Apple launches 3G iTunes Music Store; sold over 70 million songs in first year; adds auto WMA to AAC

Apple today celebrates the first anniversary of its iTunesMusic Store. Launched one year ago today, the iTunes Music Store has revolutionized the music industry with its 99 cents-per-song pricing, free previews, one-click purchasing and downloading, and groundbreaking personal use rights. In its first year, music fans have purchased more than 70 million songs, making it the number one online music service in the world with more than 70 percent market share of legal downloads for singles and albums. iTunes customers are currently purchasing 2.7 million songs per week, a rate of 140 million songs per year.

“iTunes has exceeded our wildest expectations during its first year, charting a new direction for the music industry,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s CEO in the press release. “The unbeatable combination of iTunes and the market-leading iPod offers music fans a seamless experience for discovering, buying, managing and enjoying their music anywhere.”

To kick off its second year, Apple today launched the third generation iTunes Music Store, featuring the industry’s largest online music catalog of over 700,000 songs from all five major music companies and over 450 independent music labels, as well as groundbreaking new features including:

– “iMix,” a new way for users to publish playlists of their favorite songs on the iTunes Music Store for other users to preview, rate and purchase. iMix creates a virtual iTunes community, enabling users to discover new music recommended by fellow music fans and rate the iMixes published by other iTunes users

– “Party Shuffle,” a new playlist that automatically chooses songs from a user’s music library, displays just-played and upcoming songs, and allows users to easily add, delete and rearrange the upcoming songs on the fly. Party Shuffle is the ultimate DJ at any gathering, and a great way for users to get reacquainted with their personal music library.

– Radio Charts from more than 1,000 radio stations, enabling users to easily find and buy the top songs played on local radio stations in major US markets and buy directly from the charts with just one click.

– A new Music Video section featuring more music videos than ever, and a new Movie Trailer section with the most popular movie trailers on the Internet and links to buy songs from the soundtrack or audiobooks related to the movie.

– The rights to play songs purchased from the iTunes Music Store, including songs previously purchased, on up to five personal computers, two more than before.

– The ability to create and print stunning CD jewel case inserts for albums or compilation discs, combining album art and track lists using professionally designed templates. For compilation CDs, iTunes will automatically generate a mosaic of album covers based on the chosen songs.

– Automatic WMA to AAC conversion, enabling Windows users to automatically create iTunes versions of their songs encoded in unprotected WMA. Converting an entire music library into iTunes and syncing it onto iPod is now a snap.

Honoring Apple’s commitment to discourage music theft while preserving fair personal use rights, the number of times a user can burn the same playlist onto CDs with iTunes is being reduced from ten burns to seven. Users can still burn a single song an unlimited number of times and listen to their music on an unlimited number of iPods.

Apple is marking the first anniversary of its iTunes Music Store by thanking its customers with a free song of the day for the next eight days from artists who have helped make iTunes a runaway success, including Foo Fighters, Avril Lavigne, Courtney Love, Annie Lennox, Jane’s Addiction, Counting Crows, Renee Fleming and Nelly Furtado. Following the anniversary celebration, the iTunes Music Store will continue to offer a “Free Single of the Week” from up-and-coming bands, spotlighting emerging artists and offering iTunes customers a risk-free way to discover new music.

The iTunes Music Store continues to lead the industry with exclusive tracks from more than 150 artists, and starting today, offers dozens of out-of-print recordings from Motown Records, including the first 45 singles and 45 hard-to-find albums from the Motown archive — available digitally for the first time. The iTunes Music Store features the exclusive digital music catalog of Walt Disney Records, including soundtracks from Disney’s classic animated films and Disney/Pixar’s computer-animated films. New exclusives available today include the new Beastie Boys single, “Ch-Check it Out” from the group’s first studio release in five years and the exclusive digital release of The Foo Fighters catalog.

iTunes 4.5 for Mac and Windows includes the iTunes Music Store and is available as a free download immediately from Purchase and download of songs from the iTunes Music Store for Mac or Windows requires a valid credit card with a U.S. billing address. Further information about Apple’s digital music products can be found at and


  1. Good morning MDN!
    These have been available now 6 hours in Europe ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />
    Don’t forget that iTunes is now WMA compatible!
    ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. I already downloaded it and it most certainly rocks. I’m diggin the radio charts and the iMix section is pretty cool too. I really wish they would have put in a “Wishlist” section so you can compile all the songs you want to buy in one area then just buy them as you go.

  3. Hmm, WMA importing doesn’t seem to work on the Mac. Not that I have any WMA files to work with. (Had to use another, er, music program to go out and “find” one in order to run the test.) Anyone else have luck on the Mac? Or does Apple just suppose (probably correctly) that the faithful don’t have any WMA songs lying around?

  4. Please note there is also an iPod update for ALL iPods.

    WMA import is on Windows only – who else would have that peecee crap on their machines. BTW, does anyone see this as Apple opening its arms to those who have not adopted the way of truth and light. Say goodnight, Scott Blum. Start typing that CV yet, Dave Fester.

    It may be a closed ecosystem, but it’s a darned clever one.

    And just to enhance my feelings of smugness for using the computer that God would choose – I predicted 70 million downloads excluding Pepsi.

  5. Oh yeah! Authorization on 5 computers (all of us geeks, plus Apple’s push for making it easier for families to use Macs, obviously being seen here), this was one of my most requested features. Well this and the ability to handle storage on multiple drives without creating new users for each drive I want to manage.

    But some great stuff. I need to go play.

  6. MCCFR & One guy from Finland

    I’M A DOPE! I could have sworn I tried this before and it didn’t work. One thing I noticed though is that when you create a playlist now a little arrow appears next to the play list and it lets you publish your playlist on the iTunes library. Nice feature for sharing. Or, has this also been around for years and I missed the boat on that one too..

  7. Im not in Europe but Im hoping for iTMS Europe as well. Just being in the US iTMS has like 2.5 million downloads a week. When Apple opens the European flood gates, I bet that number will almost double. Watch as WMA files get converted and the format go down the toilet

  8. Matt
    Don’t be so hard on yourself ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    iTunes 4.5 has all the features that I need.
    Isn’t it nice when it�s xMas in April ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”smile” style=”border:0;” />

    Now we need that iTMS Europe+Canda+Japan so that we can buy next 700 000 000 songs and also beat that +25 000 single purchase =)
    Maybe Steve announces that today when he is having that conference call within two hours?

  9. the thing I find most interesting is the music video’s and movie trailers in iTunes. does anyone else think this is paving the way for delivery of movies to your computer ( or future iPod’s ( I know, Steve says no.) ). Does the new loss-less compression taking up half the space have a video codec? in a year or two will Steve create deals with the film distribution companies ( or the studios ) the way he did with the big five record companies.

    what do you think?

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