iTunes started out when Apple saw the program SoundJam, and liked it so much that they bought it, and took on the developers to turn it into iTunes. They released the very first version of iTunes (for Mac only) on the 9th January 2001.
A chap called Tony Fadell first conceived the idea of an iPod outside of Apple, but had difficulty getting funding and so took it to Apple and demonstrated his idea to Steve Jobs. Apple hired him as an independent contractor to bring his project to the public, where he then designed the first two generations before the UK design guru Jonathan Ives took over.
The first Generation iPod was announced on the 23rd October, and was a 5GB 'scroll wheel' model, which worked with Macs only and connected using Firewire (not USB). It could store around 1,000 songs, and went on sale the following month.
iTunes version 2.0 was also released in this month - still just a Mac application at this time, with a blue coloured icon.
In the spring of 2002, third party software developers began releasing software that would make Windows PC's work with the Mac-only iPods by fooling the iPod into thinking it was connecting to a Mac and not a PC.
At around the same time, a new version (but still classified as first generation) of the iPod came out - with a 10GB hard disk, thus capable of storing 2,000 songs. Connectivity was still by Firewire only.
In October, Apple replaced the mechanical scroll wheel with a solid-state touch wheel and produced larger sized models for the official second-generation iPod. It looked exactly the same as the first generation, the second generation ones appeared in October of 2002, but with several key changes:
There was now a Windows PC version (which shipped with the dreadful Yahoo! MusicMatch application instead of iTunes which hasn't been written for Windows yet), and secondly they were now available in 5GB, 10GB and 20GB hard disk sizes - the latter two having a touch sensitive wheel, instead of one that physically moved.
There was still no USB connectivity for them - not a problem for Mac users where Firewire comes as standard, but Windows PC users typically had to go and buy an additional firewire expansion card to allow them to connect their iPod.
At the same time, iTunes version 3.0 came out (with a different coloured icon again) and was still a Mac-only piece of software.. However, people knew that a Windows version of it was in the pipeline, when adverts appear for programmers to work/code a Windows version of it.
The third generation of the iPod - and some would arguable say the model which really caught the publics mainstream attention - came out in April of 2003. They looked different from the first and second generation models, and had had the buttons move from the outside of the wheel to just below the display.
There were initially three capacities: 10GB (2,000 songs), 15GB (3,750 songs) and 30GB (7,500 songs) models available.
Another major upgrade was the fact that there were now no 'separate' Mac or Windows PC models - any iPod would work on either type of computer, and also USB functionality was now built in for the first time.
Interestingly, although the USB connector worked to synchronize to your computer, it would not charge via USB! The only cable you can use to charge whilst connected to a computer is the firewire one. You can however charge it by having it plugged into a wall socket.
In April, iTunes 4.0 was released - the big new feature being the iTunes Store - where you could legally buy and download music. But the store is for US based customers only, and for Mac users only - everyone else must wait a little longer.
In September, the 20GB model of the iPod replaced the 15GB one (holding 5,000 songs), and a 40GB model replaced the 30GB one - with a capacity of 10,000 songs.
Eventually, in October came iTunes version 4.1 - and for the very first time it was available for Windows based computers as well
The iPod mini was released in January 2004, a 'cut down' smaller version which had a 4GB disk, that could hold 1,000 songs if you used Apples new AAC encoding system instead of MP3.
It also came in five colours - silver, pink, green, blue and gold. It's the first appearance of the 'click wheel' as well where the four buttons have been placed underneath the scroll wheel.
On the main iPod front, the 10GB model was replaced by a 15GB one - although great bargains could be found with some retailers selling off the old 10GB model stock.
The iTunes music store was launched in the UK in June of this year with other European countries following shortly after, but people complain that the price is too high in the UK when compared to other countries.
Apple announced the new fourth generation iPods in the summer (July), which now had an improved battery life, a click-wheel like the iPod mini, and they lowered the price significantly as well. There were 20GB and 40GB models, and went on sale in September, and were the first full-sized iPods to have the 'click wheel'. They still used the old black & white 'chunky' Apple font though.
It's confusing as to whether the next model should have been known as the fifth generation iPod or not, but the iPod photo was announced and released in October. It had a colour screen, improved battery life, a different screen font, and (hence the name) the ability to store and display photos. It came in 40GB and 60GB capacities at quite a price.
