Tomorrow “marks the 15th anniversary of Apple’s iTunes Store,” Joe Sommerlad writes for The Independent. “The desktop music and video vendor was launched on 28 April 2003 and took just five years to become America’s biggest music retailer.”

“Apple founder Steve Jobs had observed the popularity of Napster and illegal mp3 downloads and recognised the coming need for a legitimate alternative, quickly agreeing licensing deals with major record labels,” Sommerlad writes. “Apple’s revolutionary iPod and iTunes media player had been released two years previously and the Store would serve to feed their appetite for new tracks and albums, leaving the high street lagging behind and wondering what hit it.”

“In a matter of years, Apple’s innovations had completely changed the way in which we bought and played recorded music. One of the casualties of this progression was the humble mixtape,” Sommerlad writes. “However personal the tracks on a playlist might be, however carefully curated, the very ease with which they can be compiled means they can never represent a labour of love to the same degree as their 1990s ancestors… Mixtapes were fiddly to make, an arduous business of recording from one device on to another – their very existence testament to the creator’s desire and commitment to making something unique, just for you.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: You’d also want to time it out right, so that neither side of the cassette had too much blank tape at the end. It was certainly a process.