iTunes was released 12 years ago today

Steve Jobs introduced iTunes 1.0 at Macworld Expo in San Francisco on January 9, 2001. Here’s a video of the keynote presentation. There’s so much that’s interesting about this:

  1. Look at the devices on the screen behind Steve as the video begins. A Rio Mp3 player (I had one of those), a portable CD player, digital camera and a video camera, a Palm device, a Power Mac G4 and whatever that is on the bottom (DVD player?). Four of those items don’t exist anymore, largely because of what Steve’s about to announce.
  2. Steve describes “digital music on computers” to “those not participating in [it].” He then explains what it means to “rip a CD.”
  3. Steve talks about burning CDs. “Everyone is doing it.”
  4. The iPod, still several months away at that point, is conspicuous in its absence. Today, iTunes and Apple’s mobile devices are inextricable.

Lastly, in reference to the digital music revolution as a whole, Steve says, “We’re late to this party but we’re about to do a leapfrog.”

Understatement of the decade.

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