Guest Author - Clare Stubbs
Some of our song purchases through the iTunes site can be determined by first listening to a 30 second preview and then deciding whether or not you want to commit to buying a particular track. But, is 30 seconds really enough time to establish if a song is worth buying based on what can be heard in such a small window of time?
For shorter songs it normally would not cause a problem but then there are longer tracks that tend to start with an extensive introduction. This would easily eat up the 30 seconds without actually getting a better insight on what the rest of the track sounds like.
Well, now there is some good news!
Apple have decided that changes to how the preview service operates needed to be made (especially as other services provide users with the ability to stream full songs, such as Spotify for example) and it is expected that new 90 second previews are going to be introduced for any tracks that have a playing time longer than 150 seconds. Anything shorter will retain the standard 30 second limit.
At the present time, no dates have been released for when these alterations are expected to be implemented but it has been suggested that they will be carried out very shortly, hopefully they will be implemented in 2011. Some iTunes users will need to wait as the increased preview times are only going to be available for U.S. based users in the early stages.
It is possible that not all longer songs will end up with the 90 second preview because there could be some publishers that may choose not to allow this change but this might cause difficulties as Apple are very keen to increase the listening time across the board.
Honestly, this is a feature that has been a long time coming and it will definitely be a great benefit to fellow music fans that like to purchase a lot of songs based on what they hear through iTunes. Most of the time my personal music purchases are normally made following a new release from one of my many favorite bands, but there have been times where I have relied on the preview feature in the past when looking to buy something new.
Hopefully these changes will be implemented worldwide very soon so that everyone can take advantage of a longer preview before committing to a purchase and this should reduce the possibility of people ending up being disappointed with their musical choices.