The History of iTunes and Its Versions

Bonus: Downloads of Old Versions of iTunes

history of iTunes logos
itunes logos copyright Apple Inc.

Curious about the history of iTunes? Want to know where the program came from, who wrote it, and what each new version of the software added? Even better: do you really need a copy of iTunes 4.7? Well, you’ve come to the right place.

This page offers an overview of the full history of iTunes, Apple’s music library, iPod, and iPhone management software.

Before it Was iTunes

iTunes began life as an MP3 player program called SoundJam MP. It was distributed by Mac software developers Casady & Greene and was written by Jeff Robbin, Bill Kincaid, and Dave Heller. Apple made a deal with the developers and publisher in 2000 to acquire SoundJam MP. While SoundJam MP existed for a short while after the deal, it soon became the foundation Apple used to build a new program, iTunes.

The History of iTunes

Once iTunes was formally launched in January 2001, new versions packing new features and supporting new iPod models came fast and furious. Here are the highlights of each version and what was added with each new release of the software (check out Wikipedia for a full history of every single iTunes version):

iTunes 12Release Date: Oct. 16, 2014Added: 

  • New Interface
  • Support for Family Sharing
  • Support for Windows 10
  • Integration of user's library and iTunes Store when browsing
  • New playlist editing features

Other notable releases:

  • 12.5.1 (major interface overhaul for Apple Music, iOS 10 support)
  • 12.2 (Apple Music support, revised interface, removal of Home Sharing)
  • 12.1 (Bug fixes, Notification Center widget, native 64-bit support for Windows)
  • 12.1.2 (Support for new Mac OS Photos app)

Runs on: Mac OS X 10.7 and up; Windows XP for x86, Windows Vista, Windows 7 and up

iTunes 11Release Date: Nov. 29, 2012Added:

  • New user interface
  • iCloud integration
  • End of Ping

Other notable releases:

  • 11.4 (iOS 8 support)
  • 11.1 (iOS 7 support)

iTunes 10Release Date: Sept. 1, 2010Added:

Other notable releases:

  • 10.7 (iOS 6 support) 
  • 10.5 (iOS 5 support)
  • 10.4 (64-bit support)

iTunes 9Release Date: Sept. 2009Added:

  • Home Sharing
  • Genius Mixes
  • iTunes LP for music, iTunes Extra for movies
  • Removal of DRM from music
  • HD movie rental at iTunes Store
  • iTunes DJ

Other notable releases:

  • 9.2 (iOS 4 support)
  • 9.1 (original iPad support)

iTunes 8Release Date: Sept. 9, 2008Added:

Other notable releases:

  • 8.2 (iOS 3 support)

iTunes 7Release Date: Sept. 12, 2006Added:

  • Gapless playback
  • CoverFlow browsing interface
  • Movies for purchase at iTunes Store

Other notable releases:

  • 7.7 (iOS 2 support)
  • 7.6 (64-bit Windows support)
  • 7.4 (1st gen. iPod touch support)
  • 7.3 (original iPhone support)

iTunes 6Release Date: Oct. 12, 2005Added:

  • Sales of music videos, TV shows, and short films at the iTunes Store

iTunes 5Release Date: Sept. 7, 2005Added:

  • Party Shuffle
  • Podcasts
  • AirTunes, which became AirPlay

iTunes 4Release Date: April 2003Added:

  • iTunes Store
  • Windows support
  • Authorizing computers in iTunes

iTunes 3Release Date: July 2002Added:

  • End of Mac OS 9 support
  • Star ratings for songs
  • Smart playlists
  • SoundCheck
  • support

iTunes 2Release Date: Oct. 2001Added:

Runs on: Mac OS X

iTunes 1Release Date: Jan. 9, 2001Added:

  • Official conversion from SoundJam MP to iTunes
  • Mac OS 9 support only
  • Rip CDs

Runs on: Mac OS 9

iTunes Downloads

If you need to download old versions of iTunes, you can download all previous versions, for both Mac and Windows, below:

Looking for iTunes for various operating systems? Check out these options: