I used to have nearly ten different MP3 apps on my machine. The first I got, and I think paid for, was MacAmp back in 1999. Then there was Soundjam (which transmuted into iTunes), and loads of others I can’t even remember.

Some never made the transition to OSX; Soundjam sort of made it into OSX Beta (end of 2000). One which I paid for, Audion, just about got over; it could play WMAs, which iTunes never did.

Got an email this morning saying that Audion, one of the most venerable (=oldest) MP3 apps for the Mac has ceased development. But as an extra, the guys have written The True Story of Audion.

It’s fun, with stuff like The name “Audion” simply popped into my head during a shower I wish there was a better and less naked story for that and it stuck and the developer detail about writing a music player for the old MacOS at this link (better read in context of the story, where it’s a popup). And the troubling question of whether to work for AOL: On the other hand, there would be giant money hats. (Yes, hats. The Panic guys have a nice take on language.)

Oh, and they got an email from Steve Jobs…sent at 7.30am on 24 December 2000 (doesn’t the guy do Christmas shopping?): “Any interest in throwing in with us at Apple?”

And then the awful moment of seeing iTunes (Soundjam in a nice dress) a week or so later, and the interesting, self-aware comment: iTunes was, of course, and I’ll say this now, brilliant. It single-handedly taught us an entirely new philosophy on software design.

And the heartbreaking moment where Phil Schiller tells them that actually, Apple had wanted *Audion* to become iTunes. Talk about your world crashing around your ears.

Read it all. The heartbreaking story. But hey, I paid for my copy of Audion, guys!
Oh, one final thought. They’re making it available for download for free. Nice. Umm.. why not open-source it? Or at least the bits of it that don’t need licensing?