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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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RE: 99 cents extra for a ringtone?
By Moishe on 9/5/2007 3:06:39 PM , Rating: 1
What I mean is. IF by change you've already purchased a song from iTunes it now appears that you can pay $0.99 to have that turned into a ringtone. It's not strictly $0.99 * 2 because you may have already purchased the song.

Not unreasonable and not much work on Apple's part to make money from an existing infrastructure.


By konekobot on 9/5/2007 4:29:36 PM , Rating: 3
actually that is an evil development and point of view the RIAA / MPAA / and the DMCA have propogated.

With the book comparison... You can't reprint the book for money, but in theory you could make a copy of the media for yourself (you could photocopy all the pages and make a 1,000 copies) as long as it's for personal use and not for profit or dissemination.

By that logic, if you buy a song, then you should be able to play it on anything you want, whenever you want, and you should be able to make back-ups of it and edit it (just like you could edit the words in a book if you feel like it) and play it in any way, shape, or manner as long as you don't sell it, make money off of it, or disseminate it.

I don't see any difference in playing a song you buy with the intent of listening to it and playing a portion of the song you buy in relation to an incoming call. has everyone forgotten the times when answering machines existed people sometimes put portions of songs on their greeting messages? i didn't have to contact the record company and pay them a fee to use the song I paid for in any way I chose.

bad move apple. total ripoff.


"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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