Feeds

Apple to triple iTunes song sample length

But not for all tunes

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

Apple's CD-crushing, music industry–transforming iTunes music store will triple the length of many of its song samples from 30 to 90 seconds.

This move, which has been rumored for weeks, was first reported by the Symphonic Distribution blog on Tuesday, then confirmed by Cnet that evening.

The change was announced in a "Dear Label Representative" email sent to, well, representatives of music-distribution labels. The missive said in part: "We are pleased to let you know that we are preparing to increase the length of music previews from 30 seconds to 90 seconds on the iTunes Store in the United States."

No mention was made of increasing the sample length in other countries — yet — but it's a safe assumption that negotiations with international labels to allow such an increase are underway.

The sample expansion has one limit, however: 90-second samples will only be allowed for iTunes offerings that are over two minutes and 30 seconds in length — a restriction that will keep the 30-second rule in force for classics such as Randy Newman's Political Science and Mama Told Me Not To Come, The Clash's London's Burning and White Riot, and the majority of The Ramones' oeuvre.

One quartet of lovable Liverpudlian moptops was also famous for the brevity of their offerings, especially in their early years, but negotiations that would allow The Beatles' catalog onto the iTunes Store have dragged on for years, with no end in sight.

Perhaps the greatest beneficiary of the extension — aside, of course, from the labels, which should see increased sales from increased sample lengths — are classical music aficionados. A 30-second sample of, say, Debussy's G minor Quartet or Boulez' Le Marteau Sans Maître can hardly give you a flavor of the entire work, while a 30-second clip of Waka Flocka Flame's "No Hands" should provide more than enough tunage to make an informed buying decision — although at 4:27, "No Hands" is now eligible for the full 90-second treatment. ®

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

More from The Register

next story
Phones 4u slips into administration after EE cuts ties with Brit mobe retailer
More than 5,500 jobs could be axed if rescue mission fails
Special pleading against mass surveillance won't help anyone
Protecting journalists alone won't protect their sources
Phones 4u website DIES as wounded mobe retailer struggles to stay above water
Founder blames 'ruthless network partners' for implosion
Apple's iPhone 6 first-day sales are MEANINGLESS, mutters analyst
Big weekend queues only represent fruity firm's supply
Radio hams can encrypt, in emergencies, says Ofcom
Consultation promises new spectrum and hints at relaxed licence conditions
Bill Gates, drugs and the internet: Top 10 Larry Ellison quotes
'I certainly never expected to become rich ... this is surreal'
Big Content Australia just blew a big hole in its credibility
AHEDA's research on average content prices did not expose methodology, so appears less than rigourous
EMC, HP blockbuster 'merger' shocker comes a cropper
Stand down, FTC... you can put your feet up for a bit
prev story

Whitepapers

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops
Balancing user privacy and privileged access, in accordance with compliance frameworks and legislation. Evaluating any potential remote control choice.
Intelligent flash storage arrays
Tegile Intelligent Storage Arrays with IntelliFlash helps IT boost storage utilization and effciency while delivering unmatched storage savings and performance.
WIN a very cool portable ZX Spectrum
Win a one-off portable Spectrum built by legendary hardware hacker Ben Heck
High Performance for All
While HPC is not new, it has traditionally been seen as a specialist area – is it now geared up to meet more mainstream requirements?
Beginner's guide to SSL certificates
De-mystify the technology involved and give you the information you need to make the best decision when considering your online security options.