Happy Birthday, iTunes!

Here's your nightly math! Just 5 quick minutes of number fun for kids and parents at home. Read a cool fun fact, followed by math riddles at different levels so everyone can jump in. Your kids will love you for it.

Happy Birthday, iTunes!

April 28, 2013

Today is the 10th birthday of iTunes, the online store that lets you buy songs, movies, apps for your smartphone, videos…all kinds of stuff that you can enjoy on your phone or computer. Before iTunes, the only way we old-timers could buy songs was on something you could hold in your hand, like a CD, a tape cassette or a vinyl record. Or you could get songs electronically from various illegal websites, which was exciting but felt icky. So the idea that you could get onto your computer, buy any song you wanted (legally), and get it within seconds was mindblowing. iTunes opened with just 200,000 songs on it, all priced at 99 cents, and within just one week they had 1 million song downloads. As of today, iTunes has sold over 15 billion song downloads from a collection of 26 million different songs. Let’s just say, it takes far more than one person to listen to it all.

Wee ones: The 1 millionth song was downloaded that first week in 2003, and the billionth song was downloaded in 2006. How many years later was that?

Little kids: If you download 24 songs and split them into 2 equal groups, called playlists, how many songs are in each group?  Bonus: If it takes you 10 seconds to download a 2-minute song, how much longer does it take to play it than to buy it? (Reminder: a minute has 60 seconds.)

Big kids: If the 200,000 songs on iTunes that first week got downloaded a total of 1 million times, on average how many times did each song get downloaded?  Bonus: It took only until September 8 that first year for the 10 millionth song download. How many days was that from April 28? (Reminder: April and June each have 30 days; May, July and August each have 31.)




Wee ones: 3 years later.

Little kids: 12 songs in each.  Bonus: 110 seconds longer.

Big kids: 5 times per song.  Bonus: It took 133 days: 3 days until May 1, plus 31, 30, 31 and 31 to get to September 1, plus another 7 days.

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About the Author

Laura Overdeck

Laura Overdeck

Laura Bilodeau Overdeck is founder and president of Bedtime Math Foundation. Her goal is to make math as playful for kids as it was for her when she was a child. Her mom had Laura baking before she could walk, and her dad had her using power tools at a very unsafe age, measuring lengths, widths and angles in the process. Armed with this early love of numbers, Laura went on to get a BA in astrophysics from Princeton University, and an MBA from the Wharton School of Business; she continues to star-gaze today. Laura’s other interests include her three lively children, chocolate, extreme vehicles, and Lego Mindstorms.

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