time Warner, Verizon and others) agreed to implement some kind of P2P watchdog scheme last December.

ITunes: A Solution

Whether the labels waded in or dove in, the store was an instant hit for consumers who craved the advantages of virtual music products, but didn't want to get tangled in the file-sharing jungle where malware abounded and the RIAA was training sharpshooters. The store sold 1 million downloads in the first week, and the next month Apple sold its 1 millionth iPod. The ecosystem was up and running.

For the copyright-aware and digitally progressive music customer, iTunes offered a value chain with four compelling links. First, the store presented a coherent, understandable digital marketplace that was soothingly reminiscent of a record shop. In contrast to the subscription streaming services (Rhapsody launched in 2001), iTunes traded in music that you wholly owned. The model was a refreshing hybrid of newness and familiarity. Second, the pricing was attractive and, importantly, unchanging: 10 bucks for an album, one buck for a track, no retail shenanigans. The perceived value of music was reset. Labels were not thrilled with the devaluation established by this price model, but it was better than zero in KaZaA.

Perhaps the most important feature for iTunes customers was the dismantling of albums. One of the sharpest CD-era complaints was the forced purchase of a 12-song disc to acquire one radio hit.

"The labels had it pretty sweet," Robertson told me. "You put out a CD and it's got one, two or maybe three songs that people care about, and you convince them to give you 15 bucks."

wrote an open letter debunking the industry rationale for copy-protected music tracks that thwarted the user's ability to freely use their purchases. Jobs might have been listening to John Lennon when he wrote this:

Imagine a world where every online store sells DRM-free music encoded in open licensable formats. In such a world, any player can play music purchased from any store, and any store can sell music which is playable on all players. This is clearly the best alternative for consumers, and Apple would embrace it in a heartbeat.

Jobs won that argument and DRM faded out of iTunes for good in 2009. But for several years, iTunes unquestionably degraded consumer value in this regard, even as it satisfied digital needs in other ways. Never before in the history of recording era (except for player-piano rolls) had customers been forced to slave their recordings to one brand of playback device. Because iTunes songs were watermarked with copy-protection, they could not be played in non-Apple devices. This situation was like a time bomb for users. If their iPod died, they would be forced to buy another iPod, or lose playback of all their purchased music. Imagine a label releasing CDs that only worked in Sony or Panasonic CD players. That is exactly what happened in iTunes, with Apple players.

Griffin believes it was a necessary period of label hand-holding.

"Had anyone said at the beginning, 'Oh, by the way, we'll drop the DRM along the way' -- that's a road [the labels] would not have headed down," he points out.

When I brought this up with's Robertson, he explained that other ventures had failed to acquire full label participation without DRM.

"On the DRM front, I would say that Apple was forced to do it by the industry . and [Apple] quickly realized they could use it as a wonderful lock-in tool!" he said. "If you remember back before iTunes, there were companies that were vending digital songs for a dollar each -- Liquid Audio, Nordic Music -- and the problem was they could never get sizable inventory. The labels would give them one single, or a few singles from one band, and say 'Let's see how this sells.' It was like opening a hardware store that sells only hammers. That's what really stunted growth. It was Apple that said, 'We're just going to launch to Apple customers, and we're going to use DRM.' Those two decisions caused the industry to finally relent and license catalog-wide."

ITunes in the Future

The iTunes Store anniversary does not mark an end point, for the store or for the digital music movement. Matt Graves, a longtime internet executive who has held marketing and communication positions with Rhapsody, imeem and Twitter, thinks 2013 is a pivot point.

"In the same way that 2003 was a pivotal year that set forces in motion that are continuing to be felt, I look at 2013 as an equally important year," he said. "The comet has hit, and the long-term impacts are growing more apparent as time moves on."

The comet strikes to music were MP3 and file-sharing. Technology started the digital music revolution with MP3 and Napster, and created business out of chaos with the iTunes Music Store. Going into the next 10 years, iTunes faces challenges to its dominance on two major fronts. First, the iTunes template is now old news, and more or less replicated in all the major media-tech ecosystems (Amazon, Google, Microsoft). Apple's innovation has gone from being the solution to being one of many choices.

"Amazon is very good," said Griffin. "Amazon has clearly been gaining share at the expense of iTunes, because they've been offering people more options -- selling you the disc along with the digits, side by side, or allowing you to get the digits immediately and wait for the disc."

Second, Apple must come to grips with the emergence of streaming as a newly popular type of music consumption. Subscription streaming was established on a small scale years before iTunes opened, but was a hard sell to consumers until recently. The rise of Pandora, Rdio and Spotify during the last couple of years, and the powerful influence of YouTube, have driven interactive listening to parity with downloading. If Apple fulfills rumors of an iRadio launch, it would signal the company's recognition that the era of iTunes dominance is, if not over, certainly more complicated.

