Apple today launched the iTunes Music Store, an online music store that lets customers quickly find, purchase and download the music they want for just 99 cents per song, without subscription fees. The iTunes Music Store offers groundbreaking personal use rights, including burning songs onto an unlimited number of CDs for personal use, listening to songs on an unlimited number of iPods, playing songs on up to three Macintosh computers, and using songs in any application on the Mac, including iPhoto, iMovie and iDVD.
“The iTunes Music Store offers the revolutionary rights to burn an unlimited number of CDs for personal use and to put music on an unlimited number of iPods for on-the-go listening,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “Consumers don’t want to be treated like criminals and artists don’t want their valuable work stolen. The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both.”
The iTunes Music Store features over 200,000 songs from music companies including BMG, EMI, Sony Music Entertainment, Universal and Warner. Users can easily search the entire music store to instantly locate any song by title, artist or album, or browse the entire collection of songs by genre, artist and album. Users can listen to a free 30-second high-quality preview of any song in the store, then purchase and download their favorite songs or complete albums in pristine digital quality with just one click.
The iTunes Music Store also features exclusive tracks from over 20 artists, including Bob Dylan, U2, Eminem, Sheryl Crow and Sting, as well as special music videos from several of these artists which users can watch for free. In addition, the iTunes Music Store highlights new releases, staff favorites and up-and-coming artists, and delivers a compelling variety of music from many genres and time periods, ranging from Rock and Hip Hop to Jazz and Classical. The ability to browse the entire music store by genre, artist and album combined with free high-quality previews of every song lets users explore music in an entirely new way, to easily find the hits they love and discover gems they’ve never heard before.
All music on the iTunes Music Store is encoded in the industry-standard AAC audio format at 128 kilobits per second which enables smaller files and faster download times while rivaling CD-quality sound superior to the quality of MP3 files at the same size. The AAC audio format, developed by Dolby, was also adopted to provide the audio encoding for the industry-standard MPEG-4 video format.
The iTunes Music Store is fully integrated into iTunes 4, the fourth major release of Apple’s popular digital music jukebox software, allowing users to purchase, download, organize and listen to their music using just one application. iTunes 4 features major new enhancements including Rendezvous music-sharing between Macs, so users can legally stream their music to other Macs without the hassle of copying files from computer to computer.
iTunes 4 with the iTunes Music Store is available as a free download immediately at http://www.apple.com/itunes. The iTunes Music Store requires a valid credit card with a U.S. billing address, a Mac equipped with iTunes 4 and Mac OS X version 10.1.5 or later. Further information about Apple’s digital music products can be found at http://www.apple.com/ipod and http://www.apple.com/music.