iTunes Sells 50 Million Songs; Hewlett Packard-branded iTunes Launches

Apple announced on Monday that they’d sold 50 million tracks through its iTunes music service. They’re not including free songs redeemed through the Pepsi promotion running at the moment, just tracks which users have paid for and downloaded.

The service is now selling 2.5 million songs per week – that’s an annual rate of 130 million tracks per year, and it’s increasing. Steve Jobs said “It’s increasingly difficult to imagine others ever catching up with iTunes.” He may have a point: there’s no denying that the service has completely changed the face of the music industry, with many other companies are trying to get a slice of the market – though many other offerings (such as myCokeMusic) are considerably inferior. We’re looking forward to iTunes belated launch in Europe in the Summer – and hope that this will prompt Apple to do a bit more work on their slightly shoddy Windows client for the store.

Apple also partnered with Hewlett Packard to offer a special HP-branded copy of iTunes.

Oh – and what was the milestone song sold this time? “The Path of Thorns” by Sarah McLachlan.

Apple on the milestone

HP iTunes

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Fraser Lovatt

Fraser Lovatt has spent the last fifteen years working in publishing, TV and the Internet in various capacities, and believes that they will be seperate platforms for at least a while yet. His main interests at the moment are exploring where Linux is taking home entertainment and how technology is conferring technical skills on more and more people. Fraser Lovatt was born in the same year that 2001: A Space Odyssey was delighting and confusing people in the cinemas, and developed a lifelong love of technology as soon as he realised that things could be taken apart, sometimes put back together again, but mostly left in bits or made into something the original designer hadn't quite planned upon. At school he was definitely in the ZX Spectrum/Magpie/BMX camp, rather than the BBC Micro/Blue Peter/well-behaved group. This is all deeply ironic as he later went on to spend nine years working at the BBC. After a few years of working as a bookseller in Scotland, ("Back when it was actually a skilled profession" he'll tell anyone still listening), he moved to England for reasons he can't quite explain adequately to himself. After a couple of publishing jobs punctuated by sporadic bursts of travelling and photography came the aforementioned nine years at the BBC where he specialised in internet technologies and video. These days his primary interests are Java, Linux, videogames and pies - and if they're not candidates for convergence, then what is?