"We're at an interesting point now," said Graves. "It's 10 years since Apple launched iTunes. We are only now seeing some of the forces set in motion 10 years ago. We are still grappling with what it all means."

Part 2 of the iTunes @10 series, "Setting the music free," is posted here. Part 3 is posted here.

How to manage Apple Music listening history

You have the ability to view your private Apple Music listening history by swiping down in the Music app on iOS or with a few clicks on your Mac, as explained right ahead.

IPhone and iPad

1) Open the Music app on your iPhone, iPad or iPod touch with iOS 13.2 or later.

2) Tap the mini-player near the bottom of the screen to enter the Now Playing interface.

3) Tap the Up Next icon in the bottom-right corner of the Now Playing screen.

The icon for Up Next looks like three bullet points followed by horizontal lines.

4) Now swipe down until you scroll up to the History heading.

You can now view all of the songs your recently played on your device. Feel free to remove a song from your listening history by swiping it to the left, then tap the hidden option Remove.

You will feel a little haptic feedback when you scroll past the History heading.

Tap Clear to delete your whole Apple Music listening history from this device at any time.

1) Launch the Music app on your Mac with macOS Catalina 10.15 or later.

2) Click the Up Next button near the top-right corner of the window.

Listening history on the Mac lives underneath that Up Next icon.

3) Now click History in the Up Next list to see all the songs that played previously.

Your listening history is specific to each iPhone, iPad and Mac.

You can remove individual songs from your listening history at any time: just right-click an entry in your History and choose the option Remove from History from the popup menu.

Right-click a song to reveal options to remove it from your listening history.

To wipe your listening history clean on this device, click Clear at the bottom of the list.

An Illustrated History of the iPod

The iPod grew out of Steve Jobs’ digital hub strategy. Life was going digital. People were plugging all kinds of devices into their computers: digital cameras, camcorders, MP3 players.

The computer was the central device, the “digital hub,” that could be used to edit photos and movies or manage a large music library. Jobs tasked Apple’s programmers with making software for editing photos, movies and managing digital music. While they were doing this, they discovered that all the early MP3 players were horrible. Jobs asked his top hardware guy, Jon Rubinstein, to see if Apple could do better.

Rubinstein spent a few weeks on the project but concluded the technology wasn’t yet there. Either it would be big and bulky, or the battery would suck, or it would have limited memory. He was just about to give up when he made a routine visit to Toshiba, one of Apple’s hard drive suppliers. At the end of a meeting, the Toshiba executives offhandedly showed him a new, 1.8-inch hard drive they had just prototyped. They didn’t know what to do with it. Rubinstein immediately recognized it as the key technology for the first iPod.

Rubinstein recruited engineer Tony Fadell to oversee the hardware. In less than nine months, Fadell’s team had a product ready to go. Apple’s marketing guru Phil Schiller suggested the scroll wheel because it was clear early on that users will have to navigate huge lists of songs. To speed things up, the iPod was assembled from off the shelf parts — a Toshiba hard drive, a Sony battery and chips from Texas Instruments.

The name “iPod” came from a freelance copywriter, Vinnie Chieco, who as soon as he saw the pure white device thought of Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey and the immortal line: “Open the Pod Bay doors, Hal.” Steve Jobs was talking a lot about the iMac and iLife, so adding the “i” prefix was a natural thing to do. Jobs initially rejected the iPod name, but later came around to it.

iPod cutaway by Silvan Linn

January 9: Apple releases its iTunes music jukebox software, which was based on a program called SoundJam MP, purchased by Apple in early 2000. Some critics complain that it doesn’t have a boatload of advanced features, but it is nice, simple and makes digital music easy.

October 23: Only a month after 9/11, and in the midst of an anthrax terrorist scare, Jobs took the stage at Apple’s HQ to announce the first iPod. From the get-go, he has large ambitions for the device. He calls it a “breakthrough digital device.”

“Music is a part of everyone’s life,” he said, “and because it’s a part of everyone’s life, it’s a very large target market all around the world. It knows no boundaries.”

The small white player has a 1,000 song capacity thanks to its 5GB hard drive, but costs $399.

Watch Jobs unveil the iPod:

The initial reaction from the public is not good. Most critics think it’s too expensive and does too little. “All that hype for an MP3 player? Break-thru digital device?” said one commentor on MacRumors forums. “The Reality Distiortion Field™ is starting to warp Steve’s mind if he thinks for one second that this thing is gonna take off.”

