In response to the last post, a message from João Antunes:
…you should also read this story about Panic’s old MP3 player applications.
The story includes how they came to almost dominate the Mac market before iTunes, how AOL and Apple tried to buy the application before coming out with iTunes, even recollections of meetings with Steve Jobs and how he wanted them to go work at Apple – it’s a fantastic indie story.
Regarding the Mac ‘indie’ development there’s this recent thesis by a Dutch student, also a good read.
I’d read the story about Audion (the MP3 player) before, and failed to make the connection that this was the same Audion that I rediscovered in the O’Reilly interview from the last post (and took a moment to mourn its loss). It’s sad to think of how much better iTunes would be if the Panic guys were making it — iTunes must be the first MP3 player that feels like a heavy duty office suite. In the story, Cabel Sasser (the other co-founder of Panic) begins:
Is it just me? I mean, do you ever wonder about the stories behind everyday products?
What names were Procter & Gamble considering before they finally picked “Swiffer”? (Springle? Sweepolio? Dirtrocker?) What flavors of Pop-Tarts never made it out of the lab, and did any involve lychee, the devil’s fruit?
No doubt the backstory on the Pop-Tarts question alone could be turned into a syndicated network show to compete with LOST.
Audion is now available as a free download, though without updates since 2002, it’s not likely to work much longer (seemed fine with OS X 10.4, though who knows with even 10.5).