History of iTunes

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iTunes v1.0 installer CD (2001)

The history of iTunes begins in 1998 and continues to the present. Initially conceived as a simple music player, over time iTunes developed into a sophisticated multimedia content manager, hardware synchronization manager and e-commerce platform. The current version of iTunes enables users to manage media content, create playlists, synchronize media content with handheld devices including the iPod, iPhone and iPad, re-image and update handheld devices, stream Internet radio and purchase music, films, television shows, audiobooks and applications via the iTunes Store.

History[edit]

iTunes logo since version 12.2.

Apple based the initial release of iTunes on SoundJam MP, a program developed by Bill Kincaid and released by Casady & Greene in 1999.[1] Apple purchased the program from Casady & Greene in 2000. At the time of the purchase, Kincaid, Jeff Robbin and Dave Heller left Casady & Greene to continue development of the program as Apple employees. At Apple, the developers simplified SoundJam's user interface, added the ability to burn CDs, and removed the program's recording feature and skin support.[2]

Apple released version 1.0 of the program under a new name, "iTunes", on January 9, 2001, at Macworld San Francisco. Macintosh users immediately began poking through iTunes's resource fork, where they discovered numerous strings and other resources that indicated that iTunes was a re-engineered Sound Jam MP. Casady & Greene ceased distribution of SoundJam MP on June 1, 2001 at the request of the developers.[3]

Originally a Mac OS 9-only application, iTunes began to support Mac OS X with the release of version 2.0 in October 2001. Release 2.0 also added support for a then-new product, the iPod.[4] Version 3 dropped Mac OS 9 support but added smart playlists and a ratings system.[5] In April 2003, version 4.0 introduced the iTunes Store; in October, version 4.1 added support for Microsoft Windows 2000 and Windows XP.[6] Introduced at Macworld 2005 with the new iPod Shuffle, Version 4.7.1 introduced the ability to convert higher-bitrate songs to 128kbit/s AAC automatically, as these devices did not natively support audio encoded in AIFF or Apple Lossless formats, also improving the value proposition of the Shuffle's limited flash-only storage.[7] Version 7.0 introduced gapless playback and Cover Flow in September 2006.[8] In March 2007, iTunes 7.1 added support for Windows Vista,[9] and 7.3.2 was the last Windows 2000 version.[10]

iTunes lacked support for 64-bit versions of Windows until the 7.6 update on January 16, 2008. iTunes is currently supported under any 64-bit version of Windows, although the iTunes executable was still 32-bit until version 12.1. The 64-bit versions of Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are not supported by Apple, but a workaround has been devised for both operating systems.[11] Version 8.0 added Genius playlists, grid view, and a new default visualizer.[12]

iTunes 9 added "Home Share" enabling automatic updating of purchased items across other computers on the same subnet and offers a new iTunes Store UI. Genius Mixes were added, as well as improved App synchronization abilities, extending the iPod Shuffle 128 kbit/s down-convert feature to all of Apple's AAC-capable devices.[13] It also adds iTunes LPs to the store, which gives additional media with an album. Apple added iTunes Extras as well to the store, which adds content usually reserved for films on DVD and Blu-ray discs.[14] Both iTunes LPs and Extras use web-standards HTML, JavaScript and CSS.[15]

On September 1, 2010, Apple held their annual music press event where they unveiled an updated version: iTunes 10. The new version was available for download later that day. One major feature includes the integration of "iTunes Ping", which brings a social factor to the iTunes experience. Apple CEO Steve Jobs also announced a new logo, one without a CD in the background because of the increasing popularity of iTunes digital downloads.

In October 2012, Apple announced the launch of the iPhone 5 and iPad Mini, the refresh of the iPod and Mac lines, and the upcoming release of iTunes 11. Slated for release by the end of October, the launch was pushed back to November 29, 2012. This version included tighter integration with iCloud, and a new user interface. Users' libraries now include all media they have stored in their iCloud account, along with any media unique to the device they are using. Media files stored in the cloud don't need to be downloaded before playing, allowing a larger collection to be accessible without increased disk usage. The new user interface includes a refreshed grid view, which replaces Cover Flow as the default layout method. With this change, Cover Flow is no longer available within the application. With the release of this software, the iTunes Store was redesigned to remain consistent with the new interface, and the stores available on iOS devices. The social element Ping was also removed and replaced by increased Twitter and Facebook integration. Other minor changes included disabling the sidebar by default, and slightly altering the icon to match that of the Mac App Store better.

