On April 28, 2003, Apple announced its new music digital downloadservice, iTunes MusicStore that uses the company’s iTunes music jukeboxsoftware.
Garnering licensing deals with the five major labels, iTunesMusicStore currently offers 200,000 high-fidelity tracks, with moreadded daily. Features include: unlimited CD burns (though a user mustmodify the playlist after every 10 burns); compatibility with anunlimited number of iPod portable MP3 players; the ability to use thedownloaded music with other “i” software; and the provisionto play on up to three Macs at once via OS X’s Rendevous software. Thislast feature allows the user to stream — not download —another user’s playlist (as long as he/she is using iTunes jukebox) tohis/her computer.
Users can preview a 30-second snippet of a desired track(AAC-encoded at 128 kbps) for free and then purchase that track for$0.99 (or $9.99 for an entire album). Credit card charges are made viaApple’s one-click shopping, where a user’s card is charged for eachpurchase.
Other features of the new service include original CD artwork; theability to browse by genre, artist or album; exclusive tracks from 20(and growing) artists; streaming video; and links to artists’Websites.
Available immediately, the currently Mac-only (Windows compatibilityis expected at the end of this year) service is available as a freedownload at www.applemusic.com; there is a free softwareupgrade for iPod users who need iTunes 4.
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