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Wednesday, April 28, 2004, 07:00 am PT (10:00 am ET)

Apple launches 3rd generation iTunes music store, iTunes 4.5

Apple sells 70 million tunes
Apple today announced that in its first year, iTunes music fans 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.

Second generation iTunes music store
To kick off its second year, Apple today launched the third generation iTunes Music Store and iTunes 4.5, featuring over 700,000 songs from all five major music companies and over 450 independent music labels, as well as 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, and

  • 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.

Tighter fair use restrictions
In an effort to discourage music theft while preserving fair personal use rights, Apple announced that it has reduced the number of times a user can burn the same playlist onto CDs with iTunes 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.

iTunes on Campus
The company also quietly launched an iTunes on Campus program. The program provides an institutional site license for iTunes and materials which any university or college can use for student communications. The program is easy to set up and is free, according to Apple.