On November 16, 2014, Apple released iTunes 12, with a redesigned icon and interface, inspired by OS X Yosemite. With iTunes 12.1 and later, there is a new widget for notification center in OS X Yosemite, which allows the user to see what's playing, skip ahead, and even buy songs from iTunes Radio, right from notification center. It also improves performance when syncing to an iOS device.

iTunes has been credited with accelerating shifts within the music industry. The pricing structure of iTunes encouraged the sale of single songs, allowing users to abandon the purchase of more expensive albums. This hastened the end of the Album Era in popular music.

Compatibility[edit]

Operating system versions[edit]

Obsolete Current
Operating system version Latest version Support start Support end
Mac OS 9 2.0.4[16] (20.03.2002) 2001 2002
Mac OS X 10.0 1.1.1[17] (01.05.2001) 2001
Mac OS X 10.1 4.7.1 (11.01.2005) 2005
Mac OS X 10.2 6.0.5 (29.06.2006) 2002 2006
Mac OS X 10.3 7.7.1[18] (31.07.2008) 2003 2008
Mac OS X 10.4 for G3 9.1.1[19] (27.04.2010) 2005 2009
Mac OS X 10.4 for G4, G5, Intel 9.2.1[20] (19.07.2010) 2010
Mac OS X 10.5 10.6.3[21] (11.06.2012) 2007 2012
Mac OS X 10.6 11.4[22] (09.09.2014) 2009 2014
Mac OS X 10.7 12.2.2[23] (13.08.2015) 2011 2015
OS X 10.8 12.4.3.1[24] (02.08.2016) 2012 2016
OS X 10.9 12.5.3 (31.10.2016) 2013 present
OS X 10.10 2014
OS X 10.11 2015
macOS 10.12 2016
Windows 2000 7.3.2 (02.08.2007) 2003 2007
Windows XP for x86 12.1.3[25] (17.09.2015) 2003 2015
Windows Vista 2007
Windows 7 12.5.3 (31.10.2016) 2009 present
Windows 8 2012
Windows 8.1 2013
Windows 10 2015
  • iTunes Store requires at least version 9, dropping support for earlier versions.
  • iTunes on Windows Home Server may cause data corruption, which Microsoft fixed in an update.[26]
  • iTunes usually requires latest service pack or point release to function.
  • a. ^ Mac OS 9.1 is required to burn CDs.
  • b. ^ iTunes supports both 32-bit and 64-bit editions for Windows Vista, 7, 8, 8.1, and 10. Windows 2000 and 64-bit editions of Windows XP are not supported.

Devices[edit]

