Six Colors
Six Colors

by Jason Snell & Dan Moren

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GarageBand at 15

I was going to note GarageBand’s 15th birthday with a brief piece, but Stephen Hackett beat me to it:

At Macworld 2004 — 15 years ago this weekend — Steve Jobs introduced GarageBand. I’ve watched this keynote section before, but in reviewing it this week, I was struck by how underrated it is. I think it’s in the top handful of Jobs performances on stage.

I agree, it’s a keynote worth revisiting if you’re into that sort of thing. I was in the front row for this one, and one of my very favorite Keynote moments of all time is when John Mayer plays the opening guitar part from “Message in a Bottle” by the Police. I laughed, but I’m not sure anyone around me got the reference.

(Using John Mayer to demo GarageBand was a really smart decision. He’s a skilled musician and Apple fan who seemed absolutely delighted to be on stage taking direction from Steve Jobs.)

Two years after GarageBand was released, Apple embraced the new medium of podcasting with a bunch of new podcast-related features, which have since been abandoned. But for years (and perhaps still to this day) GarageBand became the go-to app for people starting out making podcasts. I edited my podcasts on GarageBand for many years, and just because GarageBand doesn’t explicitly support podcasts anymore doesn’t mean you can’t use it—I even wrote an article about how to make it work better.

As Stephen points out, GarageBand has changed dramatically over the years. Today it’s basically a light version of Logic—a few minor feature enhancements would make it an even better tool for podcast editing—and also runs on iOS.

Perhaps most impressively, GarageBand comes free with every Mac, so any kid out there who dreams of being a musician (or podcast editor) has instant access to a solid, free multitrack audio editor and a bunch of loops and sound effects.

—Linked by Jason Snell

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