At the same time, a limited edition black & red colour "U2 iPod" was released, in 20GB only, it came with the bands signatures engraved on the back of the iPod, along with a voucher that enabled you to buy the entire back catalogue of U2's music from the iTunes music store.
In January of the new year, Apple released the iPod Shuffle - the first iPod with no screen and no hard disk, as it's flash memory based. It's tiny and was ideal for joggers and other sports people who want random music on the go. It's also one of the cheapest priced iPods yet. It came in 512Mb and 1GB sizes.
In February, the iPod mini was revamped, and was now available in 6GB models (as well as 4GB), it got an increased battery life (almost doubled), and the price was dropped making it excellent value for money. The Gold coloured iPod is discontinued though as it is the model which sells the least.
In the iPod photo range the 40GB was also discontinued, and instead replaced by a smaller 30GB model - but at a much cheaper price - and was thinner, too.
The regular 'fourth generation' iPod (non-colour/photo) was then available in just the 20GB size.
At the end of June, the main iPod range was reduced two just two models - the 20GB and 60GB versions which were both in colour. They dropped the 'photo' branding as the non-colour/photo model was withdrawn meaning that all iPods now came in colour and could display photos. The U2 iPod - still proving to be surprisingly popular was also now available in colour.
The price was also dropped again. iTunes 4.9 was released at the same time, bringing with it Podcasting capabilities. iPod-mini at this time is still black and white though.
In September, Apple announced the iPod Nano - which replaced the iPod mini. A flash disk-based player that came in initially in 2GB and 4GB models (and - due to popular demand, later also became available in a cheaper 1GB size as well) and was also now in TWO colours - black as well as white. These incredibly small and tiny players were snapped up immediately as they were so popular. They also had colour screens, a bit of a sore point for Apple as they then had to admit that there was a fault with some of them becoming badly scratched and broken shortly after - this small problem aside (in a minority of cases) it was easily the most 'sexy' iPod to date that proved extremely popular with customers.
iTunes 5 also came out at the same time with a new polished look, the ability to nest playlists within folders and a few more refinements.
Just when everyone thought that the Nano was the big thing that Apple would have out for the Christmas 2005 market, just four weeks later they brought us something even newer and better in time for Christmas ... the iPod Video.
This replaced the iPod Photo, and U2 model, and came in 30GB and 60GB, and it was thinner than before and came in two colours - black and white..
There was a 2.5 inch wide 320x240 pixel screen that let you watch video. iTunes 6.0 was brought out to allow you to download music video, short films, and (in the US only at first) certain TV programmes. The iPod was now finally sold with a USB cable that will sync and charge, plugging in an old Firewire cable would now only charge your iPod but not sync it!
On 12th September, Apple brought out the new shaped iPod shuffle - now smaller than ever and available in 1GB.
They also redesigned the iPod nano, dropping the 1GB model but bringing out a new 8GB model. And had them in five refined colours - Silver, Purple, Black, Green and Blue.
The iPod Video was refined - and became available in 30GB and 80GB sizes (the biggest so far) - it included several refinements on the software of the iPod, including a new 'search' function that you could not get through firmware upgrades on existing iPods.
The new-look iTunes 7 was also released and is a major step forward as the iTunes Music Store was renamed just 'iTunes Store' as you could now download TV shows, movies and games alongside music for your iPod. It also incorporated updating the firmware on the iPod to within iTunes - you no longer have to download a separate program to reset it, or keep it up to date.
In October 2006, a limited edition Red coloured nano was brought out with $10 of the purchase price going towards AIDS charities - as part of the Product Red range.
In February, the Shuffle was made available in five colours - silver/grey, purple, green, blue and orange. People suggest that you can now colour coordinate with your outfit and use them as tie-clips!
In March, a product which had been announced last year - The AppleTV - was finally launched. It allowed you to connect to your TV and your network and stream your music, videos and movies from iTunes over the network and onto your TV.
In May 2007 a new version of iTunes was release (7.2) to enable new content on the music store - DRM free music! For an increased price, some music was now available to buy without the '5 machine' restriction, plus - it came encoded at the higher bit-rate of 256kbps instead of the 'regular' 128kbps AAC. It cost more to buy these tracks though.
After much hype (Apple had announced it as far back as January) a brand new product was launch by Apple on the 29th June - the iPhone. Launch dates for other countries around the rest of the world would be a couple of months later.