Device Minimum OS Latest firmware
iPod Classic (1st generation)[27] 9/10.1 (Mac) 1.5
Rio One Unknown
iPod Classic (2nd generation)[28] 9/10.1 (Mac)
ME/2000 (Win)[29]
1.5
iPod Classic (3rd generation) 10.1 (Mac)
2000 (Win)
2.3
iPod Mini (1st generation)[30] 1.4.1
iPod Classic (4th generation)[31] 3.1.1
AirPort Express[32] 10.2 (Mac)
2000 (Win)
Unknown
iPod Photo[33] 1.2.1
iPod Classic 4G (color display)[34]
iPod Shuffle (1st generation)[35] 1.1.5
iPod Mini (2nd generation)[36] 1.4.1
ROKR E1[37] Unknown
iPod Nano (1st generation)[38] 10.3 (Mac)
2000 (Win)
1.3.1
iPod Classic (5th generation)[39] 1.3
SLVR L7[37] Unknown
RAZR V3i[37] Unknown
Nike+iPod Unknown
iPod Classic 5.5G 1.3
iPod Shuffle (2nd generation)[40] 1.0.4
iPod Nano (2nd generation)[41] 1.1.3
Apple TV (1st generation)[42] 10.3.9 (Mac)
XP SP2 (Win)
3.0.2[43]
iPhone (1st generation)[44] 10.4.11 (Mac)
XP SP2 (Win)
iPhone OS 3.1.3
iPod Touch (1st generation)[45]
iPod Classic (6th generation) 1.1.2
iPod Nano (3rd generation)[46] 1.1.3
iPhone 3G[47] iOS 4.2.1
iPod Touch (2nd generation)[48]
iPod Classic 6.5G 10.4.11 (Mac)
XP SP3 (Win)
2.0.5
iPod Nano (4th generation)[49] 1.0.4
iPod Shuffle (3rd generation)[50] 1.1[51]
iPhone 3GS[52] iOS 6.1.6
iPod Touch (3rd generation)[53] iOS 5.1.1
iPod Nano (5th generation)[54] 1.0.2
iPad (1st generation)[55] iOS 5.1.1
iPhone 4[56] iOS 7.1.2
iPod Shuffle (4th generation)[57] 10.5.8 (Mac)
XP SP3 (Win)
1.0.2
iPod Nano (6th generation)[58] 1.2
iPod Touch (4th generation)[59] iOS 6.1.6
Apple TV (2nd generation)[60] 6.2.1 (iOS 7.1.2)
iPhone 4 (CDMA)[56] iOS 7.1.2
iPad 2[61] iOS 9.3.5
iPhone 4S[62]
iPad (3rd generation)
Apple TV (3rd generation) 7.2.1 (iOS 8.4.1)
iPhone 5 10.6.8 (Mac)
XP SP3 (Win)
iOS 10.1.1
iPod Touch (5th generation) iOS 9.3.5
iPod Nano (7th generation) 1.0.4
iPad (4th generation) iOS 10.1.1
iPad Mini (1st generation) iOS 9.3.5
iPhone 5C iOS 10.1.1
iPhone 5S
iPad Air
iPad Mini 2
iPhone 6 / 6 Plus
iPad Air 2
iPad Mini 3
iPod Touch (6th generation) 10.7.5 (Mac)
7 (Win)
iPhone 6S / 6S Plus
iPad Mini 4
iPad Pro (12.9")
iPad Pro (9.7") 10.8.5 (Mac)
7 (Win)
iPhone SE
iPhone 7 / 7 Plus 10.9.5 (Mac)
7 (Win)

Version history[edit]

Obsolete Discontinued Current Beta Future Release

iTunes 1[edit]

iTunes 2[edit]

iTunes 3[edit]

iTunes 4[edit]

iTunes 5[edit]

iTunes 6[edit]

iTunes 7[edit]

iTunes 8[edit]

iTunes 9[edit]

iTunes 10[edit]

iTunes 11[edit]

iTunes 12[edit]

iTunes 12 version history
Version Release date Release notes / Features

12.0.1.26

October 16, 2014 (2014-10-16)
  • Family Sharing. You can now share your purchases from iTunes, iBooks, and the App Store with up to six people in your family — without sharing accounts or passwords. To start sharing, setup your iCloud Family by choosing iCloud in System Preferences on OS X Yosemite or Settings on iOS 8.
  • Faster access to all of your favorite media. iTunes now includes dedicated icons for music, movies, or TV shows, which make it easier to get to wherever you want to go in your library with a single click.
  • Seamless browsing between Store and library. The iTunes Store is now a part of the music, movies, or TV shows views of your library — making it simple to jump between your personal collection and what’s new for each category in the Store.
  • Recently Added. iTunes puts recently added albums, movies, or TV shows at the top of your library — making it effortless to find something new to play.
  • Improved playlist editing. You can now see your full music library and playlists side-by-side, making it easy to browse your music and drag your favorite songs into any playlist.
  • Improved Get Info. The all-new Get Info has been completely redesigned to focus your attention only on what’s necessary for the selected item.
  • Removed ability to play .m4v iTunes files in QuickTime.

12.1[25]

January 29, 2015 (2015-01-29)
  • New widget in Notification Centre
  • Bug fixes and improves performance when syncing with your iPhone, iPad, or iPod.
  • Now runs as a full 64-bit application on 64-bit editions of Microsoft Windows Vista, 7, 8 and 10.[citation needed]

12.1.1
(Windows only)

February 19, 2015 (2015-02-19)
  • Addresses an issue that may cause audio playback to stutter
  • Fixes a problem with syncing contacts and calendars from Outlook to iOS devices
  • Improves compatibility with screen readers.

