Preview iTUNES without Downloading, APPLE!
For better or worse, iTunes and the iTunes Store have become a significant part of the digital media consumption. In fact, it’s such a common part of the experience that Apple just expects that everyone has installed it.
If you click on an iTunes link in a web browser, iTunes either opens up on your computer or you’re taken to a page that tells you you need to install iTunes, particularly.
However, as Macworld figured out, that’s starting to change. Apple has just quietly rolled out some web-based search and viewing capabilities for the Music and TV portion of the iTunes Store called iTunes Preview.
Right now you can see iTunes Preview by going to the iTunes Charts page or by following a link from the music store created within iTunes like this one. You can now view an albums page, see the songs included on the album, the length, individual track price, and read review from iTunes reviewers. You can also browse through the disco-graphy of that artist and look up similar artists and genres.
You cannot, however, preview song tracks. For that, you still need to open up iTunes (or click on a “view in iTunes” button). You can also browse through movies and TV shows, but not to the extent that you can music.
iTunes Preview makes us wonder if some sort of web-based version of iTunes is on the horizon. As it stands, iTunes 9 is essentially just rendering WebKit pages anyway, so the ability to offer up the results on the web is already available.
If Apple were to have a more web-oriented iTunes, it could potentially open up the store content (the stuff that isn’t DRM anyway) to other devices. Apple has always used iTunes as a way to convert customers to using an iPod or iPhone, but that might not always be the case happens.
What do you think of iTunes Preview? Do you think this is a sign of things to come? Let us know about it!