It's was a phone, a video player and an an iPod all in one - with an intelligent touch screen interface, but came at a quite a price - $499 for the 4GB model, or $599 for the 8GB model. iTunes 7.3 was also launched to support the iPhone too.
On 5th September 5th, Apple announced iPod upgrades in time for the seasonal market. They added a Product (RED) to the Shuffle Market.
A brand new Nano was also launched - now capable of playing video on a larger screen - it is shorter and fatter in design - "A Little Video For Everyone". The five colours that the larger 8GB model comes in (4GB model is silver only) are new, and have a shiny metallic look to them.
The biggest news though was that the main iPod now branched out into two separate product lines.
There is the iPod Classic, the standard iPod as you know and love it now available in 80GB and 160GB models (Hard disk), in two colours - black and silver. Gone is the white plastic.
And there is the new iPod Touch range - essentially like an iPhone but without the phone part. This used flash memory and was only available in 8GB and 16GB sizes.
Off the back of this - Apple also reduced $200 dollars of the price of an iPhone - a move which angers early adopters of that product, so as a good will gesture, Apple give a $100 rebate to anyone who bought the iPhone at a higher price.
In late January 2008, Apple brought out the Macbook Air - the world's thinnest laptop which featured a 64GB Solid State Flash drive - sparking rumours that upgraded iPhone's and iPods Touch's would follow - and on February 5th - new models were indeed released. The iPhone was now available in 16GB, and the iPod Touch now in 32GB. Great news if you waited, but if you got a new iPod Classic or smaller size Touch for Christmas - how annoyed would you be! Oh, and a 'Pretty in Pink' new coloured Nano came out too.
In June, Apple announced a newer version of its phone - the iPhone3G, as it now connected to 3G networks for faster browsing when not connected to Wi-Fi, had GPS built in and a few other software refinements. The body of the phone had been curved slightly and - most important for a lot of people - the price has been halved to just $199 in the USA. They went on sale on July 11.
Come September, and another Apple expo brought us a completely updated product line - The iPod Nano lost it's "stubby" look and went back to the thinner look & feel.
It had curved edges, came in nine different colours, and had a sensitively chip inside it which allows you to physically shake the iPod to change tracks. Apple dub it "the funnest iPod ever". The iPod Classic now just came in ONE size - 120GB, whilst the iPod Touch had its software updated but disappointingly still only came in 8, 16 and 32GB sizes. Many people were hoping for a 64GB Touch.
Also, iTunes 8 is released with the much-merited 'Genius' feature which learns what songs you like and suggests other songs that are similar to it which you may also enjoy.
In March of this year, the third generation Shuffle was released - and it's tiny - the smallest iPod ever. It was controlled by a single button and has 'Text to Speech' technology where the name of the track was spoken to you. Later on in the year in September, they also became available in pink, blue, and green and had a 4GB capacity.
On the 9th September - at the now-annual Apple conference, they brought an update to the Nanos - they now had a built in video camera that could capture video clips (but not still photos!). No zoom though, and the screen was slightly bigger now too..
iPod Touches were now available in 64GB (as well as a 32GB version), but at an expensive price. The Classic iPod (with Hard Disk) was now just available in 160GB - but now had the thin form factor that previously the 120GB model had.
iTunes 9.0 is also released, with a revamped looked to the iTunes Store.
Announced on January 27th, and on sale from April 3rd, the iPad was Apple's expected foray into the tablet computer market. Championed by people such as Steven Fry, claiming it to be a "magical device".
On June 24th the iPhone4 was released with higher resolution screen ('Retina Display'), and had of other improvements, but shall be remembered more for an antenna problem which it initially had - Apple had to release a software patch to reflect the number of bars properly.
1st September : Apple held their early autumn event again and announce many new products..
iTunes 10 was announced with Music Social Media tool 'Ping', and with it, the logo that we've all been used to for the last X years changed to something new too. iTunes itself again got a more 'polished' look and feel to it as well.
There were new iPod Touch's, thinner than before and have 'Facetime' - like the iPhones 4 had to allow you to have video conversation over wireless networks.
There were new iPod Nanos - now with a touch screen. There is the loss of the scroll wheel, and a loss of the video functionality though. If you want an iPod that now does video you have to go to an iPod Touch as the cheapest way to get any video.
The iPod Shuffle returned to how it looked in its second generation - the third generation being considered not that great a product - and was available in 2GB capacity and four different colours.
