How Steve Jobs changed music

Those ubiquitous white earbuds only hint at how profoundly Apple has revamped the way we hear, buy and make music.

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Music to their ears
Music to their ears

Steve Jobs didn't just launch the iPod in October 2001, he bound it to iTunes, the first easy-to-use software for managing your digital music collection, which had debuted earlier that year.

Yes, the iPod is pretty, but it's iTunes that has fundamentally changed how we relate to music. When the iTunes store went live in 2003, paying for music seemed a quaint idea.

But pricing music at 99¢ a song and making it simple to acquire got some people back in the habit. iTunes may have killed the album, but today superbands are making fortunes selling music one song at a time (and sharing revenue with Apple).

If you don't think Apple means to do the same for all kinds of media -- TV, movies, books, and beyond -- you aren't paying attention.

NEXT: The gear

Last updated November 05 2009: 7:51 AM ET
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