iTunes song previews doubling to 60 seconds?

Steve Jobs interview D8

At their annual special music event tomorrow, could Steve Jobs announce that Apple's iTunes song previews are doubling to 60 seconds? That's what CNET is hearing rumored:

Currently, iTunes offers 30-second snippets of songs, a feature designed to give users a taste of the music to help them decide whether they like it enough to buy. Some users have long complained that half a minute isn't enough time to really hear a song.

30 seconds has sometimes been enough for me, sometimes not. It depends on which 30 seconds they preview. The first 30 seconds of long, building instrumental intro to a rock song usually doesn't provide any context for the song itself. Part of the chorus with enough overlap on one side or another and I'm good.

Given the plethora of other announcements we expect, iPod touch 4, iPod nano 6, iOS 4.1, maybe Apple TV/iTV, etc. how important is this one to you?


Rene Ritchie

Editor-in-Chief of iMore, co-host of Iterate, Debug, Review, The TV Show, Vector, ZEN & TECH, and MacBreak Weekly podcasts. Cook, grappler, photon wrangler. Follow him on Twitter and Google+.

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There are 17 comments. Add yours.

OmariJames says:

I agree with the people who complained , sometimes i dont buy a song because the preview doesn't include enough of the actual song for me to decide. Either they actively pick out the good part to preview or they give up 60 seconds, 45 isn't bad either.

Tim says:

Honestly what would be the point?
Most people would only buy a song they've heard before on the radio or elsewhere, if there not sure they can just search google for it and they'll find videos for the song on youtube and other places, 30 seconds is plenty of time for a preview for me, anything over that i cant see record companies allowing, as people will be able to listen to almost half a song........

Redux says:

I agree with tim. Some ppl just like to complain about every little thing

Hakala says:

@Tim some (a lot of) comapanies/business block most video sharing sites (like YouTube, Vimeo, and others) from employee computers. My job requires that I actively use iTunes (honest to god truth) to do my job and purchasing songs, as well as apps sometimes, is part of the job. Sometimes previewing the song matters entirely.

fastlane says:

There's no way these previews are selected by people. There are far too many, and some are so bad that no human would've purposely chosen the parts we hear.
So, sixty-seconds would almost guarantee that most,/i> songs' components were included in the samples (other than symphonies and such).

fastlane says:

Oops... tag error... sorry.

jasonphil says:

I doubt anyone goes shopping for random music they've never heard anyway. A 60 second preview would be nice either way, however. Sometimes I click the preview button just to hear the song even if I know it already and I feel like some previews take the most stupid part of the song to use; at least with a 60 second preview, there's a larger window for a more meaningful representation of the song.
The reason why I DON'T THINK this will ever happen, is because some songs are only a few dimes over 1 min long, and I doubt it would be proper for them to play the majority of a song over preview. I feel like that would be wrong for some reason.. Idkkk.

Jason says:

I would love to hear a full minute most Ike they don't play a good 30 second clip

justincirello says:

Guys! Stop complaining about the preview length!
If you don't hear enough of the song, there's always a site called "YouTube." Not sure if you've heard of it before?

Freiteez says:

I'd rather see a 7" iPad then 1 minute song previews...

BostonBoi says:

Are you kidding me????? Is it really that big of a deal to people think about the Internet and what it offers PEOPLE.........YouTube. You find a son u like in the iTunes store you multitasking right on over to YouTube and then listen to the whole thing. APPLE has better things to worry about

fastlane says:

YouTube? There's no guarantee what you find on YouTube is the same version you're considering in iTunes.

iBamse says:

Who cares?
Anything less than matching what Spotify is already providing is too little too late.

LozBlanko says:

I complained. Gets right on my xxx's. I know there are other ways to hear a track but what's the point when the feature is right there?!
The trouble is that the computer that picks the clips often chooses the first 30 second intro or another section where almost nothing happens. You often can't tell from that if it's the right version etc.
I like to browse through tracks to find stuff I've never heard but it's just not suitable at 30 seconds.

LozBlanko says:

...also, don't forget, we are talking about the world's biggest record store here. It's not acceptable now.

Glenn#IM says:

30 sec is really not enough to tell about a song. A lot depends on what part you hear. 60 sec seems fair.