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  • Apple Enables Browser Based iTunes Song Sampling

    Well, that didn't take too long now did it? Bright and early in this new year, Apple is putting its late 2009 acquisition of Lala to good use. Tapping into the service that we all know and love Lala for, Apple has enabled 30 second browser-based song previews from iTunes Charts. This nicely caps off the initial efforts taken by Apple last fall to engender a quality iTunes web preview.

    Up until now, the browser-based iTunes Charts lacked the possibility to preview a song before purchase; to do so, you had to open the iTunes software. But the new song previews allow users to listen to samples encoded at 44.1 AA 300+ kbits/second using QuickTime.
    Functioning as seemlessly and easily as anyone could hope for, the next time you visit iTunes Charts, simply click on an album and then the specific track you're interested in. A small button activates a 30 second preview of the song before deciding whether or not to purchase it. For now, though, you still have to launch iTunes to play all samples in sequential order or to go through with the purchase.

    Since the acquisition of Lala, many have speculated that Apple is moving full steam ahead to a full blown browser-based web streaming service. Despite the modest update to iTunes Charts, it could, indeed, be the precursor to taking iTunes down the path to new offerings, possibly even a subscription based service to rival new services in the increasingly competitive digital music realm.

    Other possible ways of integrating Lala into iTunes... cheaper prices and streaming options, full song previews or Genius-style radio stations in the iTunes desktop software.
    Although this latest "development" from iTunes hardly seems groundbreaking, it is an important step in the right direction for Apple with regard to how iTunes must evolve to become more versatile. With brick and mortar music stores going under faster than you can say MP3, services like iTunes and, most recently. Microsoft's Zune Pass, are effectively killing the old school mechanisms by which people obtain their music. And now that this enormous potential lies in so few hands, it's vital to give consumers the best user experience possible. In this regard, it's tremendous to see Apple stepping up to the plate and taking iTunes to the next level, even if it's only a modest "baby step" for now.

    Image via davaomacuser.com
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Apple Enables Browser Based iTunes Song Sampling started by Michael Essany View original post
    Comments 7 Comments
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Anyone think a web based iTunes with an optional lightweight Control Panel download for syncing (in case the web site runs slower than a snail when syncing) is the way to go? I would like to see this happen for the simple fact that iTunes won't bloat my machine, no more irritating download updates (until there is a new iPhone firmware) as it can all be done on the back-end with a web site. And the big one, iTunes available anywhere with an internet connection. No needless bloated software to install. Also think of the streaming possibilities here. No need to fill your device with gigs and gigs of music/movies/games (although an option to keep your info on your hard drive would be there). Apple could even institute a subscription plan for cloud space (for those that want to go that way) which also integrates with MobileMe if you have an account. Just do it Apple!
    1. Nick Hesson's Avatar
      Nick Hesson -
      am I missing something? How do I get to this? Link?
    1. southfrisco's Avatar
      southfrisco -
      Quote Originally Posted by nickhesson View Post
      am I missing something? How do I get to this? Link?
      Apple - iTunes - Browse the top music downloads

      Click on any of the top 100 and DO NOT open iTunes. It will take you to a preview page where you can click the tiny play button to listen to preview tracks through the Apple web site.
    1. rhekt's Avatar
      rhekt -
      its something new. new can be fun.
    1. StealthBravo's Avatar
      StealthBravo -
      I love where this is going
    1. Nick Hesson's Avatar
      Nick Hesson -
      nice. they need to do this for apps
    1. rwin84's Avatar
      rwin84 -
      Web based programming is where everything is going in the commercial world