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Apple & AOL Launch iTunes/AOL Integration

Apple & AOL Launch iTunes/AOL Integration

by , 2:15 PM EST, December 18th, 2003

Apple and AOL have, at long last, launched their planned AOL/iTunes integration. The project was announced in October, and puts Apple directly in front of the many millions of AOL users. The deal basically puts an iTunes button next to any of the songs featured by AOL, and that button will launch iTunes and take the AOL user directly to that song within the iTunes Music Store (iTMS). From Apple:

America Online, Inc. and Apple today announced that AOL members can now preview, purchase and download songs available on AOL Music, the world's number one music destination, by simply clicking an iTunes button placed next to featured tracks. The iTunes button will immediately launch Apple's iTunes Music Store, the world's number one download music service, and automatically select the featured track for preview or one-click purchase and download. In addition, AOL members can use their AOL Wallet or card-on-file to conveniently purchase and download songs from iTunes. Starting today, AOL is also offering iTunes Music Store customers the opportunity to purchase exclusive and original music from its popular music programs Sessions@AOL and Broadband Rocks.

[...]

"'Man on the Moon' is my favorite live song. This version turned out pretty well and a little different from what you'd get at a concert," said Michael Stipe, lead singer for R.E.M. "I had a blast doing Sessions@AOL and hope you enjoy this little slice of it. Prep the iPods, here we come, and thanks for listening."

Select exclusive recordings from AOL's breakthrough original music programs, Sessions@AOL and Broadband Rocks, are available immediately on the iTunes Music Store. Intimate, in-studio recordings from Sessions@AOL include:

  • 50 Cent, "P.I.M.P."
  • Fleetwood Mac, "Landslide"
  • Toby Keith, "I Love This Bar"
  • R.E.M., "Man on the Moon"
  • Sarah McLachlan, "Fallen"
  • Jason Mraz, "The Remedy"
  • David Bowie, "Rebel Rebel"
  • Liz Phair, "Why Can't I"
  • Iggy Pop, "I Wanna Be Your Dog"
  • Jet, "Are You Gonna Be My Girl"
  • Obie Trice, "Got Some Teeth"
  • The Bangles, "Manic Monday"
  • Pink, "Trouble"

Select exclusive live performance tracks from AOL's concert series Broadband Rocks include:

  • Hilary Duff, "Come Clean"
  • Lou Reed, "Perfect Day"
  • Limp Bizkit, "Break Stuff"

You can find more information on the iTMS at Apple's Web site.

The Mac Observer Spin:

The other day, we were gathered around the main conference table in the TMO Towers compiling a list of songs we never expected to see featured in an Apple press release. Right at the top of that list was Iggy Pop's (or more properly, The Stooges') "I Wanna Be Your Dog."

Not only is the song 34 years old, it's about a man who is ready to, and wants to, be your dog, feel your pain, and close his mind. We love the song in all its glory, and it is rumored that a couple of TMO staffers have covered the song in a band or two through the years, but it's not exactly the kind of mainstream thing you'd expect to see Apple and AOL pimping to the masses.

For that reason, we offer a big Mac Observer Salute to Apple, and find ourselves in the unusual position of doing the same thing for AOL.

As for the announcement itself: This is big news for Apple, and it's a good service for AOL, which has been losing subscribers of late, to offer its users. Apple is drastically extending the reach of the iTMS, but more importantly, Dell, MusicMatch, Roxio, and Microsoft are not being offered the same extension. That's big.

Big, we say.

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