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10 years of iTunes: Apple walks down musical memory lane

Apple is celebrating 10 years of iTunes with a blast-from-the-past timeline feature. "A Decade of iTunes" shows off the major milestones for the store, which officially launched way back on 28 April, 2003.

By the end of that year, Apple had racked up 25 million song downloads, a Windows-compatible version of iTunes, and the first iPod/iTunes silhouette TV ad. Less than a year later, the number of downloads doubled, and the iTunes Store went international, arriving here in the UK, as well as France, and Germany. In October, when Robbie Williams's "Greatest Hits" album reached No. 1 (As if we needed reminding), the store launched in nine more countries, including Italy, the Netherlands, and Spain.

As the store continued to expand globally and score millions of song downloads, Apple introduced new features, like podcasts, which hit the store in June 2005. In October of that year, iTunes began broadcasting TV shows, including episodes offered the day after they aired on network stations; September 2006 brought films to the store.

The interactive timeline also features hardware announcements, like the 3rd-gen iPod, which also launched in 2003. Each year also includes a list of the top-selling songs and albums, based on worldwide data.

Apple even takes a little credit for helping to launch careers of artists like Adele and Lady Antebellum, both of whom had songs featured as the Single of the Week on iTunes before their albums debuted.

All of the song releases and hardware launches and store updates have led to 2013, when the 40 billionth app was downloaded from the App Store, the iTunes Store broke records with 25 billion songs sold, and Justin Timberlake's new album set a worldwide record for first-week sales.

Apple has come to dominate the home digital-video market, according to recent data from The NPD Group. The firm found that iTunes' share of the digital TV and movie markets reached 67 per cent and 65 per cent, respectively, in 2012. Competitors like Xbox Video and Amazon didn't even breach 15 per cent.

On April 3, 2008 — almost five years after the online store was made public — iTunes became America's No. 1 music retailer. It continues to hold on to that crown, based onrecent NPD data, which reported earlier this month that iTunes snagged 63 per cent share of the paid music download market, followed by Amazon MP3 with 22 per cent.

Apple pushed an iTunes update in November, launching the revamped version 11.