There was also a new Apple TV, smaller, cheaper (but with less functionality) than the previous model.
On March 2nd, Steve Jobs announced that 2011 would be "Year of the iPad2" by announcing the second-generation of Apple's tablet computer.
Released for sale a week later, it was (of course) thinner than the original iPad, whilst also having a faster processor and a front-facing camera too meaning it could be used for Facetime conversations.
On October 4th, 2011 Apple held it's first major launch since Steve Jobs (who died the next day) had stepped down as CEO with Tim Cook leading the way instead.
A lot of people were expecting an iPhone5 to be announced, instead it was the iPhone4S (available in black & white, 16GB, 32GB, 64GB) - a refresh of the existing model, looking the same on the outside, but "completely different inside", with the faster A5 chip, better camera, and new antennas and Siri voice control now built in.
The iPod Touch had its prices refreshed, and was now available in black and white, and sizes of 8GB, 32GB and 64GB - A 128GB version which many had hoped for did not materialise. The iPod Classic remained unmentioned.
iOS5 was also officially announced (and released a week later on the 12th October) along with iTunes 10.5 - enabled for iCloud. An update (5.0.1) was brought out to patch some bugs about three weeks later.
The iPad3 was announced on the 7th March 2012, with a feature list as expected/rumoured for a long time including a new extremely hi-res 'Retina' display, and 4G LTE technology. Except ... it was not called the iPad3 - instead Apple chose to call it 'The New iPad', although the iPad2 line was continued, but at a reduced price.
There was also a new Apple TV (Version 3) announced which was essentially the same as the Apple TV2, except it now allowed full 1080p HD video,, along with another iOS upgrade, which took the software version up to 5.01
Later that year on the 12th September, Apple had their annual conference when (as expected due to leaks) the new iPhone5 was announced.
The phone (powered by a newer, faster A6 chip) was longer with a proper 16:9 (4") screen, allowing an extra row of icons on on home screen. It was also thinner, lighter and had an extended battery life. It also had 4G/LTE capability, and an improved camera.
One of the biggest changes though was the new 'Lightning' connector - it replacing the 30-pin dock connector which had been in use since 2003. They also use new 'Nano' SIM cards - not compatible with existing micro-SIM cards.
It came in 16, 32 and 64GB versions, and the iPhone 3GS was now phased out.
There was also now yet another iPod Nano - redesigned again, making it (if you include the iPad mini) the most re-designed iPod over the years. It was described as "the thinnest iPod nano yet".
iOS6 was released at the same time - bringing with it Apple's own mapping software, allowing them to drop Google Maps which had been on the iPhone since its inception. It received very bad reviews, and was was widely considered to be inferior to the Google Maps app that it replaced.
A few weeks later though - announced on October 23rd - was another new product, the iPad mini, which some people thought may have been released at the same time as the iPhone 5 the previous month. Based upon the iPad, but with a 7.9" display (big enough to fit in one hand) it has the same display as an iPad2 (non-retina).
The full-sized 'new iPad (still not being called the iPad3) was also launched (not called the iPad four, but just the fourth generation of the 'new iPad', was upgraded to be faster with the new Apple A6X chip.
Announced at the same time as the iPhone5 and the release of iOS6 was a new version of iTunes - now up to version 11.
It was then delayed by a month though as Apple continued to 'work on it to make it just right', until it was released on the 30th November 2012.
The interface was 'dumbed down' and looked simpler, but you could configure it to make it look like previous versions. It had a new 'Up next...' feature, more iCloud integration, oh and a nice new icon for it too ...
In June at the World Wide Developers conference, Apple announced their new mobile operating system - iOS7 and gave developers plenty to time to overhaul their Apps for this major new upgrade to iOS. It was eventually release on September 10th, the same time that they held a 'Special Event'.
At the event along with the general iOS7 release, Apple also announced two new products - the iPhone5S (which now came in Black, White and Gold colours) powered by a new A7 chip and had finger print swipe security. There was also then the iPhone5C - a cut down version which is cheaper with a plastic back cover - and comes five colours : green, blue, yellow, pink and white.
The 5C replaced the iPhone5 - no longer sold, while the 5S became the flagship model and included a fingerprint sensor as a way of unlocking the phone and buying things with one touch from the iTunes Store.
