That is when Bill Kincaid came in.
A former Apple software engineer, he was driving to a track in Willows, California,
to race his Formula Ford sports car while (a bit incongruously) listening to National Public Radio.
He heard a report about a portable music player called the Rio that played a digital song format called MP3.
He perked up when the reporter said something like,
"Don't get excited, Mac users, because it won't work with Macs."
Kincaid said to himself, "Ha! I can fix that!"
To help him write a Rio manager for the Mac,
he called his friends Jeff Robbin and Dave Heller, also former Apple software engineers.
Their product, known as SoundJam, offered Mac users an interface for the Rio and software for managing the songs on their computer.
In July 2000, when Jobs was pushing his team to come up with music-management software,
Apple swooped in and bought SoundJam, bringing its founders back into the Apple fold.
(All three stayed with the company,
and Robbin continued to run the music software development team for the next decade.
Jobs considered Robbin so valuable he once allowed a Time reporter to meet him
only after extracting the promise that the reporter would not print his last name.)