Others riff on the name iPod: “Idiots Price Our Devices” “I prefer Owning Disks” “I Prefer Other Devices.”

July 17: The second-generation iPod is released in 10- and 20GB capacities. Similar in appearance to the previous generation, this version featured a touch-sensitive wheel instead of the prior mechanical one. It also had a redesigned hold switch and a cover on the FireWire port. The iPod was now Windows-compatible as well, thanks to Musicmatch software.

September: In France, the iPod was briefly taken off the market when authorities said it was too loud and could damage listeners’ ears. Under French law, portable devices were limited to 100 decibels. The iPod’s software was quickly updated to reduce the volume. Users in other European countries are not happy.

October: With the release of iTunes 4.1 comes compatibility with Windows 2000 and XP iPod sales explode following this development. Jobs gets his friends in the music business, including U2’s Bono and Mick Jagger, to help launch the software. Apple takes out cheeky ads that say “Hell Froze Over.”

December: Apple offers limited-edition iPods with signatures of Madonna, Tony Hawk, Beck, or No Doubt laser-engraved on the back. These are the most expensive iPods Apple has sold: the top-of-the-line model cost $548.

Number of iPods sold through 2002: 600,000

April 28: Apple releases the third-generation iPod, which moves the control buttons to a new row of touch-sensitive buttons under the screen. This model introduces the USB dock connector for syncing. Apple also introduces iTunes Music Store, which opens with 200,000 songs available for 99 cents each. At a time when music piracy is rampant, the move is seen as ballsy. Who would pay for music when it is available for free? But Jobs argued that simplicity and ease of use would trump stealing. Most consumers wanted to do the right thing, he said.

The 3G iPod marks the most important change in the iPod’s early history: Apple adds USB alongside FireWire. This makes the iPod compatible with vast numbers of Windows PCs, and sales start to explode.

May: Oprah names the iPod one of her “Favorite Things” and gives everyone in her show’s 350-member live audience a 15GB iPod worth $399.

June: One millionth iPod sold.

Summer: The iconic silhouette ads become ubiquitous. The white earbuds turned out to be a marketing masterstroke: They advertised a player that was hidden away in a bag or pocket. They were just a lucky accident. Apple’s head designer, Jony Ive, said the headphones are white because the iPod was white. But Apple soon realized its good fortune, emphasizing the white earbuds in its iconic silhouette ads.

September: iTunes downloads top 10 million songs.

September: Apple Corps, which holds the rights to The Beatles’ catalog, sues Apple for violating a trademark agreement. Apple Computer had agreed to stay out of the music business, but with 10 million songs sold in iTunes, it was becoming unambiguously involved. When the case came before the High Court in London, the judge considered disqualifying himself because he used an iPod. Apple’s lawyers argued that not even “a moron in a hurry” would mistake the two companies. The case was settled in 2007 — in favor of the computer company.

October: Apple makes the iTunes Music Store available to Windows users.

October: Dell launches its Digital Jukebox (DJ), which is heralded as the “iPod killer” because of its lower price point.

November: The anti-iPod backlash reaches a crescendo with “iPod’s Dirty Little Secret,” a video by the Neistat brothers complaining about the iPod’s battery. The video goes viral and Apple starts a cheap battery replacement program.

Watch “iPod’s Dirty Little Secret.”

December: iTunes song downloads top 25 million.

December: Canadian authorities dragged the iPod into controversy about music piracy when it levied a CDN$25 charge on every iPod to compensate artists whose music was being ripped off.

Number of iPods sold through 2003: 2 million

January 6: Apple goes small with the “iPod mini.” The mini is released with 4GB of storage and in 5 colors. It features a new “click wheel” which combines the control buttons integrated into a solid-state, touch-sensitive scroll wheel.

February 1: Apple and Pepsi launch the biggest iTunes promotion yet. Publicized with splashy Super Bowl commercials, the two companies promise to give away 100 million free songs through iTunes.

February: Random shuffle inspires laudatory essays in cultural organs like The New Yorker, Wired and The Guardian. Professor Michael Bull says Shuffle is the signature feature of digital music, turning the iPod into an “Alladin’s Cave of aural surprises.”

March: After a string of muggings and robberies, the West Midlands Police, one of the largest police forces in the U.K., warned iPod users to stop using white earbuds.

June: BMW debuts the first car entertainment system with built-in iPod integration. Within a couple of hers, 90% of new cars would also offer this feature.

June: In a big cover story, Newsweek declares that America is “iPod Nation.”