The iPhone4S is kept (but the 8Gb model one) on the market, and the cheapest iPhone to buy.
iOS8 was announced on June 2 at the annual Apple World Wide Developers Conference, and added a new Health and Heathkit framework amongst other refinements to iOS7.
On September 9th, at an Apple Event they announced the new iPhone6 - bigger than the iPhone5, and the new iPhone6 Plus - which is even bigger again as the two new phones to the product line. The 5C and 5S are still available to buy at cheaper prices. The iPhone6 plus is just under the side of an iPad mini and allows Apps to 'rotate' to horizontal in the same way that Apps do on an iPad.
The iPhone6 is 4.7 inches big (the iPhone5 is 4.0 inches) and the 'Plus' model even bigger at 5.5 inches tall, and wider too, with a 'Retina HD' display, powered by a new A8 and M8 chips.
Apple then also announced the new Apple Watch (not iWatch as some had predicted) was then also revealed with a release date of 'Early 2015' - it links to an iPhone in your pocket or bag and you can perform functions of your phone from a tap of your wrist instead.
They also introduce ApplePay - as the new iPhone6 now has an NFC chip allowing you to pay for things with a touch of your phone. The band U2 then rounded off the event, and they immediately gave away their new album - for free - to everyone on iTunes.
A few days after iOS8.0 had gone live, Apple released an update - 8.01 on 24th September, only to withdraw it within the hour after it prevented iPhone6's from being able to make phonecalls by not getting to the cellular network . The Touch ID feature also stopped working too.
On October 16th, an update to the iPad range was announced with the iPad Air 2 being the latest full sized iPad, and the iPad Mini was announced on the same day too, they went on sale a week later on October 22nd.
Order for the Apple Watch were taken on the 10th April, from which date you were able to go into an Apple Store for a session to try it on, watches were then shipped on April 24th.
At the World Wide Developer Conference (WWDC) event held in the first week of June, Apple announced iOS9 to be released later in the year. There was also updated software for the Apple Watch - some speculated that it was now at the point that it should have been released in the first place, and the watch was in face released a little early.
There was also a big fuss to about the new Apple Music service coming later in the year, as well as the announcement that Apple Pay would not be coming the the UK in July.
On the 9th September Apple held their annual event, with the label 'Give us a hint, Siri' at announced several new products - as it turned out, there were three new products launched.
First up - was the iPad Pro - the largest sized iPad ever produced with a screen size of 12.9 inches with a new A9X processor, where the screen is the same size of two portrait iPad Airs when held side by side. They also announced with it the new accessory of the Smart Keyboard and Apple Pencil that will allow you to draw onto the iPad - clearly aimed at high end workers and designers.
Next, the new Apple TV was released - no more a 'hobby' but with its own operating system (tv OS), a new remote - including Siri so that you can talk to your TV, and the TV now has its own App store, and will let you play games too.
And finally, an update to the iPhone range with the launch of the iPhone 6S and iPhone 6S plus, with the tag-line 'The only thing that's changed ... is everything'. Instead of being an incremental update like many thought it might be, it introduced new features including '3D force touch' where different actions could be made to happen depending on how hard you tap the screen.
iOS9 was released a few days later, along with an update for Apple Watch too - OS 2 will allow third-party Apps to run natively on the device rather than relying on a linked smartphone's processor.
Apple held an event in March of this year and made a few new announcements about products. First was the iPhone SE which is a 4-inch phone, but packs the power inside of that of the iPhone 6. There was a new iPad Pro too ... except it's the 9.7 inch size of the iPad mean, meaning it's really a small version of the iPad Pro. You can use the Apple Pencil, just as you can with the original large sized iPad Pro. iOS9.3 is launched too, featuring 'Night Shift' for adjusting brightness, and password protection on notes.
(Oh and Apple TV and the Apple Watch too ...)
What came first ... the iPod or iTunes? It was actually the latter. Before the iPod was released, Mac users had had the 'iLife' suite of applications on their computer including iTunes version 1.0 - which had a 'three note' icon instead of the 'double' green one which people are familiar with today.
To this day, both Windows and Mac users can install and run iTunes on their computers without having to have an iPod or iPhone - you can just use it to organise your music collection on your home computer - you don't have to have an iPod to have iTunes - something which not a lot of people realise.
So iTunes was around (for the Mac only) from January 2001 - without the online store - it merely let you rip your own music/CD collection in and play them through your computer, and after that here's a chronological history of everything that followed...