12.1.2.27

April 9, 2015 (2015-04-09)
  • "Get info" window refinements
  • Syncing with Photos app
  • General stability improvements

12.1.3.6
(Windows only)

September 17, 2015 (2015-09-17)

12.2.0.145

June 30, 2015 (2015-06-30)
  • Apple Music support
  • Adds iTunes Connect
  • New "Love" rating system
  • New icon
  • Updated user interface
  • Support for Windows XP and Windows Vista dropped in favor of the new logo, though iTunes 12.1.3 can be installed from the iTunes downloads page[169]

12.2.1.16

July 13, 2015 (2015-07-13)
  • Fixes an issue for iTunes Match users where iTunes incorrectly changed some songs from Match to Apple Music
  • Provides a way to correct a library problem affecting former iTunes Match subscribers
  • Includes minor bug fixes and improvements for Beats 1

12.2.2.25[23]

August 13, 2015 (2015-08-13)
  • Click on the Beats 1 banner to see what's currently on, or view a complete broadcast schedule so you never miss a show
  • You can now view a list of the artists you're following on Apple Music
  • Resolved an issue where iTunes loses its place when you go back to a previous page in Apple Music
  • Addressed a problem where artists may be sorted incorrectly in My Music
  • Fixed a problem where playlists displayed in the action menu may not match the playlists in your library
  • Artists can now share thoughts, photos, music, and videos to Connect, right from iTunes
  • Last version to support Mac OS X v10.7

12.3.0.44

September 16, 2015 (2015-09-16)
  • Adds support for iOS 9 and Windows 10
  • Resolves a problem that prevented reordering of songs within Up Next
  • Fixes a problem where some radio stations did not appear within Recently Played
  • Addresses an issue where songs you loved on iOS did not appear loved on iTunes
  • Improvements to overall stability and performance.[170]

12.3.2.35

December 11, 2015 (2015-12-11)
  • Adds the ability to view works, composers, and performers for some Classical music within Apple Music
  • Overall improvements to security and stability[171]

12.3.3.17

March 21, 2016 (2016-03-21)
  • Adds support for the 9.7-inch iPad Pro and the iPhone SE

12.4.0.119

May 16, 2016 (2016-05-16)
  • Adds Back and Forward buttons for navigation between Library, Apple Music and iTunes Store.
  • Adds Media Picker for easy switching between Music, Movies, TV shows and more.
  • New ways to view Library with Sidebar.
  • Use the View menu to customise your Library or try context menus to act on specific items.

12.4.1.6[172]

June 3, 2016 (2016-06-03)
  • Fixed a problem where Up Next may have unexpectedly played songs added together in the incorrect order.
  • Fixed a problem where iTunes was prevented from crossfading between songs.[173]

12.4.2

July 18, 2016 (2016-07-18)
  • Resolves a playback issue with short Apple Music songs in your Up Next queue.

12.4.3

August 1, 2016 (2016-08-01)
  • This update resolves an issue where playlist changes made on other devices may not appear in iTunes.

12.4.3.1

August 2, 2016 (2016-08-02)
  • This update addresses problems with screen readers and VoiceOver. It also restores the option to Reset Plays.
  • Last version to support Mac OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion

12.5.1

September 13, 2016 (2016-09-13)
  • Adds iOS 10 support
  • Adds Siri integration for macOS Sierra
  • Adds Picture-in-Picture support for macOS Sierra

12.5.2

October 28, 2016 (2016-10-28)
  • This update includes stability and performance improvements.
  • Fixes an issue where albums may play in an unexpected order.
  • Resolves a problem that prevented lyrics from appearing while listening to Beats 1.

12.5.3

October 31, 2016 (2016-10-31)
  • This update includes stability and performance improvements.
  • Fixes an issue where albums may play in an unexpected order.
  • Resolves a problem that prevented lyrics from appearing while listening to Beats 1.

See also[edit]

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External links[edit]