With iTunes 11, music software sees its sixth logo change

A screenshot of the new iTunes logo for iTunes 11.
(Salvador Rodriguez/Los Angeles Times)

Apple’s iTunes 11 arrived last week, and with it a good number of changes, including an interface redesign. But one change you might not have noticed is the software’s new logo.

In iTunes 11, Apple has changed the color of the beamed eighth music notes from black to silver, matching up with the logo’s existing outer border and with the design of the Mac App Store’s logo. For comparison, here’s the previous logo.

This is a subtle change, but it’s noteworthy considering it’s the first time in more than two years since Apple has tinkered with the icon.

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The last time Apple changed the logo was in 2010 when the Cupertino, Calif., company introduced iTunes 10 and did a massive overhaul of the icon. It changed the music notes from blue to black and ditched the image of a CD in the logo’s background.

When the new logo was introduced, Apple co-founder Steve Jobs said the company was leaving the CD behind because iTunes sales were on pace to soon surpass album sales. The logo change caused an uproar, and at one point, Jobs replied to a consumer who emailed him to say the new logo was awful.

“We disagree,” Jobs wrote back.

But you may not remember that prior to that logo change, iTunes went through a variety of subtle logo changes during the 2000s. In fact, the new icon for iTunes 11 is the software’s seventh logo.

When iTunes was originally introduced in 2001, the logo featured three music notes, none connected and each a different color -- lavender, purple and pink. You can see that logo here.

Apple then redid the logo for iTunes 2 in late 2001 and got rid of the three separate notes. Instead, Apple introduced the joined notes in a dark blue hue.

That, however, did not last, as Apple switched the color of the notes to purple, then green and then again to light blue in 2006 with the release of iTunes 7.


That icon, which you can see here, lasted four years and has been the longest tenured iTunes logo.


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