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iPod touch displaying iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store  (Source: Apple)
Apple launches iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store; Microsoft execs shout "DOH!"

Today is Apple's big day and it has released a new version of iTunes to accommodate the new iPods and the iPhone.

iPhone customers can now purchase ringtones from iTunes. Customers must first pay $0.99 for a song from iTunes, then another $0.99 for the privilege of using that song as a ringtone. Apple is including a utility within iTunes to create ringtones based on any 30-second segment from a song complete with fade-in and fade-out.

Apple says that over 500,000 songs will be available to make the conversion to ringtones and the feature will be enabled in iTunes software sometime next week.

Apple also today announced the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. iPod touch owners will be able to use their WiFi connection to logon to iTunes from any wireless hotspot. From the interface, users can browse "New Releases," "What's Hot," and "Games" from the top tab on the screen. Users can also search the entire iTunes music library, purchase individual songs or buy complete albums.

Songs bought from the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store are downloaded directly to the iPod touch. Docking the iPod touch to your desktop PC or Mac will then sync the songs with iTunes library.

Apple announced that the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store will also be extended to the iPhone.

Interestingly enough, Apple also announced Starbucks integration with the new iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Customers who surf on a Starbucks hotspot will be greeted with a Starbucks icon in their iPhone/iPod touch UI. Customers will then be able to buy the songs playing over the Starbucks speaker system through iTunes.

The biggest thing to take away from this announcement is how much Microsoft dropped the ball with the Zune. Microsoft had all of the building blocks in place to offer a wireless music store with the Zune. Microsoft gave customers WiFi with the Zune, but the company chose to seriously cripple the feature and limit its effectiveness.

Apple has now taken WiFi with the iPhone and iPod touch and expanded its overwhelming online music dominance with the iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store. Microsoft is going to need a lot more than a $199 Zune to combat this latest salvo from Apple.



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Brint 'em on
By Phynaz on 9/5/2007 2:46:30 PM , Rating: 2
Queue the Apple haters.




RE: Brint 'em on
By Sea Shadow on 9/5/2007 3:08:34 PM , Rating: 2
Actually, Apple has been taking such great leaps and bounds with each new generation that there are less and less of those who dislike them. I use to absolutely hate Apple products for many reasons, but as of late I often find myself contemplating purchasing one of their newer products (though it will take some more work before I even look at an iPhone). It use to be that Apple's only advantages were the intuitive interfaces and the "style" (to some people it mattered). However, now days they have more to offer than many of their competitors in just about every regard.


RE: Brint 'em on
By darkpaw on 9/5/2007 3:38:31 PM , Rating: 1
I'm also a classic Apple hater, although I do respect their engeineering and software in many aspects. What I hate is how they run the company, especially Jobs' my way or get bent attitude.

Everyone that ever bitches about how MS treats customers has never taken a serious look at how Apple acts to its customers and partners.


RE: Brint 'em on
By Michael Hoffman on 9/5/2007 4:13:28 PM , Rating: 2
Agreed!

I only own one Apple product, but will be purchasing either an iPod touch or iPod nano in the near future.

The price cuts should also help Apple sell a bunch more of the iPhones...


"A lot of people pay zero for the cellphone ... That's what it's worth." -- Apple Chief Operating Officer Timothy Cook

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