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Apple serves up 25 BEEELLIONTH iTunes download

340,000 years of 'Monkey Drums'

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Apple's iTunes Music Store has served its 25 billionth download, and is now shuttling tunes to Macs, PCs, and iDevices at a average rate of 15,000 per minute.

"We are grateful to our users whose passion for music over the past 10 years has made iTunes the number one music retailer in the world," said Apple's internet software and services headman Eddy Cue when announcing this statistical tidbit.

The milestone tune, "Monkey Drums (Goksel Vancin Remix)" by Chase Buch, was downloaded by one Phillip Lüpke of Germany. His blind luck has earned Lüpke an iTunes gift card that will enable him to enlarge his music library to the tune of €10,000.

If that "Monkey Drums" remix, which runs seven minutes and 10 seconds, were to be considered an average song length, playing 25 billion songs in sequence would take over 340,000 years. Even if the average length of an iTunes download were the AM-radio preferred standard of three minutes, we're talking well over 140,000 years of, as Cue put it, "global sensations like Adele and Coldplay and new artists like The Lumineers."

When the iTunes Music Store launched on April 28, 2003, some observers doubted that music lovers would flock to it, seeing as how – despite the demise of such services as Napster – free downloads were still readily available to anyone with even rudimentary knowledge of peer-to-peer file-sharing.

Steve Jobs disagreed. "Consumers don't want to be treated like criminals and artists don't want their valuable work stolen," he said at the time. "The iTunes Music Store offers a groundbreaking solution for both."

Nearly 10 years and over 25 billion downloads later, it seems that Jobs was right. Would that current Apple CEO Tim Cook could lasso an equally healthy cash cow. ®

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