Apple, Steve Jobs, and Time Magazine are no strangers; Mr. Jobs and the creations his companies (Apple and Pixar) have created have been the subject of feature stories and have graced the cover of the magazine numerous times. When the new flat panel, G4 iMac was introduced, Time put the computer on its cover, along with a humorously smirking Jobs, a similarly smirking Jobs graced an earlier Times cover that featured the G3 iMacs, Buzz Lightyear, and Woody from iA Toy Story 2i; and who can forget the cover of the August, 1997 issue of Time that showed a stooping Jobs, supposedly on the phone with Microsoftis Bill Gates, thanking him for isaving Applei?
Now Time has nominated Appleis iTunes Music Store (iTMS) as the Invention of the Year. From Time.com:
Itis (iTMS) a disarmingly simple concept: sell songs in digital format for less than a buck and let buyers play them whenever and wherever they like -- as long as itis on an Apple iPod. Jobs had proved the idea back in April when he launched the Music Store for Mac users, who represent only 3% of the computer world but promptly gobbled up a million tracks in the first week of business. By October he was ready to set the Music Store aloft in the 97% of the world that uses Windows PCs, and the prospect of converting millions of music pirates into credit-card wielding music buyers was enough to make even the most jaded rock stars take notice. How did Jobs do this trick? In a word: simplicity -- the transparent ease of use that is the hallmark of Appleis entire product line, including the Music Store. "Iim a complete computer dummy," McLachlan told Time after the event. "If I can use this, anyone can."
And, it seems, just about anyone is. Three days after the Moscone event, PC owners had downloaded a million copies of the software and paid for a million songs (adding to the 14 million music downloads already made by Mac users). In a year when record labels hit a sour note by suing students, grandparents and 12-year-old file sharers, Jobs had effectively brokered a peace agreement: he had shown the music industry how to win friends and make money on the very Internet that was being used to steal their songs.
Other inventions this year may have more altruistic intentions (like Dean Kamenis water purifier) or be more visible on street corners (like those ubiquitous camera cell phones). But for finally finding a middle ground between the foot-dragging record labels and the free-for-all digital pirates and for creating a bandwagon onto which its competitors immediately jumped, Appleis iTunes Music Store is Timeis Coolest Invention of 2003.
Read the full article at Time.com.