Digital stores grow up so fast these days. It seems like just yesterday we were loading up our third-generation, monochrome iPod with “Hey Ya!” and “Stacy’s Mom,” but it was actually a decade ago. On April 28th, the iTunes Store turns ten years old and Apple has set up a microsite within the iTunes Store highlighting related milestones by year, along with the top songs and albums of that year.
The iTunes birthday celebration is a reminder of not only how much technology has changed in the last decade, but just how fast those changes have come. The iTunes Store (not iTunes the program) debuted in concert with the third-generation iPod (the one with four touch sensitive buttons above the scrolling wheel). It used a 1.8-inch hard drive and the largest storage capacity was 40GB (and that model was thicker than the others). It was the first iDevice to use the 30-pin dock connector that Apple retired just last year with the introduction of the iPhone 5 and the lightning connector. The iPod mini debuted the following year.
When the iTunes store debuted, it sold DRM-protected songs and albums. Since then, it’s gone on to feature podcasts, TV shows, and full-length HD movies while eliminating the DRM restrictions on songs and albums. The microsite about iTunes showcases the top ten songs and albums worldwide for each year. In case you’re wondering, The Black-Eyed Peas have, unfortunately, sold better than you may have thought, with each album they released in the last decade landing in the top ten albums. Another interesting takeaway, Jack Johnson is popular with the iTunes crowd. Between 2003 and 2009, he had four albums in the top five.
Check out the iTunes Store microsite and let us know what you think. What was your first iPod or iTunes Store purchase?