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Episode Info: We are gathered here today to remember the life and times of iTunes, a repository of music that both made and broke musicians and some of the technology used to enjoy our favourite songs. iTunes was born in 2001, near the dawn of the digital music age, one of the many curious thoughts of Apple as it was changing from punchline to wunderkind. The idea was simple and brilliant: Why buy a whole album when all you want is one or two tracks? Get the songs you want without having to lose shelf space to a CD jewel case that was getting overfilled anyway. When Apple bought SoundJam MP3 in 2000, the company reformatted and tweaked the software to make it more user friendly. iTunes and the iPod were introduced in October 2001, allowing people to digitally store songs they liked on a block the size of a deck of cards – slightly smaller than the Walkman they were used to carrying around just a few years prior and without the annoying skips of their surgically-attached CD players. It wasn’t until 2004, when iTunes 4 was released and introduced us to the iTunes Music Store, that people began to really care. And shop. And boy, did we shop. Remember paying $0.99 for a song? Glorious! A whole new world for music But iTunes also allowed users – both Mac and PC by the mid-2000s – to rip their CDs into digital files and upload them into their music repositories. It gave users the ability to play with their songs, making remixes, using audio software the manipulate music made by someone else into their own customized version. Is iTunes responsible for the explosion of EDM? Perhaps. But that’s for another day. In a few short years, the whole music landscape changed. The introduction of CD burner drives for desktops and laptops made it possible for people to copy CDs; the introduction of Napster and LimeWire and other sites where digital music was, uh, shared for free gave people the opportunity to find and share new music (or really old songs) with just a few clicks, and the release of iTunes and the iPod made the whole thing digital and substantially cheaper – and legit!—than buying CDs. Things get “Complicated” By September 3, 2003, it was clear Apple had a real winner on its hands, as the iTunes store announced the sale of its 10 millionth song: Avril Lavigne’s “Complicated.” (No judgment – that song was all over the place.) Apple guru and questionable human being-turned-technological visionary Steve Jobs called the development a milestone, stressing that it was all done legally. “Apple offers the only complete solution for digital music with iTunes and the amazing iPod, which now holds 10,000 songs in your pocket,” he said at the time. The iTunes Music Store had sold 10 million songs in four months, averaging 500,000 songs per week. “We are honoured and grateful to be one of the top selling artists in the iTunes Music Store,” added Coldplay’s Chris Martin. “It’s clear Apple has delivered a working and successful platform f...
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