From 99 cents/song to $10.99/month: The journey started today in 2003


Apple iTunes Music Store

It was 20 years ago when Apple Launched the iTunes Music Store. For Mac computers. It was long before people had access to a small handheld device that could stream unlimited music whenever they wanted. At the time, the company priced downloads at 99 cents per song and offered a catalog of over 200,000 songs.

However, this was not the first time people downloaded music from the Internet. Napster, a peer-to-peer service founded by Sean Parker and Sean Fanning, existed and died before the arrival of iTunes Music. Although it faced legal battles, Napster was popular enough that Steve Jobs mentioned it at an Apple Music event in 2003 when he demonstrated the music store.

A user must have a valid credit card with a US billing address and a Mac computer loaded with OS X 10.1.5 and iTunes 4 to access the iTunes Music Store. Use Rights.” The company deployed its FairPlay DRM technology to restrict the use of purchased music, which it abandoned several years later after facing considerable criticism. An open letter From Steve Jobs presenting Apple’s defense.

After all, it allowed users to burn their songs to an unlimited number of CDs (for personal use, of course), an unlimited number of iPods, and to listen to songs on up to three authorized Mac computers. They can also use their purchased songs on Mac apps like iMovie, iPhoto and iDVD.

Users can listen to a free 30-second preview of a song before purchasing it. All music available on the iTunes Music Store at the time was presented in 128 kbps AAC format. In the following years, the limit of authorized Mac computers was increased to five and the sound quality was bumped to 256 kbps AAC.

Eventually, Apple caught on to technology trends and launched Apple Music in 2015, taking on the likes of Spotify. The service now offers access to more than 100 million songs for a monthly cost of $10.99 for an individual plan. However, a major difference here is that users can only listen to their favorite songs as long as they pay every month. On the other hand, they don’t need to buy every song they want to listen to. Recently, Apple also launched a dedicated music streaming app for classical music.


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