29 April 2003
I guess it was about a year ago, Apple Computer introduced the combination of an MP3 player (the iPod) and companion software (iTunes) for the Mac OS X. The tight integration of an innovative device like the iPod and easy-to-use software like iTunes made Apple (and its users) the envy of the music-loving Windows world. While users of other MP3 players could carry around a few CDs worth of MP3, iPod users could tote around thousands of songs in the ultracool device.
While others continue in their pursuit to copy the iPod and iTunes, Apple yesterday took a huge leap forward, through the introduction of iTunes version 4, and launching its own Music Service. iTunes users can now, within the same easy-to-use interface, access a library of more than 200,000 songs, purchasing albums for an average of $10 or, probably more importantly, individual songs for 0.99 cents. Every song in the service has a 30 second immediate preview, to allow listen-before-you-buy. Purchasing couldn’t be easier. Once you’ve setup an account, just click the buy button on any song or album, confirm the purchase, and the song is immediately downloaded and stored in your songs library. To be honest, I’m personally quite worried about such convenience, being a music lover and an impulse buyer! Having tried the service out this morning, I’ve already purchased four songs, and can’t imagine an easier or more convenient way to shop for music.