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.
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.
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