July: iTunes downloads top 100 million songs. The person who purchased the 100 millionth song, Kevin Britten of Hays, Kansas, gets a congratulatory phone call from Steve Jobs.

July 19: The fourth-generation iPod is released, with the new click wheel controls from the iPod mini. Available in 20GB and 40GB capacities.

Fall: Duke University provides iPods to all incoming freshmen.

August: The classic first-person-shooter Doom, which geeks have tweaked to run on almost every computing device known to man, is finally ported to iPod. It’s a sign the iPod had finally gained nerd cred. Doom runs on iPod. Photo: FHKE/Flickr CC

October: Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer calls iPod users music thieves because “the most common format of music on an iPod is ‘stolen’.” He soon apologizes.

October 26: Apple introduces “iPod Photo” as its premium iPod featuring a color screen and updated UI for viewing pictures. Apple also releases the “iPod U2 Special Edition,” a 30GB fourth-generation model with an all-black enclosure and red click wheel. On the back, the signatures of U2’s members are laser engraved and several exclusive U2 videos are included on the iPod’s hard drive.

December: Playboy launches iBod, a set of saucy pictures optimized for the iPod photo. The galleries of PlayMates, Blondes and Voluptuous Vixens are dubbed the first “iPod porn.”

Number of iPods sold through 2004: 10 million

January 11: Apple announces a new entry-level iPod, the iPod shuffle, using flash memory with 512MB and 1GB capacities. Plugs directly into computer through onboard USB.

February 22: The second-generation iPod mini is released with updated colors and a longer battery life.

September: Apple rolls out a bunch of new iPod games through the iTunes Store.

September 7: Steve Jobs shocks the gadget word when he kills off the very successful iPod mini in favor of the iPod nano. The nano includes a color screen for photo viewing and is available in black or white, with 2GB and 4GB capacities. Later, a cheaper 1GB version is added to the line. Initially, Jobs’ move was judged as reckless and crazy. Later, it was seen as pure Apple: Jobs was his own fiercest competitor.

October 12: The fifth-generation iPod is released, featuring another complete redesign. The new look brings a slimmer profile and larger screen for playing videos. Made available in black and white.

December: The White House reveals that even President George Bush has an iPod. Here he is discussing his playlist:

Number of iPods sold through 2005: 42 million

February: iTunes sells its one billionth song.

Summer: iPod-inspired cakes reach a tipping point on the Web. iPod cakes are all the rage. Photo: Paul Gault/Flickr CC

Fall: Everyone and their kids dresses as an iPod for Halloween. Dressing up as an iPod becomes a Halloween sensation. Photo: Maria Ly/Flickr CC

September 12: The second-generation iPod nano is unveiled, featuring an anodized aluminum casing available in six colors, a design that hearkened back to the iPod mini. Alongside the new nano comes the second-generation iPod shuffle, which also gets a new anodized aluminum body, as well as a clip on the back. The second-generation iPod nano came in multiple colors.

Number of iPods sold through 2006: 88 million

January 9: Steve Jobs delivers the keynote address at the Macworld Conference and announces three new products: “a widescreen iPod with touch controls,” a “revolutionary mobile phone” and “a breakthrough Internet communicator.” To uproarious applause, he reveals that these three products are actually a single device: the long-awaited and oft-rumored iPhone. Though it won’t be released until June, Jobs demonstrates among many other features the built-in iPod media player application, featuring touch-controlled CoverFlow.

Watch Jobs’ greatest performance, the introduction of the iPhone.

January: Spoof iPod ad featuring Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer doing the “Monkey Boy” dance becomes smash viral hit:

April: 100 millionth iPod sold.

June 29: Apple releases the iPhone to long lines of eager shoppers in 4GB and 8GB sizes. After two months, Apple discontinues the 4GB model and drops the price of the 8GB model significantly, upsetting early adopters.

September 5: With the sixth generation of the original iPod comes a new name: “iPod classic.” Apple updates the UI again and adds an anodized aluminum front. Available in black or silver in 80GB or 160GB sizes. A year later Apple discontinues both capacities for a single 120GB model. Apple also unveils the third-generation iPod nano, which features a 2-inch, video-ready screen in a nearly square enclosure, and a smaller click wheel. Most importantly, Apple begins the process of making the classic iPod obsolete by introducing a new touch-screen iPod, the iPod touch. It brings the multi-touch, web access, and media player features of the iPhone without the monthly cellular bill. Initially offered in 8GB and 16GB, with 32GB added to the line in February of 2008.

Number of iPods sold through 2007: 141 million

February 5: Apple adds a 16GB model to the iPhone line.

