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Apple expected to boost iTunes song samples to 60 seconds

Apple this week is expected to double the length of free song samples within the iTunes Store, from 30 seconds to 60 seconds, according to a new report.

Citing anonymous sources, Greg Sandoval of CNet reported Monday that Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs is expected to announce at his company's media event on Wednesday that iTunes users will be able to sample a minute of a song before purchasing. Currently, iTunes song samples are limited to 30 seconds.

The report said that the addition of more sample time is one of a number of expected changes to iTunes, aimed at helping users discover music. It is rumored that Apple will spend "a large part" of the event detailing how the new iTunes improves the user experience. That correlates with a report from last week that indicated Apple would present changes to iTunes with a social focus.

Also echoing last week's report, Sandoval said that Apple is not expected to introduce a cloud-based iTunes service, which would allow users to stream music to devices such as the iPhone. Apple has shown interest in offering such capabilities, but the Cupertino, Calif., company reportedly does not have the necessary contracts in place.

"For those who are hoping Apple will finally launch the cloud music service that CNET and others have written so much about in recent months, you're likely going to have to keep waiting," he wrote.

Apple will hold its event on Wednesday at the Yerba Buena Center for the Arts in San Francisco, Calif., beginning at 10 a.m. Pacific, 1 p.m. Eastern. AppleInsider will have full coverage.