Apple’s iTunes Store, the biggest music retailer in the world, is the place to over ten million songs. Strange as it may seem, up until now you weren’t able to sample individual tracks for more than thirty seconds.
It may not seem like much of a problem, but when you decide to part with your hard-earned money and spend some cash on digital music, half a minute song sample often doesn’t cut it, especially with other online music retailers offering either longer previews or even the complete songs in lower quality to try before you buy.
According to the blogosphere, Apple is now extending iTunes song previews in the US to 90 seconds for individual tracks that are at least 2 minutes and 30 seconds long. We were able to confirm this in iTunes ourselves. Unfortunately, samples for songs shorter than 2 minutes and 30 seconds remain clipped at just half a minute. It would appear that the change applies only to the US iTunes Store as track previews in non-US iTunes Stores remain 30 seconds long.
Apple was rumored to announce longer song previews at the September 1 event. It never came to be as the National Music Publishers Association allegedly opposed the move, warning this would require Apple to sign an additional license covering what’s called the "performance rights." It would appear that those licensing issues have now been resolved.