As 2009 winds down, are you having trouble remembering exactly what you spent the past year doing? That happens to me sometimes: for example, it only started snowing on the east coast this week, and already I can’t remember ever being warm. Anyway, if you’d like a bit of a jumpstart to the old memory, Apple’s posted a feature called iTunes Rewind 2009 on the iTunes Store, recapping the best music, movies, TV shows, podcasts, audiobooks, and apps of 2009.
As you might expect, Michael Jackson gets prominent billing—the iTunes staff has picked him as the artist of the year. Kings of Leon’s Only By the Night took top album of the year, and best new artist went to the seemingly omni-present Lady GaGa. iTunes also doled out the same awards to each genre of music it sells in the store, so if you're itching for the best in hip-hop, jazz, or western, take a look. There’s also a list of the top-selling songs of 2009—and strangely enough, I own not a single one of them: "Boom Boom Pow" by the Black Eyed Peas took the number one spot, followed by Flo Rida’s "Right Round," and Lady GaGa’s "Poker Face".
The movies section features twelve top titles, including Pixar’s Up, J.J. Abrams’s Star Trek and indie titles like (500) Days of Summer and Sunshine Cleaning. The list of top sales and rentals in the store was topped by—duh—Twilight, surprise second-placer Pineapple Express, and Quantum of Solace (Star Trek placed fifth, though it’s only been out for a few weeks).
Television, now, that’s my bailiwick. iTunes pimped Fox’s freshman comedy Glee for the best season in that category, with the top episode going to an installment of 30 Rock. Drama saw an AMC sweep with sophomore series Breaking Bad taking best season and Mad Men’s pivotal “The Gypsy and the Hobo” nabbing best episode. The store also breaks out a number of other categories—I was pleased to see Dollhouse’s unaired “Epitaph One” taking the top episode for sci-fi. The top-selling season list was headed by Mad Men’s third season, and followed by Lost’s season five, and 24 season seven. Top-selling episodes were headlined by Family Guy, Gossip Girl, and Lost.
Meanwhile, in apps, iTunes made a distinction between the year’s best and best-selling apps and games. Best game awards went to Spider: The Secret of Bryce Manor, Real Racing, and Zenonia, among others, while top sellers included The Sims 3, The Oregon Trail, and the apparently Teflon Tiger Woods PGA Tour.
Best apps, on the other hand, were headlined by titles like CBS Sports: Live College Games, Convertbot, and Leaf Trombone: World Stage, while the top-selling apps included MLB.com At Bat, QuickOffice Mobile Office Suite, and SlingPlayer Mobile. Free apps were apparently not recognized, however.
In the audiobooks category, the best of the year included fiction titles like The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie by Alan Bradley, Under the Dome by Stephen King, and Nick Hornby’s Juliet, Naked (which, incidentally, I just finished in dead-tree format and can’t recommend enough). The non-fiction list was topped by Dave Cullen’s Columbine, Thomas E. Ricks’s The Gamble, and Tracy Morgan’s I Am the New Black. On the best-seller side, William P. Young’s The Shack amazingly edged out all four Twilight books slavering at its heels to take the fiction side, while Randy Pausch’s The Last Lecture topped the non-fiction section, followed by Sun Tzu’s unabridged The Art of War and The Ricky Gervais Guide to…Philosophy.
Finally, the best in podcasts was topped by The Adam Carolla Podcast for this year in audio, CNBC’s The Suze Orman Show for this year in video, This American Life for “classic” audio, and The Onion News Network for “classic” video.
And that’s it for Apple’s 2009 year in review: everything you need to remember about this year compiled in a series of helpful lists of media. Except, of course, the actually important things. For that, we recommend shutting down your copy of iTunes, firing up your copy of iPhoto and browsing through the last year of photos for some real memories.