GarageBand was developed by Apple under the direction of Dr. Gerhard Lengeling. Dr. Lengeling was formerly from the German company Emagic, makers of Logic Audio. (Apple acquired Emagic in July 2002.)
Steve Jobs announced the application in his keynote speech at the Macworld Conference & Expo in San Francisco on January 6, 2004. Musician John Mayer assisted with its demonstration.
Apple announced GarageBand 2 at the 2005 Macworld Conference & Expo on January 11, 2005. It shipped, as announced, around January 22, 2005. Notable new features included the abilities to view and edit music in musical notation. It was also possible to record up to 8 tracks at once and to fix timing and pitch of recordings. Apple added automation of track pan position, master volume, and the master pitch. Transposition of both audio and MIDI has been added by Apple along with the ability to import MIDI files.
GarageBand 3, announced at 2006's Macworld Conference & Expo, includes a 'podcast studio', including the ability to use more than 200 effects and jingles, and integration with iChat for remote interviews.
GarageBand 4, also known as GarageBand '08, is part of iLife '08. It incorporates the ability to record sections of a song separately, such as bridges, and chorus lines. Additionally, it provides support for the automation of tempos and instruments, the creation, and exportation of iPhone ringtones, and a "Magic GarageBand" feature which includes a virtual jam session with a complete 3D view of the Electric instruments.
GarageBand 5 is part of the iLife '09 package. It includes music instruction and allows the user to buy instructional videos by contemporary artists. It also contains new features for electric guitar players, including a dedicated 3D Electric Guitar Track containing a virtual stompbox pedalboard, and virtual amplifiers with spring reverb and tremolo. GarageBand 5 also includes a cleaner, redesigned user interface as well as Project Templates.
GarageBand 6, also known as GarageBand '11, is part of the iLife '11 package, which Apple released on October 20, 2010. This version brings new features such as Flex Time, a tool to adjust the rhythm of a recording. It also includes the ability to match the tempo of one track with another instantly, additional guitar amps and stompboxes, 22 new lessons for guitar and piano, and "How Did I Play?", a tool to measure the accuracy and progress of a piano or guitar performance in a lesson.
Apple released GarageBand 10 along with OS X 10.9 Mavericks in October 2013. This version has lost Magic GarageBand and the podcast functionality.
Apple updated GarageBand 10 for Mac on March 20, 2014. Version 10.0.2 adds the ability to export tracks in MP3 format as well as a new drummer module, but removed support for podcasting; users with podcast files created in GarageBand 6 can continue to edit them using the older version.
GarageBand was updated to version 10.0.3 on October 16, 2014. This version included myriad bug fixes and several new features including a dedicated Bass Amp Designer, the introduction of global track effects and dynamic track resizing.
Apple released GarageBand 10.2 on June 5, 2017.
The latest version is GarageBand 10.3.2, released on December 10, 2018.