Apple Adds 30-Second Song Samples to Browser-Based 'iTunes Preview'

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GigaOM briefly noted late yesterday that Apple has added 30-second song samples to its browser-based iTunes Preview pages that quietly appeared several months ago. The report notes that Apple is serving the previews, which are encoded in 44.1 KHz AAC format at 300+ kbps, via QuickTime.




The addition is a likely benefit of Apple's recent acquisition of Lala Media, a popular web-based streaming media company. Prior to its acquisition by Apple, Lala had reached a deal with Google to provide song samples in Google search results.

Article Link: Apple Adds 30-Second Song Samples to Browser-Based 'iTunes Preview'
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
This is Great.

I like how Apple has learned tremendously from the Mobile Me pre launch. Since then they're taking the necessary steps to make sure ALL their web centric Apps are just right. iWork.com and now browser based iTunes.

2010 is going to be Insanely Great for what Apple will update and introduce!

iDisk


:apple:
 

JayMan8081

macrumors regular
Feb 20, 2007
115
0
Dayton, OH
I like both improvements. I like how Apple is steadily making subtle and slow improvements to the iTunes web interface. It appears that they are taking care to make sure that what is added works well and adds a good amount of value. Hopefully the addition of the text to the rating stars really will make people's ratings more meaningful and accurate. At least it gives users an idea of what Apple thinks each star level should represent.
 

gelbin

macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2002
146
0
this is old

this has been available through safari since before christmas. the timing made it seem to me that it had little to do with technology adopted from lala, but perhaps it was intellectual property (that they acquired) that freed apple up to do what they wanted....
 

NetScheduler

macrumors regular
Sep 7, 2008
185
0
Southwest PA
Wow!!!

WOW!!! This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crappy Microsoft only demoed Clunky Windows and a junky tablet.

As always Apple leads the way!!!! Thanks Steve for improving the way we set Stars (very elegant) to music. This is a Delicious solution and I bet all the MS fanboys at CES are really jealous!!!

Hope Steve introduces a real game changer on the 27th. I'm thinking new icons for Snow Leopard!!!!!!!!!!!!
 

lewchenko

macrumors regular
Jun 8, 2004
184
164
Wow.. slow news day in mac land.

30s previews via the web have been around on other sites for a long time now. I remember buying tunes from Amazon last year and listening to their 30s previews straight from my web browser.
 

Cander

macrumors 6502
Jun 3, 2008
422
0
They just need one more step to make this great. As part of the MobileMe service, be able to stream entire songs over the web site anywhere/anytime. And/or a Zune Pass model where you pay monthly and get to keep x number of songs permanently.
 

gelbin

macrumors regular
Jan 18, 2002
146
0
WOW!!! This is HUGE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Crappy Microsoft only demoed Clunky Windows and a junky tablet.

As always Apple leads the way!!!! Thanks Steve for improving the way we set Stars (very elegant) to music. This is a Delicious solution and I bet all the MS fanboys at CES are really jealous!!!

Hope Steve introduces a real game changer on the 27th. I'm thinking new icons for Snow Leopard!!!!!!!!!!!!

yes, this is not huge. but apple did not even make simple mention of this, much less steve jobs taking the stage the day this happened to unveil it. it is ridiculous to compare this incremental update to the itunes store experience to ballmer getting on stage to trump up some vapor products (that may well be very cool, but...he WAS ON A STAGE DOING A KEYNOTE).
 

drlunanerd

macrumors 68000
Feb 14, 2004
1,628
109
UK
300kbps? Isn't that a bit excessive for a preview? Especially since it's higher quality than the actual downloads.... hmm.
 

DipDog3

macrumors 65816
Sep 20, 2002
1,182
675
I thought this article was about the iTunes star rating...

Apple Tweaks iTunes 'Star' Ratings

Cortis Clark of Sol Robots informs us this morning that Apple has tweaked the display of user "star" ratings for iTunes content. While the ratings are still based on a five-star system, Apple now offers descriptions ("hate it", "don't like it", "it'...
What happened?
 

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
801
1
This is Great.

I like how Apple has learned tremendously from the Mobile Me pre launch. Since then they're taking the necessary steps to make sure ALL their web centric Apps are just right. :
Steady on. They haven't even got MobileMe webmail working properly yet.
 

theheadguy

macrumors 65816
Apr 26, 2005
1,123
1,322
california
This is Great. I like how Apple has learned tremendously from the Mobile Me pre launch. Since then they're taking the necessary steps to make sure ALL their web centric Apps are just right. iWork.com and now browser based iTunes. 2010 is going to be Insanely Great for what Apple will update and introduce!
iDisk :apple:
Please tell me where you get your coffee, lol. It's too early in California for me to think this year is "Insanely Great" based on Apple's aquisition of Lala. :p Welcome to MacRumors, btw.

Lala is a very cool service -- sign up if you haven't already.
 

CapitalQ

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
48
5
As other users have stated, the 30-second in-browser samples have been around for a long time now, and they obviously have nothing to do with Apple's acquisition of Lala, as:

1) Apple has had these same 30-second samples in the iTunes Store since its inception.
2) Lala's music is encoded in MP3, not AAC.
3) Apple didn't acquire Lala to use them; just to stop Google from acquiring them.
 

