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The Apple Computer Story - Music for the Millions 2001 onwards

The Music Studio - Apple II Software

Image: The Music Studio - Apple II Software

Source: Museum Victoria

Several stages have been identified in the history of the Apple Computer Company from 1976 to 2002. These stages are not necessarily chronological and, in fact, some overlap in time.

This narrative deals with one of those stages.

Each stage is described in a separate narrative.

The complete list of stages is:

Apple I Launched 1976
Corporate Rise 1977-1983
The Graphic User Interface 1983-1984
Desktop Publishing 1985-1991 
Imaging 1987-1994
Cable Networking 1984-1991
Portability 1977 onwards
Digital Video 1991
Apple loses its way 1991-1996
Return to Roots 1996-1999
MegaHertz War Myth 1994-2005
UNIX operating system adopted 1999 and 2001
Wireless connectivity introduced 1999
Music for the Millions 2001onwards

Music for the Millions 2001onwards

Despite Apple's popularity as a platform for the creative industries, it had been slow to harness the developing CD burning technologies. Other platforms had, but principally for data backup purposes. Jobs, due to his connections to the movie industry and interest in music, observed how new compression technologies and peer-to-peer file sharing technologies were allowing music to be shared over the internet as MP3s.

He purchased a successful music software program, rebadged it as iTunes, and promoted personal CD making using the phrase, 'Rip - Mix - Burn'. This caused great ire amongst the recording industry which saw Jobs as encouraging illegal music copying, even of their own purchased recordings.

In October 2001, Apple introduced the iPod, a hard drive based MP3 player. Initially seen by many as overpriced and unnecessary, its elegant and simple industrial design allowed its users to easily download an entire music collection onto a small portable device. The following year, Apple introduced a Windows-compatible iPod, initially sold with MusicMatch instead of iTunes. iTunes for Windows was not introduced until October 2003. The iPod became the twenty-first century's version of Sony's best-selling Walkman.

Behind the scenes, Jobs was negotiating with the music industry to allow Apple's iTunes to morph into an online legal music download store. Apple's small market share suggested to the industry that a small-scale experiment could be undertaken. It was Jobs' belief that an easy-to-use, reliable and virus-free music download store could convince music lovers to part with their money rather than use free but illegal music sharing peer-to-peer software. Combined with the iPod, the new iTunes Music Store was an instant hit, and both now dominate their respective markets. They also continue Apple's legendary elegance of design, ease of use, and product innovation.

'Music for the Millions 2001 onwards' is represented in the Apple Collection by: the iPod iTunes software.

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