The absorption of iTunes as we know it into three new entertainment apps – Apple Music, Apple Podcasts and Apple TV – has sent us down yet another nostalgic rabbit hole.
It’s the app we’ve come to associate with banishing the moment it starts bouncing up and down when we charge our iPhone on a MacBook, but iTunes once swore in our first digital music libraries (once it overcame early competition from Windows Media Player and those dazzling visualisations).
Some, we’re reliably informed, turned to peer-to-peer file sharing clients such as LimeWire to bolster their newly digitised CD collections. AOL routers would more often than not find the strain of downloading albums too much to bear – and the process of obtaining a new release would invariably cost an amount of time and effort that came to outweigh any financial hit a trip to Zavvi involved – but that was, we can only imagine, all part of the experience.
When the download was finally complete, these pirate music pioneers would then return to iTunes with their illegal sonic acorns, squirrelling them away via painstaking in-app edits to the all-lowercase filenames to make them look legit. We wouldn’t need to do that now, of course, with the likes of Ariana Grande titling her songs like a lazy child anyway, but dear God, those were the days. Apparently.