Similarly, you can copy the songs onto as many as three computers, two more than the rival services permit. After all, if you've paid for music, you should be entitled to listen to it at home, at work and on your laptop.
....When you click on the Music Store icon, the iTunes window changes to resemble a Web page. A Browse button lets you drill down from a genre (like Blues, Rock or Books & Spoken) to a performer, album and song. A Search command lets you type in any part of an artist, song, album or composer name. Top 10 lists, Staff Favorites, New Releases and other links round out the main screen. The cover art of the album for the song you're examining is always on display.
Once you've selected some songs to consider, you double-click on a song's title to hear a 30-second preview. (The music even fades in and out gracefully, a typical Apple touch.) One click on a Buy Song button adds it to your collection in the form of an Advanced Audio Coding file.
....Among the Music Store's many grace notes and pleasant surprises, the most amazing is the balance it strikes between the apparently irreconcilable interests of the three interested parties. The record companies get a reasonable amount of money. The bands get both exposure and protection. And the once-neglected customer finally gets what online music libraries should have been delivering all along: high-quality recordings, free from the viruses and deliberately corrupted files that increasingly poison the wells of free music-trading services like KaZaA; the freedom to cherry-pick songs without having to pay for a bunch of grade-B filler; the liberty to spend as little or as much as one likes, whenever one likes; and the flexibility to copy the music to other computers, iPods or CD's.
At this very moment, executives at Pressplay, MusicNet and their ilk are surely sprinting into hastily assembled meetings to discuss how they can mimic Apple's model. [NY Times]
Though not there yet, we are moving in the right direction.