March: The iPod goes to space on the Space Shuttle Endeavor.

April: iTunes passes Walmart to become the top music vendor in the United States.

July 11: Apple releases the iPhone 3G, a new model with a curved plastic back and 3G cellular data capabilities. Available in 8GB and 16G storage capacities.

September 9: Apple releases the fourth-generation iPod nano, reverting back to the original tall form factor and all-aluminum case. An included accelerometer allows for horizontal use. Apple also updates the iPod touch, bringing a curved chrome back, hardware volume controls, and a built-in speaker.

September: iPod connectivity is offered in more than 90% of new cars sold in the U.S.

Number of iPods sold through 2008: 197 million

February: Jobs writes an open letter on, Thoughts on Music, announcing that all songs in iTunes are DRM-free. It’s a watershed moment for the digital music industry. Instead of fighting customers with restrictive file-protection schemes, Jobs made things easier for the consumer over the rights holders. It’s also an acknowledgment that Jobs’ iTunes strategy had worked: simplicity and ease of use could compete with piracy.

March 11: The third-generation iPod shuffle is announced, featuring a tiny form factor and no hardware controls at all all controls have been moved to buttons on the headphone cable. Introduced VoiceOver technology allows the iPod to speak the name of playlists, artists, or tracks that the user selects.

April 1: On a state visit to the U.K, President Barack Obama gives the Queen of England an iPod.

April 27: All songs in the iTunes store become DRM-free as Apple adopts new pricing tiers at 79 and 99 cents and $1.29.

June 19: Apple releases an updated iPhone model, the iPhone 3GS. Nearly identical to its predecessor in appearance, it features upgraded internal components. The “S” stands for “speed.”

September: Apple replaces the 120GB iPod classic with the 160GB model.

September 9: With the fifth-generation iPod nano, Apple gives the model a polished outer case and onboard video camera — the first in an iPod. This model also receives a speaker, FM tuner and larger screen, and is offered in 8GB or 16GB sizes. Also announced is the third version of the iPod touch, which brings the iPhone 3GS’s upgraded processor and VoiceOver support.

Number of iPods sold through 2009: 250 million

June 21: Apple releases the iPhone 4, featuring a flat, minimalist design and a metal band around the outer edge to serve as antennae. Even before Apple announces it, the iPhone 4 is steeped in controversy after an Apple engineer leaves a prototype test model in a bar and it makes its way to the hands of the tech blog Gizmodo. After the release, users discover that holding the iPhone 4 in “the wrong way” can greatly diminish the cellular signal.

September 1: Multi-touch comes to the iPod nano with the sixth-generation model. In addition, Apple also brings the clip from the iPod shuffle but removes video, speakers, and camera features. A fourth iteration of the iPod shuffle is also released, keeping the previous generation’s VoiceOver feature but bringing the media controls down from the headphones and back to the outside of the unit itself.

September: President Obama discusses his 2,000-song iPod playlist with Rolling Stone: Jay-Z dominates but there is also Nas and Lil Wayne. He says, “Music is still a great source of joy and occasional solace in the midst of what can be some difficult days.”

September 9: Apple unveils the fourth-generation iPod touch, with an even thinner design and two cameras. One camera on the back captures HD video, while the second camera on the front brings FaceTime video-calling capabilities. Apple also packs in their A4 processor and the Retina Display.

November: After years of rumors, speculation and hope, The Beatles catalog finally comes to iTunes. Still no sign of Led Zeppelin or the Rolling Stones.

Number of iPods sold through September 1, 2010: 275 million

October 4: Apple unveils an updated iPhone model dubbed the iPhone 4S, which features a faster processor and an innovative AI called Siri. The iPod touch also sees a minor upgrade.

These days, the iPod is everywhere. Below, a female warrior of Southern Ethiopia’s Mursi tribe holds her AK-47 and iPod. Photo courtesy iLounge

How to view music play history on Mac

To see the songs, playlists, radio stations, or playlists that you streamed via Apple Music or played from the personal music library on your Mac or iPhone, follow the steps outlined below:

Step 1: Open Music on your Mac.

Step 2: Click the List icon located on the top right. In the drop-down menu, make sure the History tab is selected.

There you go—now you can browse the songs, playlists and albums you recently listened to on Apple Music or played from your personal library.

As you can see on the above screenshot, your play history is divided by various sections, showing where this song came from. Not only can you see songs you have listened to on your iPhone or iPad, but it also tells you what playlist or radio station these songs were from. Very handy!

Submit your feedback and tutorial ideas at [email protected].

Watch the video: Steve Jobs introduces iTunes Music Store - Apple Special Event 2003