It must be difficult for a lot of software companies - companies who basically make a living from designing and selling software - to be continually upstaged by software that is free to download and use.
And that is what iTunes does, upstage every other piece of software out there. In its latest version, iTunes assembles a complete digital music collection and synchs it with an iPod. It also takes the Mac address book and calendar and synchs them to an iPod. It also looks for selected downloadable podcasts and of course it is also the medium through which a lot of users buy their downloadable music, TV shows and videos.
And it's free to download to any Mac or PC running OS X or Windows.
Like Quicktime before it, iTunes has created wealth and market share for Apple.
The next step for iTunes will be the introduction of both AppleTV and the iPhone as iTunes will be an integral part of each device. To some extent, therefore, it is easy to see iTunes become as common a program as Word or Excel on the World's computers. Not only the center of the digital music hub but also the vital link between devices that share information.
If you don't already have iTunes, download it from here.