When iPod was launched in 2001, most of us have already tried Napster and see how easy it was to download free music online.
The initial iPod worked similar to Creative Nomads player. That is, you can just upload any MP3 files to it. So if you had bought a CD from Tower Records, you can convert the tracks to MP3 and upload them to iPod easily.
But that obviously was not how we use it. Downloading music online was at its peak leading some universities to block Napster service in their campus. Napster was then sued by the music industry and was shut down at around 2001.
The entire music industry is a complex web with many different smaller labels. You might be surprised that even Madonna has her own music label called the Mavericks.
Just today, there was news that Taylor Swift latest’s album would not be available even in Apple music.
In a way, Apple was lucky and they must had carefully threaded it along a very fine line. Their iPod could let anybody rip a CD and store MP3 files and there were accusations that users were user iPod to rip CD tracks.
Somehow, Apple was able to convince the different labels. Initially, it seemed that Apple was telling the music labels that there was no harm in trying out a small company like Apple. You know, Microsoft was then the behemoth.
It was also said that Apple had told the music executives that only a technology company like Apple, that run its OS on proprietary platform could make selling music secure.
I thought the ability for Apple to get all the big five labels to sell in its iTunes store was one of the greatest achievements by Apple.