Apple increasing song preview length in iTunes

Apple is believed to be increasing the music preview time of iTunes music from 30 seconds to 90 seconds in an upcoming update to the iTunes store, according to a letter seen by the website Apple Insider.

Currently, this letter only makes mention of United States music downloads, although it is expected that most other countries will follow suit, as it is likely that all music will have to adhere to the new agreement. Music companies have to agree to the letter to confirm that they have accepted the terms, although it is understood that most of the larger labels already knew that this change was in motion.

As has long been rumored, the letter directed to music labels states that Apple is indeed increasing the length of music previews to 90 seconds. If the song in question is shorter than two and a half minutes in length, the preview will remain at 30 seconds.

There are currently no details as to when this increase will take place, but on the assumption that Apple has been speaking to music companies for some, it's likely not too far away.

In other iTunes related news, Steve Jobs has also said that iTunes LP and iTunes Extras will be making their way to the new version of Apple TV. Strangely, this was removed when the new hardware came out last month, and users were unsure if it would ever return. As usual, when a user asked Steve Jobs directly by e-mail, they received a short reply of "Coming."

Apple is expected to launch iTunes 10.1 in the next week or so alongside the next revision of iOS.

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19 Comments

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Quikboy said,
Bing lets you listen to the WHOLE song once. Wish people knew more about that.

makes it possible for people to just record the song and converting it into mp3 or something...
anyway I like the change, 90 seconds is sometimes the whole song...

Quikboy said,
Bing lets you listen to the WHOLE song once. Wish people knew more about that.

makes it possible for people to just record the song and converting it into mp3 or something...
anyway I like the change, 90 seconds is sometimes the whole song...

This is great because 30 seconds of a sample for a song sometimes just isn't enough to make a decision on whether to buy it or not. Usually if the sample is no good though, I look up the song on YouTube and listen to it there.

I love how everyone blames Apple for these things when it is more up to the music industry to set prices and rules. If Apple does not agree the industry will tell them to kiss their asses and Apple gets no content.

necrosis said,
I love how everyone blames Apple for these things when it is more up to the music industry to set prices and rules. If Apple does not agree the industry will tell them to kiss their asses and Apple gets no content.

Umm, but it WAS Apple that did this. You think the music industry actually wants 90-second previews??? Apple simply decided that they're doing that and expect the music industries to bend over.

andrewbares said,

Umm, but it WAS Apple that did this. You think the music industry actually wants 90-second previews??? Apple simply decided that they're doing that and expect the music industries to bend over.

He meant blames Apple for the short preview of 30 seconds which was because of the industry putting its guidelines up. Apple changing it to 90 seconds goes against what the music industry wants. As you said, they don't want preview that length.

necrosis said,
I love how everyone blames Apple for these things when it is more up to the music industry to set prices and rules. If Apple does not agree the industry will tell them to kiss their asses and Apple gets no content.
Maybe that held true once upon a time. But I think it's the music industry that needs Apple more now. So they have more bargaining power than they had originally.

andrewbares said,

Umm, but it WAS Apple that did this. You think the music industry actually wants 90-second previews??? Apple simply decided that they're doing that and expect the music industries to bend over.

Apple and the various publishers had to be in agreement for this to happen. It was going to happen earlier but they wouldn't go for it before.

Xypro said,
ahh, oh nice of apple, but zume has got a unlimited pass for a much better price.

And what does this have to do with song previews, which are free ? o_O

Xypro said,
ahh, oh nice of apple, but zume has got a unlimited pass for a much better price.

Tell me about your music library again when the service shuts down or you aren't subscribed to it anymore.

Oh joy of loss.

GS:mac

meh at itunes, still scanning my old music (week2 now), I do not WANT to scan album art or gapless info, specially not so that it locks itunes ;\ fail

Meh, just allow us to subscribe for $9.99/month for unlimited listening, and then support unpurchased music in the playlists. Voila, Spotify competitor.

scorpio_on_blue_moon said,
Why Apple being so generous ???

Obviously to protect the iPod+iTunes ecosystem. Apple has defeated all the other device makers/service providers, but one of them is making waves with an identical ecosystem that goes beyond iTunes by offering customers the option to subscribe for 15 bucks a month and receive 10 free songs each month. In addition, that customer has the option of previewing any song continuously as long as he maintains his subscription.

If this customer has an XBox he can stream tunes via that box and now he can stream his tunes via Windows Phone 7. Even though Apple sees Zune as a very distant competitor, Apple still sees it as a threat so they must continue to make the iPod+iTunes ecoysystem better to keep it on top.

We've heard throughout the lifetime of iPod+iTunes ecoysystem that "people don't want to rent music", well rumor has it that Apple is considering a subscription model. Apple would only consider this if it felt threatened by Zune because the fact of that matter is......they have saturated the market. The only other option that will keep customers happy is to offer more options to Apple's iPod+iTnes customers.

I wonder why not just do what Lala used to do? The first preview / listen is the full song, and the rest are just 30 seconds. I mean Apple owns them now and shut down their service

I mean yeh sure you can record the song with a bit of extra work...but if someone's already using iTunes to buy music, I doubt see them doing that (or knowing how to).