The History of iTunes and Its Major Versions

New iTunes Features and Other Changes

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Apple Inc.

Curious about the history of iTunes? See iTunes release dates, learn who created it originally (it wasn't Apple), and what was new in each subsequent version of iTunes.

This page offers an overview of the full history of iTunes, Apple's music library, the digital entertainment store, and the iPhone and iPad management software.

Before It Was iTunes: SoundJam MP

The program we now know as iTunes began life as MP3 player software 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 called iTunes.

The History of iTunes (1–12)

Once iTunes was formally launched in January 2001, new versions packing new features and supporting new iOS devices came fast.

Here are the highlights of each version and what was added with each new iTunes release:

iTunes 12

iTunes 12 in Windows 8

Release Date: October 16, 2014

Added:

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

Other notable releases:

iTunes 11

Release Date: November 29, 2012

Added:

  • New user interface
  • iCloud integration
  • End of Ping

Other notable releases:

  • 11.4 (iOS 8 support)
  • 11.1 (iOS 7 support, last version to support Mac OS X 10.6)

iTunes 10

Release Date: September 1, 2010

Added:

Other notable releases:

  • 10.7 (iOS 6 support, adds support for Windows 8
  • 10.6.3 (last version to support Mac OS X 10.5.8)
  • 10.5 (iOS 5 support)
  • 10.4 (64-bit support)

Did you know that some older versions of iTunes even let you sync music to MP3 players that were made by other companies? See all of the non-Apple MP3 players that are compatible with iTunes.

iTunes 9

Release Date: September 2009

Added:

Other notable releases:

iTunes 8

Release Date: September 9, 2008

Added:

Other notable releases:

  • 8.2 (iOS 3 support)
  • 8.1 (third generation iPod Shuffle support)
  • 8.0.2 (iOS 2.2 support)

iTunes 7

Release Date: September 12, 2006

Added:

  • Gapless playback
  • CoverFlow browsing interface
  • Movies for purchase at iTunes Store
  • Sync purchased content from iPod

Other notable releases:

  • 7.7 (iOS 2 support)
  • 7.6 (64-bit Windows support)
  • 7.5 (last version to support Windows XP RTM SP1 32-bit)
  • 7.4 (1st gen. iPod touch support)
  • 7.3.2 (last version to support Windows 2000)
  • 7.3 (original iPhone support)
  • 7.2 (full Windows Vista support, introduces iTunes Plus and iTunes U)
  • 7.1 (Apple TV support)

iTunes 6

Release Date: October 12, 2005

Added:

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

iTunes 5

Release Date: September 7, 2005

Added:

  • Party Shuffle
  • Podcasts
  • AirTunes, which became AirPlay

iTunes 4

Release Date: April 2003

Added:

  • iTunes Store
  • Windows support
  • Authorizing computers in iTunes
  • AirTunes

Other notable releases:

iTunes 3

Release Date: July 2002

Added:

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

iTunes 2

Release Date: October 2001

Added:

iTunes 1

Release Date: January 9, 2001

Added:

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

See History of iTunes on Wikipedia for a comprehensive list of every single iTunes version ever released.

iTunes Downloads

It's important to always run the most up-to-date version of iTunes, but if you need to download old versions of iTunes, learn where to get them here.

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

Starting with macOS Catalina, iTunes isn't included on Mac computers.