Pared

macrumors 65816
Oct 19, 2007
1,127
1
this has been available through safari since before christmas. the timing made it seem to me that it had little to do with technology adopted from lala, but perhaps it was intellectual property (that they acquired) that freed apple up to do what they wanted....
Yeah I have no idea how this is making news now... I was previewing songs over the holiday break with the Mrs.
 

iDisk

macrumors 6502a
Jan 2, 2010
825
0
Menlo Park, CA
Steady on. They haven't even got MobileMe webmail working properly yet.
It works well for me. No complaints at all.

Please tell me where you get your coffee, lol. It's too early in California for me to think this year is "Insanely Great" based on Apple's aquisition of Lala. :p Welcome to MacRumors, btw.

Lala is a very cool service -- sign up if you haven't already.
Nah no coffee here, It's just not my preference.

I guess I'm still hungover as to how 2009 was for Apple and I can't wait to get the next dose of the Kool Aid from Steve. :). I will check Lala out now, since its getting the Apple polish on it.

Thanks for the welcome :)
 

benpatient

macrumors 68000
Nov 4, 2003
1,870
0
actually it isn't getting anything from apple as of yet. they haven't changed a single thing on lala, which is great.

i half expected it to get shut down a week after the deal went through.

we long-time lala users were panicking there for a while.

as has been mentioned, this has zero to do with lala.

if it were lala-based, it would be full song previews, not 30 second clips, and they would be mp3, not AAC formatted.

so in short this news post is lame.
 

adamw

macrumors 6502
Sep 22, 2006
301
175
This is a good thing, and is a good idea for Apple to implement. More choice is always good, and this improvement should help to reach more people with music.
 

MacFly123

macrumors 68020
Dec 25, 2006
2,340
0

scott911

macrumors 6502a
Aug 24, 2009
722
439
300kbps? Isn't that a bit excessive for a preview? Especially since it's higher quality than the actual downloads.... hmm.
That caught my eye immediately - I read these comments hoping someone might think it was a hint that apple was going to allow for higher bandwidth downloads of the whole song.

I very rarely buy from iTunes because of the quality limitations and instead get a real CD to import, usually used from a source amazon links me to....

People are so keen on expecting great perfornamabnce from an LCD or plasma screen and pay so much attention to the color depth, refresh rates, etc... I really don't understand why people don't have the same fussiness over their audio quality.

Even if you're a teenager using nothing more that earbuds, don't you think someday you might own a nice audio system and want to pump your files out of a nice pair of Theil, B&W or axiom audio speakers where the bit rate will matter? :eek:
 

Eric2

macrumors member
Jan 18, 2008
54
1
London
300kbps? Isn't that a bit excessive for a preview? Especially since it's higher quality than the actual downloads.... hmm.
Agree that is a bit odd.

Hope this means they will be offer better quality downloads sometime soon. Can but wish!
 

CapitalQ

macrumors member
Jun 30, 2007
48
5
Found another glaring problem with this terrible report. I figured there was no reason for the samples to be 300kbps+ AAC, so I decided to pull one and check it out. Sure enough, the article is wrong.

http://a1.phobos.apple.com/us/r1000/054/Music/6a/59/4f/mzm.geptyfde.aac.p.m4a

Here's a 30-second sample pulled from the iTunes browser preview. As you can clearly see, it's a regular 256kbps iTunes Plus file.

So, to reiterate:
GigaOM briefly noted late yesterday that Apple has added 30-second song samples to its browser-based iTunes Preview pages that quietly appeared several months ago. The report notes that Apple is serving the previews, which are encoded in 44.1 KHz AAC format at 300+ kbps, via QuickTime.
No, they added samples weeks/months ago, and they're not 300+ kbps.
The addition is a likely benefit of Apple's recent acquisition of Lala Media, a popular web-based streaming media company. Prior to its acquisition by Apple, Lala had reached a deal with Google to provide song samples in Google search results.
No, Lala has absolutely nothing to do with iTunes putting the same 30-second AAC samples from their store to their browser store preview. Lala is an MP3-based service that allows users to listen to full songs.
 

Mr Skills

macrumors 6502a
Nov 21, 2005
801
1
It works well for me. No complaints at all.
Here in the UK, for EVERYONE I know who uses it, without exception, on every computer, on every connection, in every browser, it is unbelievably slow. It takes a good 30 seconds to load in the first place, and several seconds to see an email after clicking on it. On top of that, if you leave it open untouched in a tab for 10-15 minutes, it times out, and next time you click on anything it has to fully refresh the page. Similarly, it will time-out if you spend too long writing a long email.

The IMAP service is great. The webmail is slugglish-but-OK if you use it for an occassional quick email check, but completely useless if you need to use it for primary email.

If it's fine for you, then either you don't use it so heavily, or Apple is connecting us to a dodgy server in this part of the world.
 

pilotgi

macrumors regular
Jul 22, 2002
193
4
Is there anyway to preview songs from artists other than the one's displayed on the itunes/charts/songs page? In a browser, that is.
 
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