Fadell assumed that he was being hired to work on a personal digital assistant, some successor to the Newton.
But when he met with Rubinstein, the topic quickly turned to iTunes, which had been out for three months.
"We've been trying to hook up the existing MP3 players to iTunes and they've been horrible, absolutely horrible," Rubinstein told him.
"We think we should make our own version."
Fadell was thrilled. "I was passionate about music.
I was trying to do some of that at RealNetworks, and I was pitching an MP3 player to Palm."
He agreed to come aboard, at least as a consultant.
After a few weeks Rubinstein insisted that if he was to lead the team, he had to become a full-time Apple employee.
But Fadell resisted; he liked his freedom. Rubinstein was furious at what he considered Fadell's whining.
"This is one of those life decisions," he told Fadell. "You'll never regret it."