Ames had just lost a boardroom battle to have his corporation's AOL division improve its own fledgling music download service.
"When I did a digital download using AOL, I could never find the song on my shitty computer," he recalled.
So when Jobs demonstrated a prototype of the iTunes Store, Ames was impressed.
"Yes, yes, that's exactly what we've been waiting for," he said.
He agreed that Warner Music would sign up, and he offered to help enlist other music companies.
Jobs flew east to show the service to other Time Warner execs.
"He sat in front of a Mac like a kid with a toy," Vidich recalled.
"Unlike any other CEO, he was totally engaged with the product."
Ames and Jobs began to hammer out the details of the iTunes Store,
including the number of times a track could be put on different devices and how the copy-protection system would work.
They soon were in agreement and set out to corral other music labels.