Let's Talk About iTunes Store...

iTunes Store is an online business run by Apply Inc which sells media files online and contains more than 3 billion song selections.

iTunes Store was originated from iTunes Music Store. It was renamed to iTunes Store after it began to sell feature length movies besides music in year 2006.

Songs are sold at different prices in different countries. In US and Canada, it costs $0.99 per track for basic version of song and $1.29 per track for high quality version. In Europe, prices are generally comparable and around EU0.99. The first thirty seconds of previews are free prior to purchasing a song.

Television episodes such as music videos and short films cost $1.99 in US and feature length movies are sold $12.99. Finally, games (compatible with iPod classic and 3rd generation of iPod Nano) cost $4.99 each.

The iTunes Store also includes over 20,000 audiobooks, which encoded at 32kB/s. Ninety second previews are offered for each book, which provided by Audible.com. The only difference between buying from iTunes Store and Audible.com is users do not need to sign up for subscription to get audiobooks in iTunes Store.

Most songs from iTunes Store are encoded using FairPlay-encrypted 128Kbit/s AAC streams in an MP4 wrapper, using the .mp4 extension. Only Apple iPod is able to play the files apart from computers with iTunes or QuickTime installed.

With FairPlay DRM (digital right management), users can only make up to maximum of seven CD copies of any particular playlist containing songs purchased from iTunes Store and users can only access the songs on up to 5 computers. However, there are no restrictions on number of iPod that you can transfer your songs to, nor number of times any individual song can be burned into CD.

Apple FairPlay DRM is breakable. In a simple way, user can convert the protected files into unprotected MP3 format by burning them into audio CD, then ripping them back into iTunes. Besides, various programs have been written to remove FairPlay wrapper.

Due to Apple has maintained tight control on its FairPlay encryption, other online music stores cannot sell the encrypted music files. Besides, other portable digital players such as Creative Labs, iRiver and Sandisk cannot play such files. So the users have to download the files from iTunes Store and played them with iPod only.

One of the “cool” features from iTunes Store is iTunes Wi-Fi Music Store which users can buy and download songs wirelessly from iPod touch and iPhone.