Happy 15th Birthday, GarageBand!

A decade ago I had an idea. I wanted to start a podcast for this very website. It already had one, of course, but Dieter Bohn was hosting it every second week and I figured I could cram another one in on his off weeks. The only problem was, I'd never done a podcast before. So, Dieter gave me a crash course on how he recorded his shows and how he edited them really quickly and easily... in GarageBand.

Introduced at Macworld 2004 by Steve Jobs and John Mayer, GarageBand is now one of, if not the, most popular music app in the world, installed on more than a billion Macs, iPads, and iPhones around the world, and used to create everything from podcasts to audiobooks to mixes to brand new songs or scores.


The goal of Apple, as originally envisioned by Jobs and as it continues to be carried out by Tim Cook and company today, is to mainstream technology. To put computers on our desks and laps and pockets, and make them easy to use not just for the geeks but for anyone and everyone. And GarageBand's job has been to be there, on desks and laps an pockets, making the music technology every bit as accessible.

What took a studio in the past now simply takes an Apple device, GarageBand, and a dream.


Garageband (Image credit: Apple)

Over the years, as GarageBand expanded from Mac to iPad to iPhone, acts like NIN, Duran Duran, and RadioHead, have released GarageBand files for songs so fans could get in there, remix them, and learn from them. T-Pain created his first album, "Rappa Ternt Sanga", Ting Tings recorded "Great DJ", St. Vincent created "Actor", Marc Maron recorded his interview with U.S. President Obama, and Steve Lacey produces the Kendrick Lamar song "PRIDE".

And millions and millions of people, every day, have aspired to do all of that themselves, and more. And GarageBand has made it a possibility for all of them. For all of us.

Thanks to everyone on the GarageBand teams over the years for software that continually exemplifies and expands the union between technology and the arts, and congratulations on 15 amazing years. Here's to many, many more.

See GarageBand at Apple

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Rene Ritchie

Rene Ritchie is one of the most respected Apple analysts in the business, reaching a combined audience of over 40 million readers a month. His YouTube channel, Vector, has over 90 thousand subscribers and 14 million views and his podcasts, including Debug, have been downloaded over 20 million times. He also regularly co-hosts MacBreak Weekly for the TWiT network and co-hosted CES Live! and Talk Mobile. Based in Montreal, Rene is a former director of product marketing, web developer, and graphic designer. He's authored several books and appeared on numerous television and radio segments to discuss Apple and the technology industry. When not working, he likes to cook, grapple, and spend time with his friends and family.