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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