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Summary:

In a recent email to music labels and providers, Apple announced that previews will be soon tripled in length. Song previews for tracks over 2:30 will now be 90 seconds instead of 30 seconds in the iTunes Store. Reaction to the change appears to be mixed.

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In a recent email to music labels and providers, Apple announced that previews will be soon tripled in length. Song previews for tracks over 2:30 will now be 90 seconds instead of 30 seconds in the iTunes Store. Reaction to the change appears to be mixed.

As mentioned, only songs over 2:30 in length will benefit from the change, with shorter songs retaining the current 30 second preview length. We expect that the move will come to global stores not long after its introduction in the U.S., but at launch only the American store will be affected.

Apple has faced some opposition in pursuing longer previews, forcing the Cupertino-based company to approach groups like the National Music Publishers Association and Broadcast Music, Inc. (BMI) to ensure their support. Reportedly, some labels and publishers still aren’t on board with the change. But, to force the hands of those holdouts, the only way to deny the new terms and thus block longer previews is to remove your entire catalogue from the iTunes Store.

News of the lack of support from some music distributors will likely only frustrate consumers who already feel that these groups are often out of touch with their wants. However, as Apple fights to compete with ground-breaking amounts of piracy, and competing digital music stores like gomusicnow.com which offer drastically cheaper prices, consumers will continue to benefit, regardless of what labels think of its tactics.

However, many music providers, such as Symphonic Distribution, feel the coming change is for the better, stating yesterday on their blog “…we believe this is great news for all involved, as it provides the consumer with more time to preview the material they wish to buy.”

Regardless of opinions on either side, it seems the change is coming soon. So, kick back, relax, and enjoy yet more incentive to hand Apple still more of your money.

Related content from GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):

  1. At nine cents a track, how legal can that gomusic site be?

  2. This move is long overdue. I wouldn’t care if Apple made the previews lower quality, or even mono. I’m not trying to get a complete understanding of the nuances of an unfamiliar song. I just want to know that I’m getting a representative sample, and not just a “best of” trailer like we get so often in movies.

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