Apple Downloads a Decade of iTunes

Credit: AP

It was 10 years ago that people started downloading music from iTunes and then going through the dance of transferring those songs to their chunky or colorful iPods.

On April 28, 2003 then CEO of Apple Steve Jobs launched iTunes, a music store for Apple's iPod and Mac computers. While many were using illegal music download services like Kazaa or Napster, Jobs announced at an event that Apple was going to start selling 99 cent songs that could be easily downloaded. The store had 200,000 songs at launch; more than 1 million sold during the first week of business.

"We don't know any other company that has these assets under one roof. We know that only Apple could have created this Apple music store," Jobs said at the event. "The iTunes music store, we think, will become the hottest way to acquire music."

Of course, that was just the start of the store. Later in 2003 iTunes was released for Windows PCs, in 2005 podcasts and TV shows were added, then in 2009 HD movies and TV shows. In 2008 apps were added. Those are just a few of the many moments you can relive in the history of iTunes with Apple's "A Decade of iTunes" timeline, featured now on in iTunes, naturally.

Along with the timeline Apple has released a list of the top-selling songs of each year. For instance, in 2008 Coldplay's "Viva la Vida" topped the list followed by Leona Lewis' "Bleeding Love." Last year Carly Rae Jepsen's "Call Me Maybe" was the top song.

But the real question for Apple comes in the next ten years. iTunes changed the way people listen to music online and gave them a real way to listen to songs on the go with the iPod and then the iPhone. But now more and more people are replacing their downloaded iTunes library with streaming services like Rdio, Spotify, Pandora and Slacker. Last week, Twitter released Twitter #Music.

According to the RIAA, subscription and streaming services grew in 2012; while still smaller than digital download sales, the RIAA reported an increase in streaming music revenue in 2012. NPD, a research firm, said that piracy was down in 2012 largely because of an increase in the use of free, legal music streaming services.

Apple has been rumored to be working with music labels on a streaming music service of its own, though. While Apple wouldn't comment on that when reached by ABC News, its iTunes timeline might speak for itself: iTunes has had a deep history and there's plenty more room on that 2013 Timeline tab.